I’m currently selling my house in Austin. I bought my first home in Houston when I was 22-years-old, but my mom co-signed since I was relatively young and didn’t have much existing credit. I bought my Austin home when I was 24. All by myself.
I imagined myself keeping this home forever. So, when I finally decided to sell, I was far too emotional about it and I definitely didn’t want anyone finding out. Half of the reasoning was pride, the other half of letting go also meant that I was letting go of the life I once had. Most millennials have enough trouble just trying to move out of their parents’ home, let alone owning two houses.
In another life, I had a six-figure sales management job for a Silicon Valley company that was growing at an exponential rate. It was my husband, baby, and co-dependent friend all-in-one, and all I wanted to do was make it happy and made sure it loved me. If I wasn’t at work, I was doing something work-related. I let it define who I was, and many personal relationships and almost all of my hobbies languished. Unknowingly, when things were especially rough, I went into shut-down mode and spent a lot of time just trying to get myself out of bed and had an even harder time coercing myself to leave the house. I would chalk it up to being an introvert and needing to recharge. Maybe I’m just overworked and deserving of a day of laziness, I would tell my myself. I lived in downtown Austin, so if there was a way I could Favor/Amazon Prime/Instacart/Postmates/Task Rabbit my way into staying at home all day, that’s exactly what I did. Hindsight is 20/20. I was anxious. I was depressed. I had no idea I had PCOS, so I wasn’t being treated. I was not handling my stress well. What’s troubling is most depressed people usually don’t know that they are, and even when I had a faint clue that I might be, it wasn’t something I was willing to accept because I equated it to somehow not being good or strong enough. After a series of life-changing personal events, I realized the goals of the company and my personal desires weren’t likely to align or strike a balance, and I could no longer convince myself to stay for the money. So I quit.
Well, word about my house travelled fast and people have been coming out of the woodwork. I’ve been dragged into several conversations that start like this:
1. What are you up to / What are you doing?
For the most part, this question is harmless. Maybe this is me being ultra-sensitive, but I’ve recently been interpreting this as “Tell me what you are doing with your life.” and sometimes I want to reply “If I haven’t already told you, it’s none of your business.” Which isn’t always fair, so I don’t. But that's how I feel 99.99% of the time acquaintances throw this question my way.
2. Whatever happened to that thing you said you were going to do?
Hey buddy. Things change. People change. Sometimes people quit things. Sometimes people realize they actually hated that thing they said they were going to do and move on to something else.
3. Where are you now?/Where do you work now?
This might sound like the same thing as Question 1, but it’s not. It’s asking me what new occupation you will define me by. You will determine whether or not you should feel sorry for me and make judgements on whether or not you thought quitting my job was a good idea in the first place.
I usually respond to these type of questions with something vague. Essentially, I make it clear to the other person that they're on a need-to-know basis. I'm not trying to be sour; there's just too much going on in my life right now to feel like I have to constantly explain myself to people with whom I've had no contact for over a year. I'm guilty of judging people by their profession, especially in my own former profession. But time has humbled me and I've learned not to put people in a box.
Please do not put me in a box. I am not a pizza. 🍕