I have to develop a callous (first I have to grow some skin!)
I went to my bank this afternoon to have money taken from my savings account and turned into a bank check in the amount of my down payment.
I was at the radio station this morning getting ready to leave and do that very thing and I started feeling shaky just thinking about it. I was having a bit of anxiety and ended up talking about it with my buddy Jeff. We talk every Saturday after my radio show for a little bit. He's on the air right after me at our sister station. It's funny how we've made friends just from talking casually for about 10 minutes every Saturday.
Anyway, I was saying to Jeff that I knew I'd be a little anxious about all the house-buying bullshit because I'm an anxious person in general, but I was surprised to be freaking out just giving a person a check. It's just that it's so much money. And it's not that much money in the grand scheme of things. But it took me SO LONG to save - I've been saving for damned near forever - and even though I have been saving for this very purpose, handing a sizable check to someone is a big deal.
He totally agreed with me, which was helpful.
I went to the bank and asked for a bank check. I told the teller that I was buying my first house and I was freaking out a little. Turns out she's buying her first house too, so she had the empathy. I had to fill out a form with all the information about the bank check, and as I was signing the paper, I thought, "Jesus Christ, I'm going to start crying."
She started entering everything in to the computer to get the check going. She double-checked spelling and made sure everything was right. The longer I stood there, the more my eyes filled up. I was in a total state of panic.
I was thinking about thousands of things about the house, but mostly I was thinking about how much money it is.
Of all the things I worry about, money is probably number one. I'm wired to worry about money. I cannot escape worrying about money to matter how hard I try - even when I have plenty of money. You can imagine my state of mind getting this check cut.
Up until this point, I kept my tears in my eyes, but when the teller walked over to get the check off the printer, it was basically over. I was crying; tears flowed in earnest.
She put the check in an envelope and handed it to me and I could hardly thank her for the tears. She smiled at me and said, "Good luck, Jen."
(Aside: I go to one of those banks that insists on calling you by name, but they want it to seem familiar and friendly, so they shorten your name into a nickname no one calls you.)
I gurgled something back to her and ran out to the car and cried out loud for a few minutes. Then I drove over to Margaret and Jeremy's and cried at their kitchen table.
Margaret said that from now on everything is going to cost a thousand dollars or some multiple of a thousand dollars and I'll need to develop a callous to it or I'm going to lose my mind. I know she's right. I just don't know how I'll afford anything ever again.
How am I going to make it through the closing without panicking and crying out loud?
I'm just not going to. I've met myself a few times and I know myself well enough to know that I'm going to panic and weep through every part of this process.
Here's the balm for my weary soul: I'm not just spending this down payment money. It's an investment. This house is a great bargain. I'm in an excellent position. I'm doing the right thing.
As Jeff said to me while I was coming undone at the station, "Deep cleansing breaths, Jennifer. Deep cleansing breaths."