I am not the girl I used to be. I am older. I am wiser. I am calmer. I am peaceful. I am more. I need and want less. And am happy with little. Never was it ever about THINGS.
I wrote a blog last week about my Dad’s 65th Birthday. I didn’t post it. It was too difficult to. It was about how he’d finally be retiring and getting to do the things he always wanted to do. How he’d ride his Harley more, FEDEX his UPS uniforms back to the company (LOL) and visit Colorado more. He was a good saver. He and my Mom planned for 33 years before he died. They had a savings account and he contributed a lot to retirement so he could LIVE someday. The way he wanted to. And the fact that at 53 he left the Earth and never got to retire, never got to ride more, travel more, LIVE more, kinda crushes me.
For many MANY years I’ve had a dream to have a little home in the mountains. Further into the mountains I mean. No cement. The dream has evolved and changed over the years. I truly thought I’d go with a husband. I thought there’d be 25th and 50th Wedding Anniversaries. I thought a lot of things. Letting go of what you thought would be is very difficult. Very. Life has certainly NOT turned out the way I expected it would. Many MANY things are vastly different than I anticipated. So for about a second and a half I was resolved to the fact that I’d rent a little place for the rest of my life. I moved into this rent house with the help of only 3 girlfriends. The 4 of us managed to move all of my furniture and things. Just us. My friends ROCK. And I love this house. Its fun and old and quirky. But its not mine. I don’t own it.
And sometimes when my kids are gone. At school. Or with their Dad. I just sit in the big kitchen and cry. Sometimes the tears are happy. There are moments Im proud of myself for being brave enough to leave a situation I needed to leave. For showing my daughter what happy means. For installing curtains alone and finding a $25 garage sale table and carrying it into this house with my own arms. There’s times the tears are sad. And I mourn a lost life. I mourn where I THOUGHT I’d be. Im sad for things that ended and things I couldn’t fix and for my kids. And I mourn that I own nothing but my Jeep. I felt homeless while sitting in a home. I felt after 20 years of home ownership that Id LOST all Id worked for. And then I realized something. I don’t have to give up my dream. It just might look a little different.
So in sitting with my finances and current situation and analyzing (to death) how I can afford to live on my own I found a solution. I can buy some mountain land and build a tiny home. And be debt free. No mortgage, no rent, very VERY low utilities. And what that means is FREEDOM. I can still travel, hike, backpack across America, whatever the hell I want. So its not a 3 bedroom mountain home with a large family room and huge fireplace anymore. Its not expensive flooring and fixtures and mudrooms and TONS of land. Not anymore. Its small. Very small. Its not super fancy. But its MINE. And its all I can think about. Ive always been the “spouse who signs on the line next to the buyer” when we’ve bought homes before. Ive never even bought a car alone. The thought of a home. Some land. Some space. Some mountain views and a porch to drink my coffee on while I watch deer and wildlife walk by…..it takes my breath away. It makes me cry. Because all the THINGS in the world cannot make me feel as peaceful and full as the security of a little tiny house and a majestic view that is all mine.
Its the beginning of this journey for me….trying to find land, getting a tiny home built that I can pay for out right. Just the beginning. And Id be lying if I said Im not scared shitless. But I spent 2 hours yesterday researching septic tank installation on a mountain. And how you can own llamas on private property. And how much a snow plow cover for the front of my Jeep would cost. And it made me more happy than any visit to any spa, any pedicure, any stay in a fancy hotel has ever made me feel. We all dream differently. And that’s ok. Dreams can change, evolve, grow, be put off, or in my case……be put on fast forward.
My Dad fully expected to see 65 years old. He fully expected to retire and have money and live out the dream he wanted to. He made it to 53. Im 45 now. Im not promised 65. Im not promised TOMORROW. So Im not going to wait. And its going to be frustrating and time consuming and I know Ill run into obstacles. But the new stepping stone my friend, Christine, made for me, is going to have a home. It’s going to go in dirt that is mine. I just cannot put it in someone else’s dirt. There’s dreams to make come true. And I’ll crawl, walk, run to make them happen. I can’t leave my stepping stone with no place to call home.
“And the Colorado rocky mountain high
I’ve seen it rainin’ fire in the sky
I know he’d be a poorer man if he never saw an eagle fly
Rocky mountain high”
         John Denver

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