While I’ve tried to space out the depressing content over the last week, I know that Kelly in the City has become a bit of a downer. I think it’s important to maintain a positive outlook, and I realize I’ve kind of been failing at that lately. But at the same time, I think it’s my responsibility to be real on this little blog, and not paint pictures of a life that isn’t mine.
When I look back at the flood-related posts, I do see myself trying to find the positive in the situation. But the truth of the matter is that I haven’t yet. I’m sad and overwhelmed, and I’m having trouble concentrating and finding the motivation to get work and everyday tasks accomplished. All I can think about is our home.
I’m not sure why this is affecting me so much. I’ve experienced far more trying events in my lifetime, and I’ve always come out stronger in the end. And let’s be serious and keep things in perspective: it’s just a house, and we still have the top floor. Mitch and I thankfully have a war chest for emergencies, and we purchased a home that wasn’t above our budget for this exact reason. And I didn’t even love the bottom floor! The white carpeting was impossible to keep clean with a husband and dog, I hadn’t decorated or invested in new furntiure yet, and the bathroom certainly wasn’t my style.
Still, I’m bummed. Really bummed.
Maybe it’s because life has been so good lately. I no longer have to deal with the stress that came along with our housing situation in New York or the depression that (partially) came from my teaching job in the Bronx. We’re beyond happy in Chicago, and we’ve been loving this new chapter of our lives. Our families are doing well, our friends are awesome, and we’ve LOVED having a home and making it our own. Life isn’t perfect, but it’s been really, really good. And the flood has knocked me to my knees, completely unexpectedly.
I liken it to how it feels to get a speeding ticket. (Except, like, hundreds of them in the span of 10 days, haha.) You’re feeling great, jamming out to a commercial-free country music station, thinking about whatever it is you’re doing that night or that weekend. And then, BAM. Ticket. It’s a lot of money, but it’s not the end of the world. And yet you’re irrationally upset, and it affects you for a super long time. You turn off the country music, shed a few tears, and then cancel your plans and opt to eat cookie dough on the couch in your pajamas.
And yet I do think part of it is the expense. I know it’s taboo to talk about money publicly, but the sheer number of dollars it’s going to take the clean up the mess, actually fix the complicated problem that caused it, and rebuild the bottom floor is absolutely terrifying. We made so many sacrificies to build up our emergency fund, and while I know that this is its exact reason for existing, I desperately don’t want to wave goodbye to such a big chunk of it.
I’ve been reading a lot about why homeownership woes affect people so significantly. Turns out that it’s probably not just the money or the temporary loss of use of the bottom floor that’s causing my distress; It’s the emotional roller coaster I’m riding. One minute, I think we’ve devised a game plan that will work, but the next, we receive news that part of that game plan is inherently flawed and we have to go back to the drawing board. It’s the guilt that comes along with feeling so bummed when there are others in the world dealing with far more terrible situations. It’s the disruption of routines, the time drain, the doubt and worry, the change in focus, and the general feeling of helplessness. I like fixing problems on my own, and quickly, and this is one problem I can’t fix without assistance. It’s going to take a long time.
So today, I’m not going to end my post on a positive note. It’s not that I don’t know that this too shall pass; it’s just that right now, I’m feeling pretty crappy.
And that’s okay.