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I'm in love with the ruins of my life
Sometimes ruining your life can be the best thing you do
“According to the productivity world, I’ve technically ruined my life. But, I am an ancient history student, and I’m in love with ruins. To say the least, I’m very much in love with the ruins of my life so far.”
- Cinzia DuBois (video here)
Over the last month, I’ve done numerous calculations. It’s my job as our family’s sole budgeteer and savings guru. As my husband and I have traversed the house-hunting world, it’s become even more imperative. Some days, it’s easy. We have the money. We can spend on pumpkins and a Steam game or two.
Then, the next day, I realized I allowed two larger payments. I’m alerted that a discount was taken off my car insurance at extremely inconvenient timing.
I know we’ll recover. We need to be careful to ensure our savings don’t sink below sea level. While we still have a cushion in our accounts, the numbers don’t comfort me because I know how large those numbers used to be.
I can say one things of certainty since marrying my dear Zach.
I’ve never spent more. I did have hiccups in recovering my savings account from when I made the down payment on, at the time, my mobile home. It was the largest check I’d written. While I was a natural saver, I didn’t quite get my savings account back. It was still high, mind you.
Enter my husband and new spending habits.
Before, I barely splurged on lunch, coffee, or the like. Zach nudged me to indulge myself once in a while. I hesitated. Why should I spend twenty dollars on a stuffed animal I like but will never use? Why should I pay six dollars on a coffee?
Cue in the red dragon Squishmallow he bought me. I cuddle it when I’m sad. The coffee kept me awake and sane for a while. It may be starting an addiction, admittedly. After being presented with a nearly fifty-percent discount on new furniture, I didn’t walk away due to needing a loan. Instead, I gave the go-ahead for us to buy it.
Now, I’m in more debt, have fewer savings, and spend time pulling the sinking numbers out of the depths of the briny waters of spending. Sometimes, I think we’re drowning.
Four years ago, I looked at a little blue house. It had one bedroom, one bathroom, a place to put a garage, and a recently renovated kitchen. It was small, but it was just me at the time, me and my twelve-dollar-an-hour budget. After twenty minutes at the bank, I learned I couldn’t afford it.
I went home and cried that night.
I’d recently cut off a toxic, four-year, long-distance relationship. I wasn’t going to get married anytime soon. I was back at square one in a community where being married with kids by your early twenties was normal.
My indecisive yet hovering boss drove me insane daily. My work tasks decreased to nearly nothing. Any raises weren’t guaranteed. No benefits could be afforded besides the usual sick time and PTO. Now, I couldn’t have a house and, in my predictions, would never be able to own it.
In my mind, it was the end of the world.
“I didn’t have to take anything to make it (anxeity & depression) go away. All I had to do was be my truer self and my authentic self. And live the way I wanted and stand up for myself and finally see the value I have to offer this world and protect it.” - Cinzia DuBois
I lean against my car, feet shifting on the curbside.
“What do you think?” I ask.
Our gaze settles on the small house in front of us. The realtor pulls away. A splattering of shade and sun gives us the perfect balance of cold and warm. Neither of us flip through the disclosures.
Zach discusses the downfalls: the lack of space on the top floor due to the slanted ceilings, the lack of space for a garage, and how it feels more like a two-bedroom than four.
I point out the positives: the long paved driveway, the closeness to both workplaces, the recent renovations, and how it had two full bathrooms, a luxury in our area. Zach nods.
“This is the kind of house that looks better from two blocks over,” Zach says. I shoot him a look.
“It’s a lot better than some houses we’ve looked at,” I say.
“Yeah, but those showed themselves as ugly.”
I turn back to the house and take a bite of a Wendy’s fry. It did present better in the pictures. We agree it’s not for us and hug.
“I’m glad we’re on the same page with this,” Zach says.
“Me too,” I say.
We schedule a viewing for a house that caught our eyes earlier with hope in our hearts and a steady determination to ruin our lives.
“I’m so happy I ruined the life I had three years prior.” - Cinzia DuBois
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