A few years ago, several of my single friends decided to become homeowners.
This was before the housing market went bust. These friends, female and just turning the BIG 4-0, decided it was time for them to do so since they were not seriously dating anyone. That said, marriage and family, as they thought they’d have by then, didn’t happen, so what was the point of waiting to at least own a home?
I didn’t really get it then, as I was in my very early 30s at the time, but I'm starting to get it now. While home ownership was never part of my "American Dream," I knew that once I reached a certain age, they were things I wanted to have accomplished. Well, I’m getting close to that certain age, and as I look back over the past 10 to 15 years, not much materially has changed.
When I moved from Michigan to California back in 1996, I had a train ticket, two trunks and $300 in my pocket. There was also a promise of a job (which fell through) and immediate adventure. I wasn’t even upset when I didn’t get that job though it helped me learn my first adult life lesson of "get it in writing."
Instead, I explored San Jose while applying to different temp agencies. My dream, as it were, was to just experience life outside of the Midwest, and travel as far as I could without hitting water.
Fast-forward to 2012, and not much materially has changed. I am a happy renter with more than $300 in my pocket nowadays. The desire to own a home hasn’t changed though I believe the years of reading about foreclosures and knowing friends who are unfortunately underwater with their properties has been a deterrent.
My dream continues to be about adventure, life experiences, being able to pick up and go on a relative whim. I have other dreams embedded as well, but based more on necessity: to keep a roof over my head, to remain employed, to afford to live in the community I love.
Again, as that 4-0 creeps a little bit closer to me, I wonder how my dream will alter itself, it not completely change. Will a maternal instinct pop up all of a sudden? Will I begin to hanker towards being a homebody? Will I get restless and decide to completely uproot to start a new adventure?
Whatever ends up happening, I have a feeling I’ll have a comrade or two contemplating the same thing.