Tag Archives: cottage

The Year I Lost My Mind

24 May

Well, actually I’ve lost it plenty of years but we’ll just talk about 2006.

I moved from home (D.C. area) to North Carolina in search of…well, in search of happiness. I always thought moving from one familiar place (read: expensive, congested, expensive) to a new, exciting place would solve all most some of my problems, quell the angst brewing in me.  North Carolina, particularly the Raleigh area, was becoming a boom place. A lot of folks were moving there and oohing and aahing over it like it was Mecca. Or Nirvana. Or the closest east coast form of heaven on Earth. So after much hestitation and analysis paralysis I jumped. I had big money saved. The house flipping craze was in full effect (there were, like, 50,000 TV flip shows airing then) and I had auspicious giddiness at making a ton of money locating shacks and turning them into–ahem–cottages. 

So I moved there after two visits where I drove through most of the state, minus the mountains. Didn’t know a soul. Got an apartment for like $650. The last time I had an apartment in D.C. costing that it was 1997, it was an efficiency with noisy neighbors and I think Clinton was president.

I sat in my empty apartment with my stuff still back in D.C. in storage.  Soon my floor looked like this:

Have you ever been so far into a thing, an idea, that you can’t pull yourself out of it even when it’s a dead-end, a closed door, a sinking ship? I had no crew. I had no carpentry skills. I had no job. I just had equity from my recently sold home and those darn flip shows playing in my head. I saw people with zilch experience flipping houses and making $25K over two months. That kind of money. I blinked dollar signs. It was my true “If you build it they will come” moment. Only problem is, I was just thinking it. There was no building, no paper signing, no “here are the keys to your–ahem-shack, Miss Artist.”

It also didn’t help that I picked up a book about Samuel Mockbee and his Rural Studio deliciousness.

2006 became 2007 and 2008 and 2009 and…Here I am still running from a return to CubicleVille. No flip having occured. No grand $25K payday in one month’s turn around. Back in D.C. Back to the beginning of me. Doing art. Struggling. Hoping. Cringing every time I think of those flip-a-house! shows.

I think I’m depressed now.