I was realizing earlier today that my posts have changed a lot over the months I've been traveling and now looking for a new steady residence. There have been far fewer of the more reflective posts I normally create, and more "this is what's going on" posts.
It can be easy to think that means my posts are less meaningful now than before, but I don't think so. I think there's a value in sharing both the profound and the mundane with each other.
Sometimes any one of us can be pretty deep, yet none of us avoids having to face the choices of life and the mental gymnastics that go with figuring out what we want within any given situation. I think providing each other transparency into our process of living is incredibly valuable. It helps us see how other people face similar choices to ones we face, and perhaps process them differently. Or that we share a sameness that makes us feel less alone in our challenges.
What's Up With You?
So tell me what's been on your mind lately.
Have you been more focused on big ideas, figuring out our collective futures? Deciding what you want in your society?
Or is there some big decision or set of small decisions you face in your personal life that has been gobbling up most of your mental bandwidth?
My Mind These Days
I can tell you right now that my big thing is, where do I want to live?
I've seen a lot of apartments and a couple townhomes since arriving here. Plus one duplex. Haven't managed to see any standalone houses yet, but they are way, way more expensive than the attached homes.
I'm weighing the importance to me of price (paying $1,100/m vs $1,900/m really adds up), attached or non-attached, and if attached then how much (apartment, townhome, duplex). Then there is also location, as a bunch of desirable cities are within a 20 minute drive of my mother's house, which is basically the center of my vortex. I'm thinking both about where I want to be in terms of places I might like to frequent, and also where I might like to be when economic pain intensifies in the coming years. Different places, it seems.
Obviously with so much uncertainty, it's hard to know what to even call forth. And yes, I do believe that my job is to decide what I want clearly enough to call it forth. Lack of clarity is the greatest paralysis.
Yet I keep seeing places, and as I see more I continue to flesh out what my priorities are. Number 1 has to be not being too far from where my family is, since the reason I'm here is to play a bigger role in the lives of my nieces and their friends. I want to be a short enough drive for them to come by my place each week for me to teach them about money. So to pick a place 45 minutes away, or maybe even 35 minutes away, sort of defeats the entire point of being here.
My next highest priority is a quiet, peaceful place that I can relax in nature each day. That nourishes me. That the neighborhood be low crime and mellow vibe also allows me to relax into my present moment experience with an openness that makes life sweet.
I suppose after that would come price. I don't want to feel like I'm bleeding money. I would like to see that I'm barely touching my savings and mostly living on my passive income, as I wait for crypto to rebound and my land in Taos to sell.
And yes, I did decide to sell it. Though I am willing to hold out for my price ($20k more than I paid last year) and build a vacation rental on it if I don't get that price before investment earnings allow me to build for a mere fraction of my available funds. I can go either way. Leaving that to the universe.
But in the meantime, I don't want to feel like I'm running out of money and needing anything in particular to happen with investments in order to be okay. Half the rent means twice the time I can "let it ride."
One funny thing I've discovered is that some housing complexes won't even consider me for renting there because I have so much money that I don't have to work anymore. That's not the reason they state, but their problem is that I don't have an income. They don't care about assets. They only care about a W-2 from an employer.
Some thankfully are willing to look at assets, so I'm not completely out of the running. But it's so funny how much people seem to consider reliance on an employer to indicate stability. That is so far from the truth!
Not that reliance on dollars is all that great either. We all know those dollars sitting in a savings account earning 2% interest are actually losing value every day, as the dollar itself loses purchasing power to inflation.
Really there are so many myths we live with about money, freedom and security.
And then there's energy!
One thing I didn't put on my list of priorities that actually does make a big difference for me is the energy around me. Being sandwiched into a stack of apartments surrounded by anxious, angry, fearful, confused people would make it that much harder for me to maintain my own mellow, open vibe. That's because I'm an empath.
Having lots of trees around, as many of the places I've seen do, does help, but that doesn't totally overcome a large number of unhappy co-residents. Being in a completely separate house really eliminates this issue, especially if it's in a more financially secure area, where at least people don't have to stress about paying the rent. Cities like Cary or Carborro would offer that, whereas cities like Durham and Raleigh offer more diversity, which includes more struggle for many residents. Oh, to not be an empath!
Well, I saw a place today that is a top floor unit with vaulted ceilings and a working fireplace, plus a deck facing South on a bunch of trees within a complex with its own pond. Plus valet trash pick up from one's front door and a rent of around $1,150 on a 2 bedroom/ 2 bath. That's quite good, given what I've been seeing. And the residents I passed while there seemed pretty relaxed. I'll try going by again in the evening to see what people are like who work all day then return home at rush hour. But so far it seems like a place with happy people.
There were some minor maintenance issues like a sliding glass door that was just too hard to lock/unlock and noisy bathroom fans, and I do wonder how responsive the complex will be to getting those fixed before I move in. But it's in a good neighborhood, cheap, and they are willing to look at my bank account instead of my non-existent paystubs. It's also nice looking, bright and spacious, though the 2nd bedroom looks out onto the covered landing at the top of the stairs to the floor, so really gets no light even in the middle of a sunny day. I'm not sure what I'd be able to do with that room. I can't see having my office be such a cave. I hardly ever spend time in my office as it is, and am trying to change that. Maybe I would just make it a storage and guest room and use the sunny dining area as my office.
They are holding the price for me for 2 days, so hopefully I will find a standalone house or affordable townhouse today or tomorrow. Otherwise, into the sandwich stack I go, for at least one year anyway. It's not terrible.
What do you look for in a place to live? What are your top priorities in an ideal living situation?