Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ups and Downs

On my 30th birthday I received a number of gifts. All were nice. All were given in love. Some were expensive. Yet, there is one gift that stuck out to me more than any other. It was a children’s book about friendship. It was given to me by a friend from college and her boyfriend at the time, now her fiancée. It was an illustrated book that described what friendship is and I was and remain drawn to it. A book.

Often in life it has been a book that has expanded my thoughts, taken me to a different place, offered guidance, changed my life, freed me. Yesterday was like most any other day for me. I was moved through the work day with ease and was looking at life with a pretty positive attitude. But in a manner of hours that was no longer the case. I got a message from a friend that he and his partner were moving into their new home they were purchasing together. Love had found the both of them, brought them together and now they could live under one roof, both having a sense of ownership of their shared space. An hour later I got a message from a friend who’d moved 200 miles away to be with her boyfriend, soon to be husband a few days ago. She told me that he’d been laid off from his job. Love had found the both of them, brought them together and after years of living in two different cities they were under one roof, both having a sense of ownership of their shared space and it felt like all of a sudden the rug had been pulled from beneath them. Every coin has two sides.

Wrapping my mind around the parallels of the couples, after work I met up with a young woman I’ve known since she was a senior in high school. She continues to blossom. I always thought she was a beautiful inside and out, I don’t think she started to believe that until she was a few years into college though. It made me smile. She talked about her new adventure she’s starting in a few months and the challenge of pulling away from a young man that isn’t ready to go on the adventure with her. I saw myself in her.

After we parted ways, I went back to my apartment to learn that what I suspected was true. The owners are selling the apartment building. They don’t have a buyer yet but I have little doubt that they’ll find one soon. I immediately felt uncertain. I also felt like I had failed myself by not already owning a home. That would have insulated me from such uncertainty. I beat myself up over it for several hours, honestly, I’m still doing so. If I had bought a home years ago before the market took off completely I’d okay. If I had faith and gumption to purchase years ago I’d be better off. But, I didn’t. Now homes where I’d feel comfortable living seem out of my price range. I fear I’ll be pushed out and have no one to blame but myself.

This morning I woke up thinking about another book a friend gifted me. It wasn’t on my 30th birthday but when I was trying to figure things out in life and wasn’t sure what my next steps should be – or even if I should be stepping. The lesson of the book was simply; life will always have ups and downs, one must prepare for the downs while they are up and prepare for the ups while they are down. So the couples, the young lady, and me will do just that. An up is on the way.