Submitted by megan on Thu, 04/03/2008 - 07:23
The past 24 hours have been a very difficult stretch indeed.
I had resigned myself to never owning a house. I won't live outside of a very small area in Ottawa, bounded by the Queensway on the south, Laurier to the north, Bank to the east and Preston to the west. And though I make a good salary, I can't afford to buy a place in that square by myself.
Though it was never only the money. I don't want to take care of a house by myself. I don't like yardwork. I like the idea of gardening, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't follow up on it. I don't want roommates and a partner, well, I'm not a big fan of waiting around for someone else to do something.
I put the house-owning idea out of mind. I love my apartment anyway, my street is great, my landlord is great, I love my neighbour. So I figured I had it pretty damn good.
Then I poked around in why I felt the need to own. There's the financial argument, but really that wasn't it. It was sentimental, why I wanted to own. It was part of the "that's what you're supposed to do" stuff of growing up middle-class. I have resisted that indoctrination in many other areas of my life. I damn well wasn't going to put myself into 20 years of debt just for that.
And then Shelley and Steve decided to move back to Ottawa. I was ecstatic about just that fact. And then Shelley suggested we all look for a duplex together. I was ecstatic over the moon.
I'm still really excited, don't get me wrong. But the reality of owning, and the worry of buying a house on behalf of two people who won't see it until after they've plonked down their hundreds of thousands of dollars? That has tempered the unbounded joy I was feeling at being able to live with Shelley and Steve.
Looking for a house is like internet dating. Seeing the pictures, they're beautiful, great bones, brilliant descriptions - everything fits! we're perfect for each other! I'd get all a-twitter that this might be the one, that we could maybe stop looking, that I could stop reminding myself to breathe deeply and stretch into this space that would soon be mine.
And then the disappointment, over and over and over again, my heart a little less stretchy each time. The photos were white lies, too much work for too much money. Not enough space for too much money. A bad fit, each time. After all that, nothing, no houses - the lull before the spring realty storm.
Hit it did. Yesterday was the most stressful day I have had since the day at work I had to go lie on my back in Confederation Park for 20 minutes watching the clouds move.
Thank god for yoga. I kept hearing Jamine's voice in my head. She talks a lot, and importantly, about yoga off the mat. All very well to be able to grab your toes, but how useful is that kind of stretch, what good is knowing how to breathe into tension if you can't do it, as she says, at the dinner table?
So I did the hausasana. Every time I thought my head my pop off like a mutilated Barbie's, I would hear Jamine's voice and I would take a deep breath, using it to search out the stress, using it loosen the tension and breathe a least a few of those molecules back out.