There is no better motivator, the thing that gets you down to business, than looking to buy a home. Yes, please let me go into debt so that I can live out the American dream of owning property. Where do I sign? But seriously though, when the price is right and the interior is nice I sometimes say, what, is this house haunted? All jokes aside though it’s so motivating to see your starter home within reach especially after years of being a graduate student.
I also am living in a town in Massachusetts where housing prices are reasonable and you can obtain some beautiful properties and still not be a slave to your work. The white picket fences naturally fit in a community where people hold open doors, ask “how you doing?” and smile. They actually strive to be good neighbors. God, I come from a city where everyone minds their own business and if someone smiled at me on the street I’d wonder if they were about to rob me. This place is wearing down some of the cynicism. Slightly. It’s nice not to be a big grump anymore.
What I feel more reflexive about is how I used to feel sorry for those who didn’t live in large urban centers. For awhile Toronto was the centre of the universe and those who were not within her orbit were just dreadfully unlucky. But the fact is, I would roll my eyes at the old me. There are different ways of living and being.
There are self-important people who feel that their bleeding hearts do the world a service. Even if you sent them an email with images of your new house and tell them that your dreams of escrow finally came true, they would find a way to feel sorry for you. Because you know, you might feel at home but you live in the country. To these individuals I just want to draw a distinction between empathy and taking away someone’s agency. Not everyone wants to be just like you. If someone is struggling, of course be supportive, open and there but they can probably do without your worry. Because these types of interactions quickly become stale and can even verge on toxic. They just might take the next flight out of town to not be stifled by the weight of your expectations. Chill.