A New Lease on Life

I consider myself a pretty lucky lady. I am surrounded by my loving [albeit dysfunctional] family, and I have a small but strong group of girlfriends. I have an amazing job working for an incredible company, which allows Bella and me to live away from my parents’ home. I have a roof over my head, a reliable car to get me to work and back home again – believe me, I count my lucky stars every single day for this beautiful life I have been given.

But, despite all of that, it does get me down sometimes that I’m 28-years-old and I still don’t own a home.

One of my [many, many, MANY] jobs at my company is to process eligibility for a majority of our clients. For example, if you are a new employee with a company, you are generally eligible for benefits after 30 days. I process the forms that you fill out to enroll with the company’s benefits. Most companies offer life benefits, and every time I process an enrollment for them, it crosses my mind that it’s silly that I even had to fill out my own form.

I have nothing of value to “divvy” up to my loved ones. Okay.. My car and my dog.. That is literally everything that I possess that holds anything of value to me. A home is the place you can go back to at the end of every day and be proud of. A place that you earned fair and square [well, for the most part – there are a handful of people on this earth that get gifted hefty amounts of money from their families].

And I don’t have that! I rent a decent apartment for an overpriced amount of money, and I don’t get nearly the service or the accommodations that I’m paying for. The struggle is real. And the truth of the matter is that I can’t afford a house right now. At least, not in a decent neighborhood. And, while I am desperate for that cozy homestead, I am not desperate enough to resort to one in the ghetto. Noooo thank you.

But where does this necessity to own a home stem from? Where all other “needs” are born – society.

And not just any society – American society. The most individualistic society on this planet. The society that tells you that you must flee the coop at the rip age of 18. The society that refuses to update its public transportation system because god forbid we give up our freedom by not driving our own cars everywhere. Yeah, that society is telling us that we all need to own our own homes.

My cousin lives in Chealsea, a [fancy] neighborhood right outside of London. She has lived there for several years and has just always rented a flat. It’s just too expensive to buy a place. And this isn’t just specifically a London thing – nobody in Europe buys. NOBODY. Everybody rents. It’s just the way it is. And nobody thinks anything of it.

So why should it matter if I’m almost 30 and I still don’t have a deed with my name on it? The bottom line is, it shouldn’t matter. What I’m doing now is exactly what everybody else in the world is doing.

At the end of the day, I’m happy. I’m able to pay my bills, fill my closet, feed my dog, travel to visit friends – those are the things that matter to me. My apartment is nice enough and large enough to entertain friends and family if I should so feel the need. What will a home do for me? At least at my apartment, when things break down, all I have to do is call the maintenance team and they will solve the problem [for no additional cost, at that!]. If I owned a home, I’d have to call a plumber, or an HVAC tech, or any sort of mechanic to come for a hefty fee and fix the issue.

Yeah, so, I’m throwing money away on rent every month, instead of investing in my own home. But if the rest of the world is doing it, then who the hell is America to say that it’s wrong?

It’s not.

And the moral of the story is, just be happy with what you have, for now. Don’t struggle or live outside your means because someone or something is telling you that you’re doing things incorrectly. Do what feels right for you. Someday, when I have the money to comfortably own and run my own home, then I will.

But for now, I’m going to enjoy the perks of living with a lease.