When I was a kid, I always dreamt it was Halloween and I could never quite make it out the door to do my trick or treating.
As an adult, it's senior year of high school and I never even went to English class. Or I took all those classes in college but I didn't know about that one last math class, and so my degree isn't real and it's been a decade and I still haven't graduated.
Crap like that.
Now, hold that thought.
I wanna tell you somethin'. It's gonna be the most personal, all-up-in-my-biznis story I've ever told. Might be my most important story, to me. For me.
9 years ago, hubs had graduated from college with a degree in electrical engineering. We had one child, and we couldn't find a job anywhere.
Honest, I can't think of something that tears a man down more than searching for a job and not being able to find it. I've said before that I wouldn't wish that kind of unemployment/money misery on anyone. We had a little savings, but what we did have was getting eaten up right quick.
see my wall.
It has always meant a lot to me. Today, it means even more. Tell ya why.
Hubs did eventually get a job, and these are all the places we lived, by choice, over those first 5 years of his career.
I look back on those 5 years of moving with happiness. I do. I also like to think of that time as a combo:
"Big Adventure/Huge Sacrifice".
I loved all the places we lived. Met people that mean a heckalot to me. It was an experience.
Lemme tell you why we moved to these places, by choice. We got paid per diem while we lived away. And we wanted one thing:
No debt. Of any kind. Financial security. We wanted to sacrifice for a few years, and then come back home owning our house outright. That, was the dream. Biggest dream I ever dreamt.
We bought a house for $200,000 in 2005. There were renters in it, and we figured we'd move around, get this house paid off (hopefully), finally move back, and make us a home. Our home.
Yes, this home is our "other house". The one that was on the market.
This piece of paper:
in the back of my journal, was kinda sorta my whole life.
I could go on and on and onandonandon about the goods, the bads, the highs and the lows of 5 years of living away, as a small family, in little apartments, moving, sometimes a year later, and sometimes 4 months later. . .
but just know,
that I slept on an air mattress for a year when I lived in Indiana, and a bit in North Carolina.
(this was the living space. It was empty.)
A typical work day for my husband was leaving at 6:30 a.m., and typically arriving home at 8:00 p.m. We had one car, and he took it with him 98% of the time (long story). This meant I got to be in our little apartment, with 2 (or 3) little boys, all day, 6 days a week, sometimes 7 days a week. No friends. At first, in a new city, only knew my way to Walmart and back.
that two apartments we lived in boasted bean bags for furniture, a little TV and DVD player that sat on the floor (and had no actual TV channels), a folding table and chairs to dine, and plastic plates to adorn.
that you can, in fact, fit 3 little boys, all in car seats, in the backseat of a small sedan, if you close the doors just right.
that this picture makes me not a little sad, because this is the apartment we lived in when I was most unhappy. We lived over a nurse who worked all night and slept all day, and I had 2 little boys that never walked anywhere, and my job was to keep them quiet and tiptoeing during daylight hours, because the apartment peeps wouldn't let me switch places.
Other not-awesome events include a friend making fun of us for this ridiculous thing we were doing, and a co-worker's wife visiting us once, and then announcing to everyone at a work dinner, in front of the big boss, that we were living in "ridiculous conditions" and that my husband was so "mean" that I didn't "even have cable TV". Kind of embarrassing. Not as embarrassing, as say, being the star in a new STD drug commercial, but you know, embarrassing.
Honey, if I'd have wanted cable TV, the hubs would have gotten it for me, trust me.
All that while, we threw every dime we had into that "other house".
And this, was a dream come true, indeed. We celebrated as family, on that day we made the last payment.
Now, hold that thought.
Let me make this very, very brief: when we moved home, the renters wanted to buy the home, and so we purchased a different home. The one we now live in. They backed out, and this, is why we have two homes.
Remember what I said about those bad dreams you have, and you thought you accomplished something, but you really didn't? This is my bad dream, but instead I'm awake.
Sale on the house went through, and I am happy, nay, abso-freaking-lutely overjoyed to report,
that we are debt free, no if's, and's, or but's. It took a while longer than I ever anticipated, but it got done. Now excuse me while I go cry it all out. Told you I had "feeeeelings" about that other house. Sheesh.