O Brave New Decade: Turning Thirty

Today, February 13, 2024, is my thirtieth birthday, a milestone, and not one I’m altogether pleased about; it’s not like I have to pass into the grim routine of middle age and fade into the shadow world like the elves of Middle-Earth, but there is something you lose when you’re no longer in your twenties, even if you’re still young for considerably longer. I for one still look quite young…and in some ways act young too.

Am I just a big Baby at Heart? Wait…are all my Friends big Babies too?

It struck me just the other day that I was sitting in my car having the time of my life sipping on a big slushie drink and snuggling a stuffed animal, exactly the same thing I liked to do when I was a small child. Indeed, my plans for my thirtieth birthday involve…big balloons and a cake with candles, a dance lesson, and a trip to the movie theater where I’ll see “Dune: Part One” again, a piece of cinema I know I really like, complete with a coke-flavored icee, a big bucket of popcorn, and a reclining seat. Sounds very much like something a kid would do, now that I think about it.

Even the people in my life I get along best with are rather child-like. My best friend is a thirtysomething adult who goes to Disney World seemingly every other week, and the closest thing I have to a role model has a big birthday party every year where she struts around in a tiara just like a little girl would…despite being in her forties by this point. The former is a bankster, a rather serious and adult sort of occupation (despite her sweetheart disposition), but the latter is a lifelong business owner who (like me) has never worked as an employee. The sort of business she owns? An event-center-cum-dance-studio where the work consists of hosting big parties. Honestly, it’s just the sort of thing a kid would like to do.

I seem to be the same sort of kid, in as much as the business I’m most passionate about starting is…uh, pretty much the same thing she has, only in a different location. ðŸĪŠ 

Looking at it that way, it explains a lot; although my appearance is very much young-adult rather than child-like or baby-faced, I suspect there is something child-like about the vibe I put out; maybe that’s why babies and children seem to really like me, a lot more so than adults do? Maybe I’m the sort of adult a baby can identify with, understand, and relate to? At least it would explain why people almost never talk about or ask me about sex, relationships, or family, and even when they do ask about it they couch it in terms of “what you want someday”.

Well, I hope someday will be soon, since I’m of a mind to have a baby myself after my virgin experience in Amsterdam, perhaps even getting the process started later this year…around the same time as I’m starting up the dance studio.

To Stay or Go: a Decision that’s now out of my Hands!?

It’s lucky I have these plans and am working toward them, because I found out earlier this week a few days before my birthday that I have to leave my house anyway! It’s an old structure, and the floor in the kitchen and living room has been sagging for a few years. Obviously I knew something was wrong with it, but it was only when I got a carpenter to look at it in advance of putting it on the market (so I don’t get bamboozled by buyers’ inspectors…) that it was revealed that the beam underneath it has completely broken off and is sitting on the ground at the bottom of the crawlspace. The only thing that’s held the kitchen floor up is the fact it’s attached to the cabinets and in turn to the countertops…and even that is starting to sag to the point you can see the crawlspace open up under the sink a bit.

Worse yet, it’s notably worsened just since the carpenter was mucking around in there, and there’s been a pronounced increase in the sagging over the past year. The carpenter quoted $12,000 to fix it, and another person I called for a second opinion quoted more like $40,000, though he’s from an outfit that has a reputation for being severely overpriced, so I’m more inclined to trust the former estimate. Nevertheless, both of them agree that it won’t last even for another year, so it would be best to get the process of selling the property started as soon as possible so I can get as much as I can for it.

Now or Never?

That’s inspired me to pull the trigger on selling it, since I was worried anyway about the possibility of prices moving lower by the time I return from Europe in June, get the process started then, and sell the house in perhaps a few months, which takes me to some time in autumn; as it is my plans for the next chapter of my life barely work with the proceeds I could probably get for the house now, so especially in light of this new information I’m inclined to take my profits and go now. So I’m now working with a real estate agent to sell my house.

I have reason to be optimistic so far; even in light of these issues the man I’m working with suggests listing it for $275,000 or so if we go to the open market (rather than sell it to an investor; we are courting cash offers now to see what I can get), but I’m trying for more like $300,000. In any case, I need to leave soon, considerably earlier than what I was thinking before; and not just because of the floor issue. It strikes me that the HVAC system is about 20 years old at this point and has long been unable to keep up with the hot weather in the cathedral-ceilinged den I call my primary living space, so it might be more flattering to present the house in the winter or the spring instead, and there’s also the risk of the HVAC system croaking altogether this coming hot season, which will further cut into what I could get out of the house.

Starting now, the process may be completed by June when I return from my big vacation in Europe, possibly even before I leave in April! At that point I’ll be moving my stuff out and into storage, and my own person into an extended-stay hotel until I can figure out what’s going on and coordinate the move to Greater Los Angeles.

So it looks like my thirties will be starting off with quite a bang. It’s stressful, moving, but I’m looking forward to having that extra money to work with; my mind already busily plots out ideas for how to invest it and what I could do with it exactly. 😀

Traveling Thirties?

I’m excited too for my big trip to Europe, feeling so good about it, in fact, that I’m floating the idea of doing a side excursion to Japan if I’m up to it at the end; not much, perhaps even just a few days, but enough to sample what a place that’s always fascinated me has to offer. Some other time I might want to follow up with seeing more of Asia, as well as the other continents of the world. Having completed all forty-eight contiguous states by the time I ended my twenties, I plan to dedicate my thirties to travel further afield, perhaps even to the point of acquiring overseas investment property (a starter winery is my dream…) and potentially a second citizenship or residency, if my finances are up to it and I find something I really like.

Too Indebted…or not Enough?

They’re under enough strain as it is. It hit me just yesterday that with the $13,000 I’m borrowing for my veneers from Lending Club that my total debts are now cresting the $100,000 mark…and it doesn’t even feel like I’ve lived it up much. Most of that is accounted for my home-equity line of credit and my margin loan, both of which are “good debt”, and a lot of the remainder is from cosmetic treatments, i.e. an investment in myself that I need to make sooner or later (preferably sooner, so I feel comfortable being a public figure, which is necessary to achieve my dreams while I’m still young!). But still: $100,000!

My liquid assets are higher than that, but not by a huge margin, and a lot of that debt isn’t exactly low-interest, which makes me nervous at how high that side of the balance sheet is getting…but then when I consider the value of my house and add it in, my debts only come to perhaps a sixth of my assets, making me feel underleveraged: “huh, with numbers like that maybe I should take on more debt!”, says a stray thought. Well…I have a feeling my living expenses, the business, the baby, and the traveling will take care of that. Hopefully the bull run continues and my ventures are a success.


Today is not the day to worry about all that, however. All that’s for me today is to light the candles on my yummy cake, pat my balloons like a little baby, go out to the dance studio to hone my skills in the performing arts, and thence plunk myself down in those soft reclining seats for one of my favorite movies, popcorn, icee, and the handsome faces of the silver screen as my companions for a few evening hours. If only my whole life could be like that…

*sigh* I’m just not made for the repetitive chores of a workaday world that subjects its denizens to constant letdowns. It was once said to me that I’m the sort of person who needs a lot of money to be happy. At the first day beyond my twenties, I frankly feel like a loser; in my thirties I see my last chance to be a winner while I’m still young enough to truly enjoy it. All that’s left for me is buckle down and get started…wish me luck.

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