Social media is full of false narratives and posed pictures. There is so much more to a picture than what meets the eye.
You can’t always see the journey in the little square that Instagram makes available. The journey that it took for that picture to happen.
Yesterday, I took a picture knowing it was a big day for my husband and I. We had just put our house on the market and we had several offers come in. We were elated at the possibility of moving. We’d been packing for 3 weeks and our house looked fantastic. We got the call that several offers had come in and we had to make a decision. People were loving our home and wanted to make it theirs.
As we were reveling in this, we got another call.
This call broke my heart. The journey right? Our mortgage lender called and told us that the pre-approval letter he had written for us was wrong. WRONG.
How could it be WRONG. The next few hours were devastating. Learning that we wouldn’t be able to move out. We wouldn’t be able to sell. We couldn’t afford a new loan. And that we had packed for nothing. And then there’s the shame. The shame of all of our friends knowing we were moving and seeing our house packed up and not actually moving. The shame of having too much student loans to get approved for something else. The shame was so very real.
When I got this call, my mom was in the car with me. She watched her 27 year old daughter who is usually so strong crumble into a million pieces while behind the wheel. Not knowing what to say or what to do. Just being there. Being a friend. Being a sounding board. My sweet, sweet husband was at work. When I called him in a puddle of tears — he knew. He knew that there was nothing he was gonna be able to say that would make it alright. He just listened. And he said “we have each other. We will be okay”.
My heart hurt. I was grieving. Angry and guilty because I also was about to break the hearts of the people buying our home. They had already planned where to put stuff and the life they were gonna have in our home. And a trail of broken hearts we had created.
As I sit writing this 24 hours later, a few things have changed. Another lender told us of a unconventional loan option. Our family has rallied behind us. And our hearts are trying to figure out what’s going on. This journey isn’t over. Our journey is stalled but really just beginning.
What added to my stress is that we were scheduled to leave at 5am today for a 10 day vacation to see my husbands family. This was supposed to be a happy day leading up to a much needed vacation from all the chaos. But what happened was it stole my happiness and replaced it with bitterness. This bitter taste isn’t as bad this morning. Much like I ask my clients to do… I’m learning to adjust. I’m leaning in. I’m appreciating the things around me and not focusing on all the bad. Things will work out. Whatever that means. It may look different than what I thought. And that’s okay.
Our life may seem flawless from our little squares. But behind these squares are tears, sadness, hurt, guilt and loneliness. We will rise up. And even if we stay in our home and don’t move. We will be okay.
The journey is harder to see. So the next time you see someone post a “just bought a house” or “look at my new car” or “look at my beautiful vacation spot” just know that they may have struggled to make that happen. Life is full of unknowns. And unless you know their story, don’t assume. There’s always a person with a story behind the photo.