This summer marks five years of us living in El Paso.
Since six is the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere before (and before that it was a lot of three-year increments), this is a pretty big milestone in my 32 years.
I never, ever (EVER) thought we would be here this long. In fact, and those of you who have read me a while will remember, I didn’t think I’d make it the two years we were projected to be here before we moved. And yet here we are. Five years later and probably not going anywhere soon.
Don’t tell me that God doesn’t have a sense of humor/irony. I’m sure He had a good chuckle as I poured out my, “I can’t live here I hate this place nooooooooo.”
While most people still react with pity when I tell them we’re here, for us it’s changed. No, this isn’t my first choice to live. I certainly wouldn’t pick El Paso. Yet – there is something about this place that makes you attached to it.
For various reasons, we are here and will be here indefinitely. We didn’t think of this as an issue. Our plan for the past few years (after we realized we couldn’t move to my dream state North Carolina in 2013) was to grind it out here, then move to Albuquerque or Denver. We rented a lovely home, we liked the area and our neighbors, we have friends and a life – we’d just stick it out till 2017ish.
Then last week, when we finally told our landlord he needed to make the repairs we’d been requesting for months, we were stunned when instead of working with us (as we’d jumped through hoops to work with him) he told us we had 30 days to get out. Our contract ended about 18 months ago, so we’re on a month to month, but he didn’t raise the (rather hefty) rent and we were happy there so we didn’t think about it. With our uncertain timeline, a month to month seemed the best option.
I try to give both sides of a story when telling things like this, because it seems like there might be more to it than just him telling us to leave, but that really is all. He has told us for months he “can’t afford” to make much needed repairs, has told the property management between us that he is making them, and when push came to shove he got mad that we couldn’t just deal with a leaking roof, falling apart deck, and a multitude of other things we’ve let slide until we simply can’t.
Anyway, we’ve gotten tons of advice and questions and honestly – we are leaving. We’re done with living under his whim of “I have some money, choose what you want fixed” when we’ve taken care of his home and even repaired things that weren’t our problem over the years.
So this weekend, Sam and I took the girls to find a home. Our first choice, surprisingly enough, is buying.
We are going through the VA for a loan, we had a realtor show us homes, and we found a few we loved and signed a preliminary contract on one being built that we adore. If everything works out, we’ll be able to choose colors, landscape, and other details. It’s on our side of town, about 5 miles from our current home, and sits right on a park. Like you walk our of your front yard to the park across a sidewalk. It’s simply amazing. We’ll have more square footage than we do now, with a loft area and guest bedroom. We’ll have a nice backyard with a covered deck, and a giant tiled front porch that looks out over our yard and the park. The girls will have their own rooms.
I’m so excited. And it’s really, really nice to be excited. 🙂
Our uncertain timeline made us take a hard look at our living situation. We had to ask – what if this happens in another year? Do we want to move again in El Paso? Can we afford the home we want in Colorado (that would be rough right now)? What do we need to do for us, for the girls? We talked with our therapists about this, our families, our friends. We’ve gotten a good round of advice in the short amount of time we have to do this.
Unless things fall through, and in that case we’ll just rent for another year or two, our plan is to buy a home here. Which means that all the railing against El Paso I did, all the years I spent waiting to move – it’s time now to put down some roots. To look at this place and settle in, really and truly settle in. Not just settle in until we move to where I think I want to be.
Once I wrote about when you move, you still take “you” along. No matter where you move or how big the house is or if you hate the town – one day after it settles you wake up and you’ve brought yourself along with all your issues and quirks. When I think of that, I know we are making a good decision in trying to buy. We all need that stability right now.
I often wonder what the Diana of five years ago, before Preston and Julian, before Kaden, before Africa, would have thought if she’d have known that hanging on for dear life for “just two years” would actually be much longer. I have to crack a smile at knowing she would have probably put her head down on the table of the Chinese food restaurant where she told Sam, “I can’t do this,” and cried.
Sorry hun. Sometimes God puts us in places and situations we can’t fathom because looking back, we can’t fathom not having walked through them.
(more house pics coming soon!)