Friday, July 10, 2009

The Dance

Did you ever hear that song, “The Dance” by Garth Brooks? It goes like this:

“Our lives are better left to chance.
I could have missed the pain,
But I’d have had to miss
The Dance.”

That’s how I feel right now. I’ve been really worrying and struggling mentally with all the change before me. It’s not that I fear the change. I fear the transition. I welcome the change of venue closer to my family, the change of career, and the less expensive cost of living. But I have been driving my life so confidently in one direction, and now I have to turn it 90 degrees to the right because the reality is coming -- the eggs I counted didn’t hatch!

The worrisome thing is that we don’t have a permanent address in Atlanta. We have found a couple really nice properties, but believe it or not, they have been scooped up by other buyers. So I’m pulling my hair out wondering where I’m going to light. There are too many variables. Where will I end up working? How much money can we get a hold of? How much work will the house we buy end up needing before we can move in? I really just want to buy something to give myself some mental stability -- something to focus on and move towards. But Emily is kindly and lovingly (!!??) reminding me that moving too quickly has gotten us into a lot of jams before. ;)

I find myself saying a lot, “But that’s not what I want,” as well as thinking, “I want this or that right now!” I know God is letting me suffer the consequences of my choices to let me learn from them. I’m also getting one heck of a spiritual workout; you should see my lats! The things I want for my life and my family are wonderful, but I am not going to be able to get them immediately. I have to deal with some of the problems I’ve created before I can go get what I truly want. I guess I’m just glad I do have a sense of purpose now. Some people never get it.

We decided to scrap the plans to buy the 8-acre property in Lincolnton. That would have created a huge strain on us by forcing us to live with my mother for a very long time before our house was built or moving out into our own house AND saving to build a house at the same time. We felt that that plan was not in keeping with the goal of becoming more self-sufficient. In addition, even if I were to have built a house magically within a couple months, moving to the property would have required me to commute 2.5 hours to Atlanta or 1 hour to Augusta to find work. I could possibly have found work in Washington, 20 minutes away, but that prospect is too distant, and I know too little about Washington, GA to feel comfortable banking on it. So we cancelled the offer on Saggus Road, and now we are looking for other properties in the Atlanta area. We figured that buying our own home near Atlanta would give us good mid-term security and affordability and would cost just as much as renting from my mom and paying our mortgage on Saggus would cost.

The goal is financial freedom—having passive income from investments that is higher than our living expenses. Our plan is to pay off whatever house we buy within three to five years, save up some money, continue to buy and hold real estate, get really rich, and give most of it away. Moving to the country, as I wrote before, will be more like moving to the outskirts of town physically. Mentally, we have already moved there. Of course, we still have some habits to change, but that will all come with time and practice.

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