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.)
4 years ago