I love my house and I want to keep it.
Some things aren’t easy to put into a nutshell but I’ll try. Matthew and I bought the house just over 4 years ago – it’s a 2 storey, semi-detached terrace. Funny, as I write those words, I see a great irony in them that I never could have imagined at the time… 2 stories, semi-detached… argh, this story is so hard to write! Not just emotionally but logistically. As I’ve just alluded to, this house is where an almost-two-decade-old-fairytale became a Dickensian-nightmare! It went from the best of times to the worst of times in a missed heartbeat and that happily ever after very quickly contorted into a tale of two very different cities!
And that’s where the story telling gets tricky because I can’t tell you the whole truth – I only know half of it – and even if I knew the other half, it’s not mine to tell. Seriously, an hour or so has passed with me sitting here trying to work out how to get to where I’m going without dragging you through the whole sorry mess! Let’s just say, if I’m trying to put this into a nutshell, I have to leave out the nuts and trust me, it’s nuts! Instead, I’m opting for a total non sequitiur.
I’ve just returned from an intense six week trip around the world. It was a trip born of an intuition to do it and very little else. I had no funds, no prospects, no logical way of making it happen but I put it ‘out there’ anyway and I believe it was the simple act of doing so that made it happen. I’m not saying that I created it with the magic of mind – on the contrary – it was the legion of loving support that rose up around me from family, friends and even complete strangers.
At the outset of that trip, I said “the purpose of this journey and the way I’m going about it is to see what I can create and bring into my life by trading pity for pride; grief for glory and in realising that monster I’ve released is my own true power”. I decided it was a threshold and vowed that should I be able to pass through it, I would embrace an alternative reality to the one I was leaving behind.
I made it through so now it’s time to make good on my promises, to be brave and apply the lessons I’ve learned. But I have to admit that I am scared and my courage is shaky at times. I feel very vulnerable putting this out there in the same way and have vacillated wildly about whether or not to do so. But as I said, it worked for my trip and it would be foolish, ungrateful and ignorant of me not to apply that learning. Besides, I know I could not have managed my trip without the support of my global community any more than I’m able do this on my own.
When we bought the house, one of the first visions I had was of it being a community space. I envisaged the old stable down the back being rebuilt as a studio from reclaimed materials and open to our friends and family to come and work on creative endeavours. I even saw ‘The Stable’ on a sign made of lights. I assumed at the time that it was a shared vision but I came to realise that like so many of the plans ‘we’ were making, they weren’t (or at least they were secondary to grander visions which Matthew has rightfully gone on to fulfil). As devastating and difficult as it has been to come to terms with that, at its heart lies the fact that, for better or worse, they were my visions and so they have remained.
I still dream of a providing a space to my community and a home that is open to all (Lord knows, I owe more than a few people a place to stay!) and so I’m turning once again to you, my community, to ask you to help me make this dream a reality even if all you can do is want it to happen.
I know there are possibilities and fates beyond this. I’ve pondered long and hard about whether in the cosmic scheme of things I’m supposed to lose my house too – if I’m supposed to be totally razed to the ground and be completely free of the ties that bind me to a past that’s gone.
If that were to happen, I know I’d survive. I know my life would look very different. I know that I’d be unlikely to have a home of my own again and just wander. That’s not a pessimistic or negative thought – I’ve got a wandering soul – but if I had a choice, and I believe I do, I don’t think I want to be a nomadic gnome without a home (although that would definitely have to be the name of the next blog if it came to pass). I much prefer the image of a bird flying free with a well feathered nest to return to (and by ‘feathered’ I mean full of crazy crap from around the world! If you’ve seen my house, you know what I mean).
Aside from all that though, I love this house, it is my home. I’ve been through hell and back to arrive at this feeling – it’s been a long, hard journey but I can honestly say that this isn’t about clinging to the last vestige of the life I loved. It’s memories don’t haunt me. On the contrary, it’s a place I feel safe and secure and able to grow.
And so I’m making the choice to fight for what I love rather than settle for what my fears and sadness tell me I can’t have. In the moments that I’m able to quieten my mind, I actually have that same deep sense of knowing that I can do this as I did with my trip, I just don’t know how.
Let’s then start with what I do know:
- The house is currently jointly owned by Matthew and I. We have agreed in principle on a 50/50 split. He is happy for me to buy him out if I’m able.
- This means transferring the mortgage to my name alone and extending it by the yet-to-be-determined-amount which I need to pay him out (accounting for the increased value of the property).
- At the moment, the mortgage is being partially maintained by savings which will run out by the end of June – I have until then to pull off this miracle.
Here’s what need to happen:
I NEED A JOB ASAP!!!
- First and foremost, this is about jumping through the banks hoops. No amount of savings or alternative sources of income will help me (though if you do have a couple of hundred thousand sitting around you’re not using, do let me know!). They only need to see a couple of pay slips to satisfy them that I have a substantial, steady, tax-paying income – in essence, they need a pretty picture of a moment in time that they’ll never look at again once their boxes are ticked. I just need to strike that pose and SOON!
- At the moment, I’m looking after my nephew in the afternoons and evenings after school. This is important and non-negotiable to me so I need to find work that will fit around it.
- I’m also in the process of building up my Patches McGee empire with the aim of building a creative, sustainable, abundant life … this is temporarily negotiable in order jump this hurdle
- On the last point, I’d prefer to find work that is sympathetic to my goals rather than counter productive. Ironically, that means I’d rather pack shelves, for example, and have my mind fresh for my own work rather than do an office job that drains my brain… if the pay is comparable! Of course I’d rather high yielding office work that allows me to make a contribution with my time and talents and still allows me to leave at 2pm! Weekends are an option too.
- On that last point, all high paying opportunities will be considered!
PLEASE, please, please – if you know of any opportunities matching this description or have any brilliant suggestions, let me know! It doesn’t have to be a job for life – it just needs to be a job (if only on paper although the income to pay the mortgage will also be nice!).
In the interest of getting this ball rolling, scared though I am of where it will end up, I’m going to leave this instalment here. Stay tuned though for an upcoming love letter to my home, with photos, to help give you the bigger picture.
Hi Its Inge. I am reading your story and your web page
I hope you enjoy it Inge.
[…] I’ve managed to pull off over the last few years – a few laps around the globe, keeping my house, my first photography exhibition – all improbable and against the odds but each made manifest […]