Recently, a friend tried to press upon me the idea of buying a home and how this was a better option than renting. The housing market in your area was good for buying, he said, and talked up the benefits of having my own backyard and my own roof. Everything he related to me was true, or at least I have no reason to doubt him. He is knowledgeable about such things. I am not.

This is part of why the idea of trying to purchase a home unsettles me. I know nothing about the housing market or how to navigate it. It seems this complicated mess of estate agents, inspectors, bankers, and their legalese. Where do you start? Does a guide exist? Considering I’m convinced I allowed the dealership where I bought my car to somehow screw me over me a few years ago, thinking about this stuff causes my anxiety to bubble and pop. And it’s not like I can just trade it in, or can you? Honestly, I haven’t a clue.

Then you consider purchasing a house means setting roots in an area, and I’m not ready to call my current whereabouts home. It isn’t home. It’s just where I happen to be at this moment. If I buy a place of my own the idea of travelling and finding where I actually belong becomes harder and further out of reach. Sure, I could put it up on the market whenever I decided to leave, but what it no one wants it? What if I take a huge loss on it? What if they build a Walmart down the block and the neighborhood goes to shit. Then again, in the last scenario I could potentially sell to Walmart, but then I’d feel horrible and deserve to be punched in the junk.

Owning my own home is something I’d thought about, but put out of my mind as impossible ages ago. Thinking about it now it comes off as some half-recalled story of an age long gone where someone like me could do something like own a house, actually retire at some point, or toss a ring into Mount Doom. I’m a just another struggling peon trying to pull their way across the highway of life without getting flattened by a semi. The only lender I could imagine giving me a mortgage is the same Nigerian prince who’s been trying to email me money for the last several years, but I don’t think his area of expertise is real estate.

The entire idea of me owning my own place is laughable and scary as fuck. I mean, I’d be responsible for fixing everything myself. My sister-in-law renovated their entire house and surrounding land by herself, more or less, but she had a small army of children who could all play music, were viking-sized, and understand the concept of power tools. I assume they all sang ballads by large bonfires while laying the duct work and tiling the downstairs bathroom. My home maintenance skills begin and end with how I can sort of duct tape stuff together sometimes. Yes, I’m exaggerating a bit, but the idea of sitting on the floor of my newly broken home sobbing doesn’t ease my nerves at all.

Seriously, I do hope to one day experience what it feels like to want to be somewhere. I want to feel the pull of a place in my chest and the sense I belong to it. I want to miss it whenever I leave and count down the minutes until I can be in it again. I want to call somewhere home.

I haven’t found this place yet, but hope to do so before the sand runs out of my hourglass. This means I need to start looking and moving forward instead of hesitating and fretting over the potential outcomes of a failed adventure. Somewhere out there is a place for me and people who will accept me. I just haven’t found either yet, but whenever I do I’m going to buy one of those cheesy welcome mats for the front door and have a lawn party with my own huge bonfire.

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