Barefoot Monologues

A Journey of the Sole

A Dog, a Cat and a Credit Score

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This is my dog, Oscar. Doesn’t he look ferocious, disobedient and destructive?

The past week has been an absolute sensory overload for me. Since breaking the news to my workplace about the Reeves Exodus to California, I have started making early preparations for the cross-country move. My life has been since upended into a windstorm of Craigslist ads, booking movers, emailing and calling realtors, signing things, taking photos, moving money around, getting quotes, calculating funds, cleaning, making appointments, filling out paperwork, paying application fees and tearing apart my house for really important things I either put away, lost or inexplicably threw out years ago.

And, in good Trish Reeves form as always, I have learned some things. These are in no particular order or congruency. Just pouring it all out over my keyboard. This is going to be one of those unformed, train-of-thought posts, I apologize in advance. But then again if you know me at all, you probably figured this was coming:

I have become suspicious of banks

True, I have always been suspicious of banks. And politicians, insurance companies, Crossfit fanatics and people who drive really expensive cars. That aside, considering how much we bought our house for 4 years ago, how little it’s worth now, and how many billions of dollars in tax revenue that my mortgager was bailed out with a few years ago, every time I hear the words “your bank must review and accept the buyer’s offer on your home” I feel as though my body has been coated with a thick layer of slime.

I have been reduced to two animals and a credit score

My husband and I are polite, intelligent, hard-working people who make good money and don’t make a lot of noise, mess or trash, always pay our important bills on time, exercise frequently, eat our vegetables and generally stay out of everyone else’s way. But when we are applying to rent a home from 3,000 miles away, it’s hard at times to get past the fact that we don’t have faces…instead we have a large dog, a cat, and both our credit scores aren’t perfect (well, mine).

The rental application is such a barrier! There are no boxes to check for tidy and cozy home keepers, responsible pet owners and better than average personalities. I cannot find a way to bring up the fact that my dog has made less noise and mess than most dogs under their seemingly arbitrary 20lb animal weight limit, and has destroyed far fewer walls, upholstery and furniture than the average toddler (that being none).

I just can’t find the appropriate phrasing for “we are boring and grateful, please rent your home to us.” There’s no real way to prove to someone that we will be the kind of tenants they want to rent to, because the only information they have on us is a dog, a cat and a just-average credit score.

I remembered how much I like my job

When I finally decided to break it to my boss that we were leaving for the left coast, I expected to be thrown out of the office and handed my walking papers. But per usual, I rather underestimated myself. See, I didn’t really want to leave my job, but I didn’t think there would be any other possibility available to me. I mean, the awesome possibility of working remotely is something that happens to other people, not me.

Well, I was wrong. And although there are still a lot of logistics left to figure out, it turns out I am not going to have to leave my job after all. My boss showed me a level of loyalty and honesty that I didn’t expect, and it was a very positive meeting. It made me feel secure in our decision to move, that it was really meant to be. And what I thought was holding me back before, it turns out it wasn’t after all.

I have decided how to deal with the inevitable opinion-ators

No matter what happy or exciting thing is going on in your life, there will always be a few haters Debbie Downers tapping you on the shoulder, offering up their negative view of your exciting new thing, with great big grins on their faces. In the past I’ve allowed those people to get under my skin, and sometimes I even let their words destroy my happy feelings altogether. And especially when it comes to moving to California, I have heard it all:

“Yeah…I’m all set with EARTHQUAKES.”

“Everything is so much more EXPENSIVE in California.”

“California’s ECONOMY is going down the tubes.”

“You’re going to miss the four SEASONS.”

“Everyone is so SUPERFICIAL in California. You’ll never make any FRIENDS.”

Well not this time. This time, I’ve been around long enough to recognize all that noise for what it really is: a lot of insecurity, sour grapes and jealous spouting. People who say those kinds of things to me aren’t looking out for my best interests, they are lashing out at me to protect their own perception of their best interests.

One unfortunate side-effect of being human is this intense urge to resent those around us who exude happiness, joy and success in the areas of life where we ourselves feel we are lacking. This is especially true of people who feel “stuck” in their lives, yet unwilling to change anything. They want to keep everyone else’s joy at bay, behind the fence where they can monitor it from a distance. You know, all that “misery loves company” stuff.

I feel like the day I realized all this, I finally grew up.

I started thinking of my future life as “my dream”

As in: “My Dream Job,” “My Dream Home” and “My Dream Life.” For the first time ever, I’m making a decision about something that doesn’t feel like settling. Instead I’m going for the Ultimate Dream Everything. Not coincidentally, this move is also the first truly selfish thing I have ever done for MYSELF. I have always been the kind of person who considers everyone else first. Because of that I’ve lived in homes I disliked, I didn’t enjoy my wedding day, and I’ve missed out on tons of little things that I could have had if I had just grown a backbone a little earlier in life. So no, I’m not worried that my family will disown me for leaving, and I don’t think I should continue living where I don’t want to any longer, just to please other people.

Unlike most people who leave their dreams behind on their pillows, I’m finally going to try and live mine.

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7 thoughts on “A Dog, a Cat and a Credit Score

  1. Good lord a small child will wreck a house in a day! Your dog looks so sweet and I love that California dreamin song. I am from Cali and I miss it so.

  2. I think change is good, the ones who had negative comments are the ones who change nothing in their lives, they can’t complete their bucket list because they don’t have a bucket. This will be a great adventure and you will learn a lot about yourself along the way. I applaud you for your decision and the right place will find you.

  3. Perhaps it’ll help to think of those Debbie Downers as Debbie Doubters instead. I’ve done a lot of these life-changing bits, and it took me a long time to realize it wasn’t that people were being haters… any choice you make that’s adverse to what someone else is doing can really just be seen as your dissing their own choice. So, they doubt you, outwardly, and doubt their selves, inwardly.

    If you tire of the East, the easterners will take offense, because it’s what they’ve got, and you don’t want it. And no matter what anyone says, nobody ever *truly* stops caring what other people think until they’re in Depends. If no one cared what other people thought, there wouldn’t be any published writing. :)

    On another note, we have rented before with a dog and a cat. It’s a pain, but it CAN happen! (There’s my Positive Polly for ya!)

  4. I think people underestimate the power of moving to a place you love. For me it was moving back to Arizona from the east coast. It wasn’t objectively the smartest career move and was a bit of a leap in the dark but it was where I knew I wanted to live. I haven’t regretted it. Good for you for taking the plunge.

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