Wednesday, June 3, 2015

LIFE VS ANXIETY...WINNER TAKE ALL...

Hi, Everyone,

I hope all of you are well and life is treating you with the love and respect you deserve. With all the troubles in our lives and in the world, we need to hold onto the simple pleasures in our lives: family, friends, and what makes us truly happy.

My last month's post featured the trials and tribulations of trying to buy my home in Tampa, Florida. I had left Chicago a mere two weeks ago ready to start the next journey of my life. Heart pounding and my excitement building, I was ready for a new phase...a new challenge. 

Since then, much has happened and I have learned how cruel and unfeeling some people can be. I am not naive to human behavior and I have experienced a great many things in my life. But nothing affects me more than senseless cruelty by the hands of another human being.

I'm sure many of you have experienced this first hand and my heart goes out to you. I suppose this is, yet again, another obstacle we as humans must face in life's journey.

As you recall, I had lost my mortgage, but the owners agreed to a lease the property to me with the option to buy within a year. All seemed well. The realtors were hashing out all the details, and I drove down to Fort Lauderdale to collect all my things that had been in storage there for the last eleven years. The movers loaded up the seventeen foot Uhaul truck, and I was on my 280 mile drive to Tampa. As I crossed Alligator alley in the torrential rain, my phone rang. Glancing at the name, I had to answer...it was my realtor. The deal was off. Shocked, I pulled the truck over to the side. Anger flooded each and every nerve of my body. "WHAT!" I had the Tampa movers scheduled to unload the truck in less than twelve hours. "How could the sellers do this?" They could, and they did. They had never signed the revised contract. 

So there I sat. Pouring rain assaulting every inch of the truck. I could barely hear my own heart beating. Think and pull yourself together... was what I kept telling myself. SO... I did. I picked up my cell and called the Uhaul center where I had planned to return the truck. An "Earthly Angel" answered and she was able to assist me in acquiring the space I needed to store my life...again. 

Three hours later I had arrived. I was able to leave the truck there overnight. A friend picked me up and was kind enough to take me to my B&B.

It's amazing how much one can endure. The human spirit can shed intense anxiety when needed to focus on the task at hand, but the aftermath is another story. Just like surviving an earthquake, but what of the aftershocks? 

I had planned a six-eight week stay, begin the remodeling of my new place, and toget the wheels in motion for my future in a new city. I had it all set up beautifully... but it took only one cruel person to knock over the first domino and send the rest of the delicate wall crashing all around me.

It took me about a week to tie up all the lose ends in Tampa before returning back to Chicago. Not only was this an emotional hit, but it was also a financial one. But throughout this whole ordeal, amazingly I remained calm or was I just numb? I'm still not sure. But I believe deep down all of this happened for a reason. As all things do.

During my two day drive back to Chicago, I had many hours to think. My earlier plans to move to NYC had fallen through when the seller of a condo I was about to buy broke our contract and accepted a higher bid. Then, I had thought that perhaps that was for a reason and I should move south. Now this... Funny how life is. Another condo very similar to the one I had lost in NY has come on the market. It is larger, on a higher floor, and with a terrace! So maybe... It's an office like the former and I can create a fantastic 2 bedroom 1.5 bath in this space. It could be amazing...

Now the anxiety has hit... Do I return back home to NYC or move to South Tampa? NY will always be home to me, but it is cold, and after ELEVEN winters in Chicago, I'm not sure I want to endure another. (Chicago is still in the 40's in JUNE! Only a high of 55 today) I have grown to really hate the cold.

Tampa has it's good points, but I have such a bad taste from what had happened. It had taken me six months to find the condo I had wanted to buy and to start all over again.... it's difficult. Tampa is very pricey in the neighborhood I wish to live in... properties are scarce and what is for sale is way out of my price range. 

Time is whirling by at a fast pace. 2015 is six months gone. I had so many goals for this year: a new home, a contract for my second novel. Neither has happened. Yet, they almost did. Still waiting on the agent who has expressed such interest in my story... and yet, nothing. So here I wait. Like so many of you...

Today was a bright an sunny day. Cool, but lovely. I worked with a client who has hired me for years to update her space. She acquired two furry friends and needed to "kitty-proof" the house. Watching them scamper and play certainly put a smile on my face. Something so sweet and simple washed away much of my tension. I may not know where I'll end up, but I am glad to know that I can still appreciate the simple things in life. The purr of a kitten, the sun streaming through an azure sky, spring flowers bursting with color, the wafting scent of lilac, and the hug of a friend...

I wanted to share this with you because we all experience very traumatic things in our lives, but always remember to keep breathing and keep you eyes open wide. You don't want to miss out on the simple, yet beautiful things, in life...

Thank you Alex J. Cavanaugh for giving us all the opportunity to share the ups and downs of our lives. Please visit the other writers posting for the IWSG today. You never know who you may help or how someone may help you...

Have a wonderful day everyone!

78 comments:

  1. Michael, my heart sunk for you as I read this. What a terrible thing to do to someone. You handled it though. And you weren't handling it alone, as God and His earthly angels were with you.
    There are other places in the South besides Tampa. Wilmington perhaps? Charleston? Savannah? Those are big towns but smaller than the likes of Tampa, Miami, or Jacksonville. You might find housing more affordable.
    Just pray about it. And work on that cat-proof house!

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  2. Thanks for the suggestions, Alex... I definitely will consider your suggestions.

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  3. Michael, I'm so sorry.

    When the devil keeps thwarting your plans, you know you are destined for something great. Don't let him beat you down.

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  4. Oh, Michael,that is so awful.I truly don't understand how humans can do such things to one another. But I have to believe that when something doesn't work out, it means it isn't right and there is something better around the corner. Just open yourself up to the universe and explore different options that appeal and you'll get the green lights at some point and it will be the right thing. So sorry this happened to you.

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  5. Damn, that stinks Michael! I can only imagine how disappointed you must be and I can so relate to wanting to live somewhere warm (I am also exceedingly tired of the cold and winter). I sure hope you find what you want, where you want and a pox upon those stupid sellers.

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  6. You are an inspiration Michael!

    Sending hugs and warmth your way.

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    1. Thanks Renee.... I really appreciate them.

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  7. That was wrought with so much emotion. I'm so sorry this happened to you (again!). I'm glad watching the kitties is uplifting. Sending you hugs from here too.

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    1. Yes, it is emotional. But it's good to express how we feel and extract the demons...

      Thanks for the hugs, Holly!

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  8. If they weren't going to sign, WHY did they wait until the very last hours to tell you? Nasty, nasty people.

    I'm glad the kittens could make you smile. I'm also a believer that everything happens for a reason and works out the way it should -- but I'm also done with trying to figure out what those reasons are. We just have to roll with it - because what else can we do?

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  9. I'm so sorry you had to experience this. It is admirable how quickly you could come up with another plan though. It is wonderful how you didn't get bitter and resentful about what those "people" did. You remained the same person, who could still smile at a kitten and it takes great courage to stay the same when cruelty comes your way. You are amazing.

    Wishing that everything works out well for you. Sending you plenty of virtual hugs.

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    1. Thanks, Murees... I was bitter for about a week, but now it's in the past.

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  10. OMGoodness, Michael!!! What a freaking roller coaster ride. My heart goes out to you. Some people are heartless & cruel, it amazing me!

    Life is short, enjoy it in the warmth of Tampa, if you desire to keep looking for something suitable. I live in Buffalo, NY and as of yet I'm not totally hateful of the winters.

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    1. Thanks Cathrina... I am from NYC, and winters there are cold but NOTHING like the midwest. It's more the INSANE wind here. It cuts you like blades made from ice. It's nothing like I have ever experienced. And these past two winters have been just unbearable.

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  11. Ug.

    Although I like Tampa, I really like Boca Raton and New Smyrna beach a ton more--for beach-front living. Of course, I'm a land lover in the middle of the peninsula (Orlando area), but after having lived in upstate NY, I totally say go Florida. (Besides, who wants to pay state and grocery taxes when you don't have to?)

    I'm so sorry about your crazy ordeal. Sending cheese and good vibes your way!

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    1. Thanks Crystal... You are so right bout the taxes...

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    2. Here's hoping you'll make it to the land of the sun soon enough, or if you've changed your mind, that life treats you better.

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  12. Keep breathing, indeed.I can't believe you went through all of that! Maybe you can add this devastation to one of your future novels. Waiting. Why must we always wait for the good things?? It seems like we don't have to wait long for bad things to happen. I still love Chicago. It's more of home to me than any other place in the world. But I still hate winter:-)

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    1. Thanks Jennifer... I agree... We always have to wait for the good...the bad is ever present.

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  13. Michael,a tight hug from me. You have gone through a lot. I am sure the good times for you are around the corner. Like you, I too hate it when humans show their unfeeling side. Praying that your problems are solved soon.

    Rachna Chhabria
    Co-host IWSG
    Rachna's Scriptorium

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  14. That is terrible. I'm so sorry. I don't know how someone can be so cruel and heartless like that. And for you to have to go through all of that? I am sending you hugs, light, and positive thoughts.

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    1. Thanks Chrys. I really appreciate them...

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  15. Wow, Michael, I don’t know what to say. I’m so sorry! You handled the situation beautifully, no surprise there. Keep doing what you’re doing and focus on the future. As for those inhumane humans? Put them behind you. They aren’t worth expending your energy.

    If you’re not certain where you want to be, don’t buy. As someone who has moved around A LOT, I know from experience buying requires a lot more cash outlay than leasing/renting. Maybe this was the universe telling you to step back, regroup, and take the time to figure out where you really want to be. Tampa may not be for you but fortunately, Florida has other warm and wonderful escapes.

    I know I don’t have to say this to you of all people but don’t give up.

    VR Barkowski

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    1. Thanks, VI...

      You're so right. Perhaps renting is better for the time being... I have six months to figure things out before my lease is up here in Chicago.

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  16. Listen to VR and Alex: there are other options than buying and locations other than Tampa -- all of Florida is at risk for hurricane damage.

    There is no honor when it comes to money ... only opportunity. Most people are only as good as forced to be ... which is why cities become jungles when the lights go out.

    You learned a harsh lesson about contracts. Never put yourself at risk unless you're protected on paper unless it cannot be avoided.

    Surrender is not an option for a fighter like you. Always your friend, Roland

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    1. Thanks, Roland...

      Even with contracts, nothing is set in stone... I learned that, too.

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  17. I felt sick to my stomach as I read this, Michael. I'm so sorry this happened to you. I don't have any words of wisdom but just want to say I'm thinking of you. Take care. *hugs*

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    1. Thanks Julie....

      Looking forward to getting them in person!

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  18. Wow. I'm speechless, Michael. I'm so sorry you had to go through this!

    I hope things work out even better for you in the end. Heck, it seems the only way things can go is up.

    IWSG #126 until Alex culls the list again.

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  19. Thanks, Melissa...

    That's the one good thing about hitting bottom. Thankfully I held onto my place here in Chicago. Could you imagine how freaked I would've been if I hadn't!

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  20. So many choices, so many pathways. Hope you find the perfect one for you. Good luck, I hope everything works out for you.

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  21. That's so horrible! And I'm sure it happens more often than we think. My friend recently had issues trying to buy a home with her fiancé. They had put an offer on one house only to have the people say someone else was interested (probably fake) and if they'd want to bid higher. They said no, and it eventually led them to a better house in their price range. So I do hope something good comes out from all of this, but I can imagine how very stressful it all is. *hugs*

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  22. I am very sorry you had to go through all that upheaval. It is a sad, sad state our society has come to when people have no sense of ethics and can justify injuring, cheating, defrauding, or simply breaking an agreement with another person if it benefits them. I'm sure the owners of the house told everyone, "It's nothing personal. It's just business."

    When you lie and renege on deals with people, it IS personal. It's not business. That's what I think.

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    1. So true, Dianne. But they are not even going to sell at all now. One of the owners decided he just wants to keep it for he visits Tampa a few times a year. Hasn't he ever heard of a hotel?

      It should have never been put on the market in the first place~ Ugg.

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  23. Love your heart and attitude in this, Michael! Holding onto the wonder and beauty and letting go of the _____ helps us get through the difficult moments and enjoy the good ones. I hope that you find a home soon - a place where you can have happiness and success, a place where your heart is glad.

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    1. Thanks, Tyrean. That's exactly what I want... A simple, lovely place I can call home.

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  24. Michael, I was born and raised in Michigan and love the seasonal changes but man those winters last too long. If you can manage it, find a warmer climate.

    Have you considered North Carolina? Temperate climate. Lots of jobs. Good people.

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    1. Thanks, Stephen.

      North Carolina is a lovely place, but I need to be in a thriving city for my work. I may check out Atlanta again. I had lived there in the mid 90's and loved it.

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  25. You have had so much stress in the last year. Moving is a lot of work even when things work out perfectly. I hate the cold too and the last two winters have made it worse.

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    1. They were brutal... it's still cold here. The wind is like ice coming off the lake.

      Moving is not fun. I only want to do it ONE MORE TIME....

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  26. Wow, that sucks. I'm glad you got a small ray of sunshine, and that you were capable of seeing it. It takes a strong spirit to endure all you have and still find a ray of hope. I do hope everything turns out well, and that your situation works out to be an enormous blessing in disguise.

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    1. Thank, Loni... That is exactly what I am hoping will happen.

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  27. Oh my goodness. I'm sorry to hear this. But maybe God is keeping you safe from something.

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    1. Funny you should say that, Shelly... I thought that too.

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  28. Michael, I'm so sorry! It's hard to believe they could do that to you. I hope you find what you are looking for. As an Ohio resident who is also sick of the cold, I would vote for moving south, but maybe not to Tampa. Like Alex said above, perhaps to another area. Best of luck to you in getting everything figured out.

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    1. Thanks, Daisy... I really appreciate it!

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  29. Michael, what a terrible story, but you should be proud of the way you handled it. Man, I can just imagine how you felt when your phone rang!! You could have lost it right there, but you didn't. It is indeed a time of indecision. If you hate the cold so much and I'll take your word for it that NYC is cold, don't go there unless you really feel it's the place for you.

    All I can say is that I feel so much for you, and believe it's more than time for you to have a break.

    Denise :-)

    My IWSG post on Mindfulness

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    1. Thanks, Denise.... NYC isn't nearly as cold as Chicago and it is home for me. I lived there 32 years, more than half my life. I miss it. But I do love the warm weather....

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  30. I'm very sorry this happened to you. You've had more than your share of bad luck trying to buy/lease a new place. Many of us go through hard times, but there's usually a rainbow after every storm. Somewhere is a great place for you -- maybe this one in NY. Sometimes life pushes us to go directions we hadn't thought of. Good luck! (And as an ex-New Yorker, I really hope you end up living there. It's the greatest city on Earth!)

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  31. Ugh. My heart goes out to you, Michael. That stinks. I think many of us are so utterly shocked when someone is so heartless and cruel because WE would never do such a thing. Call it naive maybe...but it hurts.

    On the other side, waxing philosophic here, maybe there's a reason why it fell through. I might be getting a little New Age-y here, but I do believe sometimes things happen for a reason.

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  32. Oh my gosh, you've been through so much. No wonder you're struggling at the moment. Which ever direction you take, at least you'll have plenty of writing fodder once everything has settled.

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  33. I'm really sorry that happened to you. Perhaps this just wasn't the right place at the right time, and can teach an important lesson when the shock and heartache have receded into the past. I hope you find more luck sooner rather than later. There's a saying, "Change your place, change your fortune."

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  34. Wow. I'm so sorry you had to go through this, Michael! Some major curve balls hardly begin to describe it. Things will work out even better for you in the end. You can only go up after hitting the bottom, right?

    Best of luck & hugs!!!

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  35. So sorry to hear that you've gone through a lot. I hope things will be better soon for you, Michael.

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  36. Life sure tosses us some trials sometimes. You've had more than your share in the last couple years. Yet you have such an optimistic outlet. Glad you could see the beauty in those furry friends.

    Just come west and live in my neighborhood Michael!

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  37. Oh, man. I don't really know what to say. You can't seem to catch a break! Good to see you that you just keep sailing through it all with a smile. It makes you appreciate the good things in life all the more when these things happen.

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  38. Hey Michael,

    Oh yes, people can be such pricks sometimes (excuse my French) but I absolutely believe you have the fortitude and the strength to get to the home you are meant to have... so hang in there, old friend!

    PS... Have you ever considered the Keys? It's sooo darn fun and creative down there (was on vacation three weeks ago) and I would love to one day find a home there myself.. .maybe not Key Weird itself... but there are so many wonderful spots alone US 1...

    Anyway... sorry for your troubles... and here's to you missing the snow this winter :)

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  39. Oh, Michael, my heart goes out to you. I worked in real estate for a while. The woman who taught me the ropes told me two important things.
    1. Most people are nice, but when they're not they're not. And the best thing you can do is walk away from them.
    2. Buyers are liars and sellers are, too.
    I got tired of dealing with all that, so I walked away.

    As to where you should go - always follow your heart. Think about it all you want, then leave it alone. Go party with some friends or take a walk or watch a movie. At some point, the answer will come, and you'll know exactly what to do.

    Huge hug !

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  40. Oh Michael - I am so sorry to read this .. it's all so draining. I guess the saving graces are - you have a place still (albeit rented) and it's summer ... so longer daylight hours.

    Perhaps deciding where you want to live - renting - and then look around for the right place ... not ideal, as you won't be settled for a while - but you can build your knowledge of the area, and potential clients etc ... and then I hope be able to buy and settle properly in a reasonably short time.

    Good luck and I sincerely hope things start slotting permanently into place shortly ... with thoughts - Hilary

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  41. Wow. This is stunning. But you are an inspiration to others to not give up. I'm sure it'll all work out for you. You've definitely had your fair share of crap.

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  42. Oh Michael, reading this was like a rollercoaster. I wish I could give you a real life warm hug. You're a man of grace and integrity. My goodness, I don't know how I'd be coping were I you. For selfish reasons, I want to say: MOVE TO NORTHERN CALIFORNIA! Seriously, though, we have awesome weather and beautiful sites. Housing costs in my area are a lot better than Tampa (I'm guessing) and NYC...Regardless, answers will come and you'll do what's best for you.

    Love and faith and virtual hugs. xo

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  43. PS I'm back to say: Need a getaway from it all? I have plenty of room for a guest, and it's supposed to be in the 90s this weekend. I have good AC too. Seriously. That'd be fun. The offer stands anytime. =)

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  44. You have sure had a rough 2015. Some people are cruel and greedy. And some are generous and helpful. You've met both kinds. I'm hoping you will find where you're meant to be. Best wishes. I hope you'll have better news to report next month.

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  45. Oh no! I'm sorry you've had such a rough time. Yet you are an inspiration to still be able to enjoy the simple and sweet things. As some of this great group already has said, follow your heart. Some people can be jerks, but hopefully it won't sour you on the whole city. Good luck and have a lovely weekend.

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  46. Oh my God, Michael, I'm so sorry. I certainly know the cruelty of people firsthand, so I understand your frustration, pain, anger, and anxiety.

    Some people are heartless, but I can already tell that you're a special kind of person. Thanks so much for visiting my blog and leaving your kind comment. I've been here before, but clearly not as often as I should be.

    Hoping you find the place of your dreams. Hugs to you and hope you enjoy your weekend. Eva

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  47. Michael, I'm so sorry to read this. It makes me really sad. What a major letdown. Just not fair...
    It also makes me SO ANGRY at those people---- GRRRRRRRR!
    I don't know what to say...
    Sending you loads of positivity and (((((UBUNTU HUGS)))))
    Pray about it.
    God WILL continue to guide you.

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  48. I'm also very sorry that those idiots strung you along, and waited until you finalized all of your out of state arrangements until they pulled the plug. They needlessly put you through cruel and unusual punishment, and acted like overage bullies. I admire you for handling the situation so well, Michael. I hope something else pops up for you soon. The place in NY sounds really nice, but it seems like you'd still prefer a warmer climate. We'll have to finally plan a get together when the weather clears up here. Good luck in your search, and I know you'll find the happiness you deserve, Michael!

    Julie

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  49. In 2014, I lost my publishing deal, the farm we lived on and more than $250k that we invested on it before the asshole we rented from broke contract. I lost two businesses and probably to the tune of another $250k in annual income. Everything was caused not by anything I did, but the unbelievable cruelty of people I had to trust.

    It took me the better part of three months into 2015 just to recover enough emotionally to think on these things without being assailed by anger so huge that it made me physically ill.

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    1. So yeah, I know EXACTLY what you're talking about.

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  50. Hope everything works out with the next place. I can't help rooting for NYC, I love that city. Eleven years! I'm missing all my stuff (especially the books) and it's only been in storage for one year! {{hugs}}

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  51. you are going to have one heck of a story to write when all this is said and done - someone is watching over you and i know you'll have a happy ending! the waiting will pay off!

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