Tuesday, November 6, 2007

the lute player

The single hardest thing I have dealt with since returning to the US is the sense that I am starting over. Not starting over in a spirtual, rejuvenating sense. That's the good part. I'm talking about starting over in a monetary sense. At 40. With a husband who is 45.

Our past fifteen years were spent in Italy renovating our home there. Here in America we are fiscal nobodies, if you don't include my A+ credit rating for having diligently used my American credit cards for the past 15 years. We are looking at the mirage of finding some way to buy a home here, and since we are both self employed a mortgage will most likely be hard to qualify for. I feel like I'm 21. I feel like I am so behind. This feeling will overtake me and transport to the land of doubt. There I wander like the town fool, the 40 year old with two children in tow who has worked her whole life and suddenly has nothing to show for it. Through the looking glass I see my contemporaries with their American homes and IRA's and college savings accounts, and I feel like a loser.

My husband and I regularly forget that we own a home in Italy, which we may or may not sell in the future. We hope not to, since selling a home in Italy is akin to bureaucratic ice capades, and also because we are attached to it. We forget that he is earning nearly 4 times what he did in Italy for the sheer fact of being in the US. We forget that we are not alone.

Then I remember to listen to the lute player. The lute player is always playing his lute. He is always playing just for you, if you will only stop meandering in the land of doubt and be still for a moment. The lute player plays for the joy of playing, as we all should remember to do. The rest of life is sometimes just there to fill our heads with noise. To block out the music.

9 comments:

Rebecca said...

yes - it's so easy to get bogged down in the material stuff, isn't it? And you do own a house - so you're not really like a twenty year old. :)

jen said...

don't doubt. all we own are two acres in the Belizean jungle.

and i know it'll all work out in the end.

anno said...

And the confusion these days in the credit markets doesn't make things any easier, does it?

Things will work out. In the meantime, listen to that lute player. I hope you get to paint. A lot.

Good luck.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I'm betting you'll qualify for a mortgage if simply because you're a BUYER in this current market.

But I love the analogy of the lute player. I needed to listen to him last night.

Thanks for your comment and support.

Jennifer said...

I just posted a total rant over at my blog about Italian taxes. I should have read this first. Now I feel like such a spazz.

I think I need a louder lute player.

Brillig said...

Oh, i can only imagine how easy it is to doubt in your situation. I watched my sister, who married an italian and lived there for the first 10 years of their life together, go through almost the exact same thing. It was hard for her because in Italy they'd been established--perhaps even wealthy. So coming here and "starting over" was really hard for her. But five years later, they own a home here (and have kept the home they had in Bolzano) and it's all worked out.

Just keep listening to that lute player!

Karenkool said...

I hear ya sistah! Maybe we should trade houses... we'll go live in Italy and you can live in the Hamptons. We don't know a lick of Italian. Do you suppose that will be a problem?

Fourier Analyst said...

Oh Darlin', keep listening. Listen to your heart. Listen to the lovely peace of your new home. Listen to the chaos of the others who are caught up in the rat race! Just because all the crazies around you are doing it, doesn't mean you need to following the lemmings off the cliff!

Hang in there. Find your peace and you will find your answers. The choices you made for now are right for now. But they are not forever.

Go paint something!!

The Passionate Palate said...

Stick to what you are doing - that is following the path with heart, with meaning for the two of you. The rest will fall into place. (If you are serious about buying a home here, I am sure you can qualify. I have a dear friend who is a broker who can work wonders with the system and get the best rates. Let me know if you want his name and number.) But, as I said, the important part is following your heart.

Oh, I love the photo of you on the mountaintop!