I'm a forum lurker but take so much inspiration from all of you here, and am posting here partly to get some thoughts out of my head, and to ask for guidance should anyone have any to offer!
I'm at the age where most of my friends have bought houses, had children, settled down. I currently live at home with my family and have been working solid since finishing uni, trying to save in recent years for a deposit on a house so I can avoid paying someone else's mortgage. I've always wanted a patch to grow fruit and veg, have chickens, live as sustainably as possible. I work part time (30hrs pw) and enjoy my current job but feel extremely restricted by stingy annual leave allowance and inflexibility. I'm an artist and would love more time to create.
I've been with my partner several years, and I love him to bits, although we are very different in many ways. We share a few interests (growing, building, slow living) but are different spiritually, politically and emotionally. I usually feel that this makes for an interesting relationship - we always challenge one another and I find that this makes me understand myself better in relation to him. A bigger issue is that we don't agree on where we'd like to live.
I've been on a long journey of self-discovery and minimalism, paring down my life and living more simply. I have quite high levels of anxiety, and try to do as much as I can to be stress-free and happy. I would like to not have to ever work full-time for anyone else again (I work freelance too) but my partner is very skeptical about part-time working and mentions how much more we'd be able to access for a mortgage if I had a better job and worked more hours. I totally get that, but my view is I'd rather work towards something smaller and more affordable so I can continue with my current hours, rather than maxing out in all areas of life. What's the point in having a big mortgage on a place, when you're stressed out and working all the time so can't be there to enjoy it anyway?
We're now at the point where we are now looking at buying a house together, and I am scared.
One part of me wants to continue down the path ahead of me - make a commitment, buy somewhere, build something solid and reliable. Have independence from my family at home, and build my own family. I feel like buying a home will give more security and flexibility for when I am older. If we are lucky enough to find somewhere we both love, it will feel good to put down roots but I worry I will end up compromising too much on location, and that I will feel restricted or trapped.
The other part of me shouts wildly from the edges. It wants to pack it all in, and go walkabout. Dreams include volunteering - WWOOFing (I've been a member for 3 years and still haven't done it!), conservation projects, etc and living in a van/motorhome so I am able to travel and explore the UK. I'm also interested in community living and if it were just me, I'd definitely consider this option (big no no for partner). This part of me wants freedom, self discovery, adventure and more time to create art. I had a motorhome about 10 years ago, and aside from going to a few festivals, I totally wasted the opportunity. I was scared as a single female of staying anywhere on my own and I'm so grumpy with myself for not just getting on with it! I feel like I've just failed to fulfil all these hopes and dreams while I was younger, where I wouldn't have hurt anyone (partner, family, friends) by exploring, and wouldn't have hurt my career prospects or bank balance too much. Now it just feels like a big risk.
So, here I am... asking a forum of strangers what they think. Either way, I'm on the edge of a big change and just freaking out a tiny bit
Much love to you all!