Buy Your Life
In keeping with the recent theme of renting an apartment, I thought I’d add a few words about renting versus buying – in the spiritual sense.
You know that Dido song, “Life for Rent?”
I always thought that I would love to live by the sea
To travel the world alone and live most simply.
I have no idea what’s happened to that dream
Cause there’s really nothing left here to stop me.
If we spinsters had a theme song, I’m pretty sure that would be it.
What we get from TV, movies, and the stories of our friends and family, is that life as an adult really beings when that special someone settles down with us, we buy that house, and start “living the dream.”
So, for many of us who aren’t married and living in the house with the picket fence, where we are in life may feel like a hallway we’re meandering down, looking for the right door. Or, as Dido might put it, a rental house preceding the dream house.
Believe me when I tell you there has never been a better time to buy. And the great part is that owning your life is nowhere near as stressful, costly, or risky as buying a house. But it might be just as scary. Maybe more.
What do I mean by this whole buy/rent analogy? When you buy a home, you can put nails in the walls, change the carpet, paint, put in a garden, even add some new rooms or knock some old walls down. In short, you can remake it according to your own dreams. You’re also investing in it. You put money into it, knowing that the improvements you make will increase its value. And that’s exactly what you do to your life when you own it.
People who pay rent on their lives don’t turn them into something that makes them happy.
If my life is for rent
And I don’t learn to buy
I deserve nothing more than I get
Cause nothing I have is truly mine.
For instance, when I was little, my parents owned the house that we lived in. It was their first home together. They painted the kitchen, built a back deck, and even put in a window over looking the back yard. They created beautiful landscaping, and I even got to paint my room.
Then they lost that house. We moved into a rental (and then another, and another). There were no more gardens, no landscaping, no renovations. No room was ever painted, not a single picture hung on the walls, nothing that would indicated we had any plans to stay.
And I get it. My parents had loved and lost, and didn’t want to lose again.
When I moved out and got my first apartment, however, I decked that place out like I had a 40-year mortgage. I only lived there for a year, and it was kind of a pain to have to repack everything. But I’ve never once regretted it. Living with all my things in boxes, indefinitely, is no way to live.
Your life circumstances may change dramatically in the future. You may break up with the love of your life, find the love of your life, or lose the career you’ve always wanted. But this is the only life you’ve got, so you’ve got to own it. And look, just because you paint the kitchen green doesn’t mean you can’t paint over it later. It’s your life. You can re-decorate as many times as you like.
Enjoy every wonderful moment of your spinster life, because in a few years, you may be somewhere completely different. But, no matter what, don’t wait for that new set of circumstances to arrive before you buy your life.
Buy it. Redecorate it. Make it yours. Make it somewhere you love to be.