Sunday, April 11, 2010

On the Abatement of the Freak-Out (Though I'm Sure I'll Still Freak Out Again)

So. I'm feeling loads better.

Something I keep relearning throughout this process is that I'm the sort of person, every time I reach a new step in a process, whatever it is, who loses it a little bit. Now, you'd think I wouldn't forget this about myself. I have felt very similarly with various steps in going to graduate school, going on the job market, the publication process, with the process toward tenure, with teaching new courses.... If anything, I'm probably better equipped than most people to know this about myself, as I've already done a lot of pretty major things on my own, and I know what that feels like.

I suppose where I keep getting blind-sided by the house-related stuff is that I had thought just making the big leap to decide to do it was the major thing, and I hadn't really thought very much about the other steps along the way. And so each time I reach a new phase, I lose it a little. Then, after a few days pass and I've had time to mull and plot and plan, I feel better.

So anyway, I'm in the "I feel better" place right now. My parents are going to lend me some money so I feel like I have more of a cushion (which I felt horrible asking them, but on the other hand, I'll pay them back as soon as I get my summer fellowship money and am moved, and they're happy to do it, so I need to just be grateful for the help and stop beating myself up about it), I think I have realistic plans for what I'm going to do/buy in the house in the short term/medium term/long term, and I'm feeling pretty comfortable with how it all will work out money/time/stress-wise.

I hope to have all of the money stuff totally squared away tomorrow or Tuesday, and I think that will be a huge weight off of me, and I've got a plan for packing and I've been making a list of things to donate and not to move. The plan, should everything go smoothly, is that I'll move at the end of May, be a bad conference attendee for my June conference and just drive down for the day of my paper (or maybe another day, too, depending, but not stay overnight at all - it's that close, and while I do think that attending a conference that way sucks, I also feel like my top priority in May/June has to be settling into my house).

I'm not jazzed about the end of the semester stress that I'll have over the next few weeks which is dovetailing with all of the closing stuff, but it will be fine.

So anyway, thanks for all of your comments to the freak-out post. They really did help me to put things into perspective.

(Oh, and another thing: yes, it is empowering for me to be doing this on my own. It really is. But it's also harder in some ways than it would be to be doing it with another person. I would never tell anyone that they shouldn't buy a house if they're doing it alone, but I also totally understand why people would choose not to do so and to just keep renting. It would be nice to spread some of this stress around to somebody else.)


Terminal Degree said...

I'm really excited for you!

By the way, my mom sold real estate for years, and I used to work in her office in the summers. It's pretty normal for first-time buyers to freak out. Don't be surprised if you get a little anxious at the closing, too, when you sign the papers and pass over a huge check. I promise, it will feel GREAT when they hand you the key to YOUR house! :)

PhysioProf said...

So. I'm feeling loads better.

You took my advice and you're fucking drunk?

Ann said...

Crazy, I'm glad you're feeling better (however it is you achieved it.) You're fortunate to have folks who are in a position to help--it will make you all feel better now that you're letting them. (And, it's good to be reminded that you're not alone!)

Anastasia said...

I don't addition to my own misgivings, I had to deal with PH freaking out at every turn, lying away at night freaking out, and generally, well, freaking the frak out. Sometimes having another person along just means seeing somebody else through their panic while you have your own.

Doctor Pion said...

I want to emphasize what Terminal Degree said. I share some of your angst with new situations, but I was totally unprepared for closing with the multitude of papers to sign ... and my parents, who sold their house last year, say there are twice as many as their used to be!

That said, your realtor and the loan people should give you a list of all of the things you will have to sign. Take a deep breath when you see it. We did it. So can you. But be absolutely sure you understand what you are signing.

Finally, there WILL be surprises after you move in and live there awhile. Be glad you have a bit of a buffer. And our paper just had an article about carpenter bees. Said they are more annoyance than problem (carpenter ANTS are the bad ones), and that there are various home remedies that include using caulk on the holes. Or put out a suet feeder that keeps woodpeckers around to defend your house.

Doctor Pion said...

Aargh! I wrote "their" instead of "there" on an english prof's blog! I am mortified!!!

But I can blame it on reading undergrad emails.

Bardiac said...

Anastasia makes a good point here; while some partners would make things a lot easier, others wouldn't.

Have you started doing the drive by daily to make sure it hasn't burned down yet? (I was really good at that. I think the neighbors thought I was scoping the neighborhood for robbery or something.)

Dr. Crazy said...

I don't doubt what Anastasia's saying about the drawbacks of being partnered through this sort of experience. This actually was something I thought about when I actually decided I was going to do it and began looking. It was positively WONDERFUL that I didn't need anyone's approval about which house I picked and that there was absolutely no need for compromise. On the other hand, at this point? It would be really nice not to be alone in the decision, alone in fucking things up (if I somehow managed to do that), alone in the responsibility, alone in going through an experience that I feel completely out of my depth going through, in spite of having read a gajillion books and thinking that I'd educated myself about it. But then, I'm the sort of person who calms down when I have to help somebody else through freaking out (stoicism in the face of adversity, caring more about calming the other person down than whatever I might want to freak out about, etc.) whereas if I don't have somebody around to perform that function for... well, let's just say I lose it in a spectacular fashion.

As for drive-bys, yes, I do those with some frequency, though the good news is that the location of the house is such that I can see it from the main street and don't need to turn down the actual street of the house. Actually, seeing the house always calms me down when I'm feeling freaked out about it... reminds me that as much as I'm freaking, I will, at the end, get to live inside of a cute little house!

Physioprof - well, there WAS liquor on Friday night, but the good vibes have continued not because I went on a weekend-long bender, but rather because I drove past the house, talked to my parents, and began packing.

PhysioProf said...

there WAS liquor on Friday night

That's what I'm talking about!