Thursday, September 20, 2007

Movin' On

After I got this news, the prospect of leaving my house and moving once again, had paralyzed me this summer.

I was attached to that house for a myriad of reasons, but mostly because it seemed to signify a big turning point in my life.

I was in trouble in my old place - it had been sold and the rent greatly increased ($300 more a month). I had only my self-employment to get me by, and I was not doing very well. I had just come to the decision that the only way I was going to survive was to move into a much smaller (and less expensive) place and get a job in the real world.

I had been working at home and supplementing (quite heftily) my income with some money that I received when my Dad passed away. I supplemented my income so much that it only took me a matter of a few years to blow through it. It was enough, that if I would have been a better manager of my money, it could have lasted a very long time.

But I wasn't. And I wasn't on a pretty big scale.

I wasn't as if I was completely frivolous. I bought a reliable vehicle. I bought new furniture. I stayed home with my kids until they got in school - and that is the part that I least regret. But it was humiliating to have to admit to my family that the money I had been given was all gone and I was, once again, in crisis.

My mother was horrified.

I had hidden things from her for as long as was humanly possible. But there are only so many times that the phone company can "mess up" and disconnect your phone. There are only so many times that you can tell your kids that the TV doesn't work and they can just watch DVD's. And it was truly my own damn fault.

I was driving home from work at my new "seasonal" position at REI (I'm still here 3 years later) when I decided to take a new route home and look for rentals. The first street I turned down there was a "For Rent" sign in the lawn of this adorable little green house with white shutters. I called on it immediately and saw it the next day. As horrified as she was at my money management skills, my Mom helped me with the first and last month's rent and security deposit.

As you all know....things have greatly improved since I set foot in that house.

My job has allowed me to get back on my feet and truly improve my life from the bottom up. I feel like I can conquer the world, and it all started with that little green house. Everything has changed, but most importantly how I look at the world. My Mom and I still can fight, but I can honestly say that I feel that she would always back me up, no matter how bad I've screwed up in the past. I can be more honest with people than I ever felt I could. Pride no longer limits me.

Everyone deserves a second chance, I know. Sometimes that chance is so huge, though, that sometimes you can't imagine anyone with enough hutzpah to be willing to put themselves out there when your track record is so....awful.

My Mom bought the house.

Yep. She bought it. I will be paying her "rent" (at a reduced rate, even) and earning a certain percentage of ownership each year. I won't be strapped for the full cost of the mortgage payment and my lack of credit will not force me into a high interest rate.

And as far as I'm concerned, that's the least wonderful part about it. Communication between my Mom and I is sometimes hard, but I really feel like this is more of a quiet nod of approval to how hard I have worked the last few years.

Surprisingly, her approval means more to me than I ever would have thought possible.



At 6:04 PM, Blogger Christine said...

Wait, you didn't have to move! You mentioned moving below so I was certain you did. I'm so happy that even though strained, your relationship with your Mom is at a place where you guys can have this kind of arrangement. Also, HOORAY you're in the house and "renting to own" and that is AWESOME!

At 6:25 PM, Blogger Janie said...

ok, this is me, over here, crying.
that is such an amazing story.
just beautiful.
you've earned it! i'm very happy for you.

At 6:40 PM, Blogger rennratt said...

I LOVE your mother.

LOVE her.

And you DID move - to a new cubicle at work, right?!

At 7:18 PM, Blogger tiff said...


wow. Yay Mom! And Yay you.

At 5:39 AM, Blogger No Celery Please said...

Oh! No fair making me cry first thing in the morning.

Yay House!

At 9:50 AM, Blogger Omnibus Driver said...

Your mom seriously rocks. And so do you.

At 7:25 AM, Blogger Ant said...


I am so happy for you.

Everyone else has said it and so will I: this story is beautiful on so many levels...

At 7:42 AM, Blogger Bobo the Wandering Pallbearer said...

That's terrific. Congratulations! Yay house, yay you, yay Mom!

At 7:43 AM, Blogger Bobo the Wandering Pallbearer said...

(And yay Sophie and yay Maya.)

At 12:38 PM, Blogger Kingfisher said...

That's terrific. You and the girls deserve it. I'm so happy for you.

Now obey your mother.

At 7:26 AM, Anonymous lisslo said...

I stop reading for a little while, and I miss so much! I knew that it would work out for you, Shari. You most certainly deserve it! It's so great!!! :)

At 7:43 PM, Blogger anika said...

How amazing, Shari. I am so happy for your family, this is such great news!!
So wonderful.


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