Sorry for all the depressing posts lately. I just feel super overwhelmed. I’m looking forward to meeting my new baby. Lots of things are going well in my life. I just wish I could find a way to be happy with what I have. I know I have SO MUCH but nothing feels right, if that makes any sense. I don’t feel settled. This house isn’t helping. It certainly doesn’t feel like home. I probably could make it feel like home with enough purchases and remodeling, but the costs to do that are so high I feel like, why bother until I have, like $5M saved up. Then… maybe I can splurge a bit. Beyond the $75k splurge of remodeling one bathroom and putting in AC and a new electric panel and functional garage door.
Most of all, I just want to figure out the storage situation in this house. Christmas was lovely yesterday, but now my son’s new toys (complete with about 100 new parts) are all over our family room floor. Because we moved from a 1 bedroom apartment we just don’t have that much furniture. I know I can buy IKEA or used stuff, but I want to have “nice things” in my home to make it feel more like a home. Not designer pieces or anything… but sturdy, nicely made cabinets and such. I don’t want to buy crap because I know we’ll keep it forever as we did with our prior broken pieces.
So I’m trying to strategize on what to buy when, but it’s just overwhelming. We do need a kitchen table, so that’s probably first. But there’s also just so much space in this house that is wasted and I want to use it for storage. The hallway, for example, is extra wide, while the bedrooms are small. It seems ripe for putting in some good storage. But then, it will cost a lot…
And I’m really feeling like this isn’t our forever home. Maybe I’ll change my mind on that in a few years, but it’s just boxy and has no character. It works. It’s fine. Our bedroom is in the living room and after spending $1.7M on a house I still feel like I’m living like someone who just graduated from college. I guess that is probably what is bothering me the most. I bought this place because it has potential… but who can afford to make potential what it can be in the Bay Area? Maybe I should have spent more. Or at least bought in the city where I feel at home. Why did I buy here? Well, I was running from things as per usual. It was a bit more affordable as well, but really… I just wanted to move far from my job so I have NO EXCUSES when it comes to looking for something new in a year. I needed. change. Since I was 17 I’ve moved every 4 years or so. Or less. I felt restless. I was going crazy. New city. New everything. Except we happened to move close to some old friends which happened by accident as I’m super confused about the geography of where we live. That’s how little I know about this area.
But then I realized I’m sad I left the place where I want to be. I mean, it’s only a 40 minute drive away. And long term this area may be better for my career. Even though I’m far from certain jobs, there are a number of companies within a 15 minute drive. If I can score a position at one of them then I’ll be able to come home from work and see my kids more often (once I’m back at an office.) That’s really important to me. And the area does seem family friendly. If I can make friends with other families with young kids then that will help too. Right now it’s just impossible with the pandemic. And it’s always impossible with my awkwardness and social anxiety (people who say you just meet people through your kids don’t understand what it’s like to have crippling social anxiety) but at some point maybe I can make some friends and have some kind of a life again. Maybe I’ll end up liking it here.
Or maybe I won’t. I need to focus — eye on the prize. $3M then more. Get to the point where I can buy furniture for my house and paint the walls a color I like and put in new flooring and revamp the landscaping so it feels like my home, not someone else’s that I’m living in temporarily. Or move. Probably move. It is stupid we didn’t just rent but — it’s ALSO good to have this home as a test run. We’re learning a lot about home ownership and what we want to buy. Unfortunately it took buying a home to do this, but we’re ready to be smart homebuyers now! Hopefully if we sell we won’t lose too much. I’m expecting to lose about $100k on this house if we sell in 3 years, which is pretty crappy but it is the price of figuring out what we want and what matters most. If I can keep earning and growing my net worth it will be ok. Sucky, but ok. And I think it will actually be fun to shop for a HOME when the pandemic is over and our oldest son is old enough to come with us and help us pick out a place. Who knows what the market will be like then, but if it’s up then my house will be worth more to sell and if it’s down then houses where I want to buy will be more affordable, maybe.
I also had a pretty major realization yesterday morning in my half-waking moments about my career path. I figured out something I could do and actually even be VP of where I probably could thrive. I was thinking about all the things I’ve done in the past few years that were successful and a light bulb went off. I really need a job where I can have a team and where I run strategy and don’t get in the weeds on the projects. The opposite of my job now! But, the good news is that my new role, while super in the weeds, is really forcing me to learn how to project manage and time manage in a way I haven’t before. My boss is REALLY good at this stuff, and I’m learning a lot from him. So I’m feeling pretty confident about landing a role that is a much better fit in a year when I start looking. This year will still be rough (and I have to get my shit together and be ON TOP of things) but I think I can do it. I need to completely ignore the stock vesting because it gives me so much anxiety to think about this lotto ticket I’m holding on to for dear life (I mean, when else in my life will I be looking at a year where it’s possible I will make $1M — or anything close to that?) Can you blame me for feeling anxious and distracted? I guess that would motivate some people. For me all I can think about is how if I fuck up I’m throwing away SO MUCH MONEY and all I have to do is NOT BE A TOTAL FUCK UP right now.
Easier said than done looking ahead at a year with a toddler and a newborn. But I’ve got a path to making it work. A year ago, being put on a PIP by my boss and basically being slowly pushed out the door, I fought for my right to stay. With nothing to lose (because I figured I was getting fired anyway) I suddenly could focus on my work. I just need that energy again. And to ignore the potential earning. It helps to think about how many people I work with are likely earning a lot more than I am (which is crazy) due to being in more senior roles or negotiating better or just joining even earlier. It is just insane. Especially in the world we live in right now where so many people are struggling and then there’s our little tech bubble where stock prices are going up and up and up. It’s bizarre. I am both grateful and terrified, and horrified.
Anyway, I’m enjoying watching the sunrise out of my window. This doesn’t feel like home but it’s still a nice place to be for now. Maybe it will grow on me. Or maybe I will grow on me and figure out a way to earn more and have a stable career so we can move back where I really want to be. I just need to figure out how to chill out and be happy with what we have for now. And enjoy the next weeks of being a mom of one and the many ahead of being a mom of two. Because life is happening whether I like it or not. And I’m tired of wasting it feeling like a complete failure and mental basket case. I’m at least not manic right now. The more that I think about it the more I realize that I am super bipolar and that makes me sad too. Because I need to deal with that at some point. Or at least figure out how to not let my moods change my personality and make me do stupid things. I mean, thank G-d I didn’t do anything too stupid, but it could have easily gone past embarrassing myself in a number of cases to total self destruction. I am still sitting here thinking WTF happened in 2019 and who was I? And how do I avoid that happening again in the future? I know it wasn’t a one time thing. I’ve had phases of life where I’ve been more manic. Like this engine was running. Like I was just alive and connecting with others and it felt good at the time. But then… that’s fantasy world. That’s insanity. I’m glad I’m not there now. I want to erase all of it. But I also realize that whatever this is – this depression–is just as “not real” and one day I’ll come out of it, I guess. I’ll look back and wonder why I was so sad and hopeless.
It’s safer here though. The depression is a much safer place to be. I know who I am here. I maybe am hyper sensitive and irritable but I at least feel like I’m grounded in logic. Whereas mania is different. It’s… it’s taking the things I feel and think that I know are absolutely ridiculous and making them seem possible. Sometimes that is good, I guess. One can be extremely creative and productive in those periods. But then it feels like anything that isn’t attached to that heightened existence is numbing. It’s a drug and you need more of it. Like you’re always on the verge of some incredible release that can only be achieved by ripping yourself apart or being a character in a story that isn’t meant for real life. And then, I guess, at some point, you snap out of it. You come back to earth. You think — oh my god — what did I say? Who was I then? How can I look my friends and family in the eye again, if they happened to be involved in any of this craziness? You fall into this deep depression out of being embarrassed and ashamed. You wonder if/when you’ll be that person again. You try to explain this to your therapist but she doesn’t understand exactly. Or you don’t really tell her because you are that ashamed of it. You don’t really want the diagnosis. Depression is ok. It’s kind of quaint. It’s ok to hate yourself too much. But is it ok to love yourself too much? Not that loving oneself is really what mania is… it’s also a form of self hatred. But in my case, it’s just wanting to be loved with such intensity, to find some kind of outer worldly connection to something. The opposite of numb. The opposite of aging and adulting and absoluting. I see why it’s so compelling. And I am so scared of falling back into it.
So for now, I am better off in this sad space. It’s safe. It’s not crazy. I still can find little moments of happiness here. I hope this is where I stay through the next year at least. So I can push through this last year of vesting and reevaluate everything when I’m close to $3M net worth. It is one year. I need to hold my breath, not do anything else stupid, and get through it. I’m going to do it.
Oh, and I bought a Roomba.