Oh my God, what am I going to do?
I shot up in bed in a cold sweat; not comforting at 3:30 a.m. when you have early appointments the next day. Reassured by my IPhone that it was not yet the accepted time for rising, I forced myself to lie back on my pillow faking a calm acceptance I didn’t feel. The next three hours stretched out forever before me with no false hope of falling back to a soothing, supportive rest. To prove my point to myself, my mind raced from bill-paying, to discussions past and future with attorneys to…
…what? Garbage cans! There is no place to keep outdoor garbage cans at this new house! How could I have missed that? Where is the town dump? I haven’t been to the dump since I was 20…or maybe 30…and never alone. I shouldn’t be buying this house. I should get out of the contract right now. Nothing has been signed. I know this process well …and I want OUT! What am I going to do if I don’t get out now? What am I going to do if I do?
The emotional tsunami swept over me with a vengeance I’d come to recognize, it’s driving force a panic attack shaking my foundations when it was least expected. Just when everything in my life seems to be moving in the right direction, settling down, resolving itself, I find myself in the throes of one of these chilling sweats threatening my balance and sending my heart into a violent percussion drowning out rational thought. This recent incident washed in just as I finally had a fully executed contract of sale on my too-big house in the country, as well as an about-to-be executed contract to buy a little house in the near-by village. What could be more ideal? Why was everything suddenly so imperfect?
But here I was, doing my best to punish myself with fears about buying what I wanted even after selling what I didn’t. What sense did that make? None. Yet it rang all sorts of bells from my experience as a former real estate broker, and those chimes reminded me of how hard it is for people to deal with the emotional upheaval involved in buying and selling homes, and in particular, doing it alone; making all sorts of statements, both explicit and implicit, about who you have been, are today, and might be tomorrow. I used to find it ridiculous when I watched my strong, capable, professional clients turn to mewling fledglings when about to step up to a contract of sale—alone. So that, I was told then and have suddenly begun to understand now for myself, is the pivotal point—alone.