Mason asked me the other day if I’ve done anything with my blog in a while…
That was honestly the first time I’d thought about it in ages. A realization I hated.
Blogging used to be my means of creative expression as an adult. I love writing. I always have. I feel that I can gather my thoughts in ways I just can’t seem to match in verbal communication. I’m able to slow down, to really digest what it is that I want to say and how I wish to convey it. I can be painfully descriptive at times, using words to take myself places that feel so real I can fully immerse myself in them. So, maybe it’s also a healthier version of escapism from time to time? I’m no expert. But I’d be willing to guess writing would be a more encouraged form of escapism than just about every other example I can think of… so I’ll take it.
Funny thing, every time I take an unintentional sabbatical from writing, I find that shit never works properly when I return. I get myself all excited to dive in for the first time in a long time and them BAM. WordPress is there with a big fat “No Can Do” sign when I try to login. I mean truly, every time. It’s funny, I’ve learned to not get frustrated, (and maybe even use it as a gentle reminder to just not let myself get out of the habit in the first place?) and know that with a few google searches, I’ve always been able to fix the problem. Spoiler alert for any other noob WordPress-er, it’s always the darn plugin’s. They’ll get you every time.
Anyways, since my last post–an entire year ago to my surprise–I’ve been keeping quite busy.
I spent last summer wrapping up my parent’s house, my first flip, which happened to be right next door! My parents loved it (and me as I like to tell myself ;-)) and decided I was worthy enough to be there neighbor for the foreseeable future! It makes my heart so happy I can’t even begin to describe it–I feel incredibly lucky.
We get all the normal family interactions, the ones we’d have regardless of where each other live. But we also get the sweetest, most insignificant moments too. Those are the ones that I cherish so deeply. It’s the wave and smile I get from my dad as I catch him pulling out of the drive some mornings. And the funny neighborly head nod when he’s out tending to his plants like they’re his precious green grand children. Or the inspiring 30-second talk with my step mom after she’s whooped a 5+ mile speed walk’s ass in the dead of summer. Or witnessing my 19-year-old sister back out of the driveway with the ferocity of a Fast & Furious character. Headed to where? God only knows, probably Starbucks for her daily “Pink Drink”, whatever the f*ck that is. And heck, you can’t beat the convenience of carrying over my Thanksgiving contributions via the 30-second trek from my garage door to theirs. It’s truly been the best.
People were and continue to be so funny when I tell them I live next door to my parents. Most people immediately take on the same face a toddler has when you give them a lemon: sour AF. And they can’t believe that I was onboard for that decision, or Mason for that matter! God bless that kid for being supportive of the idea, because it’s one of my favorite things to ever happen to me.
Outside of stalking my only friends, aka Mason, my parents, and my sister. I spent the fall and spring working my same job in operations for a local real estate wholesaler, threw myself into cultivating a very thorough cutting garden in our backyard, went on a few fun trips, and attended some fun local events.
At work, (shout out OneRoof, the real OG’s and my actual only friends. ;-)) We were rocking and rolling, learning new things all the time, and flying by the seats of our pants just figuring shit out as it came. And it was awesome. I was also buying real estate pretty aggressively for a newbie. Self-managing the rentals and flips and just making it all work, sometimes at the cost of a little peace. But most of the time, enjoying the expansiveness of the whole experience.
Towards the middle of spring I started to realize I was going to need a change. Not because anything was wrong, but because in the midst of all this chaos, I was feeling a little stagnant. It was weird because my feelings weren’t always logical, and Lord knows how comfortable a W2 paycheck is. But, my body was talking to me. And when that happens, I do my best to listen.
Mason had been working for himself for a little over a year, we’d continued flipping houses, and I was managing a handful of traditional rentals. With all of these moving parts, I started having some curiosity about what the next season of life might look like. And what steps I needed to take in order to enter that season.
So, after a lot of soul searching and honestly, some subtle grieving, I decided it was time to resign from my role. Now don’t roll your eyes TOO hard at this next part okay? But it only took me nearly 27 years to finally left a job on good terms! Woohoo! Go 27-year-old me!
Listen, my parent’s raised me better, in the past I just have always put off my exit farrrr too long until my insides feel like they might explode and my childish brain decides the only option is to no-call no-show off the face of the earth, never to be seen again. 🙂 You know, the logical, professional, classy thing to do, right? Sorry, Brit from the Valley Center Sonic circa 2014.
Anyways, after nearly 3 years with some of my favorite people making some of my favorite memories thus far, it was time to do my own thing. My final days in that role were at the beginning of June this year, 2023.
Since then, it’s been a whirlwind. I got my first Airbnb up and running–and so far, so good! At times it’s been a blast, and others… not so much. Just as one should, we got a taste of both the fun of being uber booked and the not so fun… like a nonfunctioning, un-diagnosable AC issue in the middle of 100º+ weather with a family of five staying at the house… but hey, so is the nature of real estate, right?
It’s August now, and today, I closed on Airbnb #2. Wanna know the best part?! It has a POOL! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t absolutely pumped to dive into that water this weekend due to the aforementioned 100º+ weather. I mean seriously, tomorrow the high is 105º. One-hundred-and-five. I can’t even count that high.
Currently, the pool looks like what I can only imagine a septic pond at an abandoned barn might look like… slightly terrifying, absolutely disgusting, and with a radiating stench. But fortunately, it’s draining that filth as we speak and barring any unexpected issues, (which at this point I should maybe start expecting?) it should be up and running by Saturday!
Entering the short-term rental game was totally unexpected. Well… you know, my version of unexpected: the kind where you run analysis and spend hours doing research for months until you finally decide okay fine, let’s try the damn thing. What’s funny about those times though, is it still feels like a thrill! I keep myself on my toes the whole time as if at any moment I (or the world) might throw a curve ball and change the game last minute. I’m in charge and yet somehow I’m still shocked by every call I make, halfway waiting for something I hadn’t planned for to change the whole landscape. Ready to implement my fully-baked “Plan B” at any moment! (Hold please: googling “imposter syndrome”)
While some of that might be worth exploring in therapy 😉 I think some of it also comes from viewing business similar to a game. Not in a frivolous way, but a thrilling and fully engaging mental game. One that requires my dedicated attention and a willingness to change my strategy at any moment depending on what my opponent (the world) throws at me. I definitely inherited that mentality from my parents. I’ve heard both of them, on many occasions, refer to business as a “game”.
The game is perpetuated by an endless cycle of “If I pull this (symbolic) lever, what happens”? And questions like, “How can I play this game better than the other players?” or “What would things be like if I pulled my chips from this table so I can move to that one over there?” It’s more fun that way, I think. As long as the gravity of it all doesn’t get lost–play the damn game.
But truthfully, I think everything is panning out exactly as it’s supposed to for me professionally. The short-term rental world meshes together everything I love: business analytics, decorating & creativity, hospitality, and making money. …I mean shit, it feels ridiculous now that I didn’t realize this opportunity sooner. ??? Just sitting here writing this I wanna smack myself in the forehead with the shock of cognizance!
Anyways, if you can’t tell, I’m very excited to continue on this journey and see where it leads. It may end up being just one of many facets of a diverse business, or it could evolve into something more. We shall see.
This summer I’ve also had the pleasure of being able to hire my sister as some part-time help on all these projects. That has been so good for our relationship and I’m having a ton of fun also! It’s crazy she’s so grown. I always think how proud my mom would be of her. She’s full of tenacity, creativity, a strong sense of intuition and… damn, she’s funny. To think that girl will be nineteen in just a few days blows my mind. And also disgusting because then I remember I’m like actually getting old??? Dumb.
Anyways, we’ll see her off to Iowa next month where she’ll start her collegiate wrestling career. YEAH, WRESTLING. No, don’t worry, I’m shook too. This spring I watched her work her ass off for a place in the state high school competition and MANY times almost shed tears watching her on the mat. Then thinking to myself, “Okay what, bitch?! You are at a women’s state qualifying w r e s t l i n g tournament, you CANNOT be crying like a wuss…” But man, seeing her in her element was the best. I can’t wait to see her take this passion to the next level.
I truly hope she thrives in college and I want to help her however I can with that endeavor. College was not a highlight of my life. It wasn’t bad necessarily, but “thriving” is NOT a word I would use to describe my experience. As a first generation college graduate, I literally had no idea what I was doing and man was I not interested in figuring it out. I felt like everyone around me was living on an entirely different planet and I had no idea how to relate, so a lot of the time I just faked it until I finally gave up. Then I found the real world, and I liked it there a lot more.
Shew. I’m a chatter tonight, huh? Well, if you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading along. I hope to be back more often. Maybe we’ll keep it light and more conversational like this for a bit? It feels good to share.
Until next time…