Today I am going to begin the process of eliminating from my life the largest item that I will ever purge. At 8:00, I am going to call up my mortgage company and discuss the process of doing deed in lieu. I am giving the American Dream back to the bank.
It is not surprising to me, that this is the part of our journey that many people question. Even some of my hardcore minimalist friends have wondered if this was a wise choice. Why not sell? Why not rent it out? Its a shame that we are losing our equity.
The sad reality is that this house has been a millstone tied around my neck, keeping us tied to a situation that we don’t love. It’s kept me in survival mode, and it’s caused me to feel physically ill whenever someone even said the word “lay-offs.” This house has kept me attached to a larger paycheck, so that I feared losing it, if I lost my job. Being tied to the payment has prevented me from taking risks, from trying new things, and from moving on when it was time to do so.
Houses do not sell quickly in our area, and we’ve seen them stay on the market for years. We would have to make more money than I will be making in my new job, in order to continue payments on this house, and pay for housing (a small apartment, then a slip fee) in Houston. It simply does not make sense to be tied to that payment, when we are trying to require less income.
We did consider renting it out, but, again, that would keep us tied to it. We would have the responsibilities as landlords, and have to pay contractors to make repairs on the house. The house is also in need of a great deal of repairs, before it could be rented. We had intended to fix it up, when we bought it, but life led us in other directions.
We need to let it go. It’s just a thing. It’s just money.
Our attachment to this thing, and to the small amount of money that we could have possibly made on it, is standing between us and our dreams. I’ve made enough sacrifices for this thing, and for the idea of “equity,” of the money that may or may not even exist. There are more important things in life.
No amount of money is worth having to sell your soul in order to survive.
No amount of money is worth having a life that doesn’t work for you.
It’s all right. What we’re doing is not a shame at all. What we’re doing is letting a possession go, when it no longer makes our life better, when it causes us stress and stands in our way. That is what minimalism is all about.
It is not a shame. It is beautiful.