What A Difference A Year Makes: 23rd Street is OVER!

It is one year ago today that we left San Francisco for New Zealand. Wow. What a difference a year makes. It has been an amazing period of 365 days (or is it 364 or 366, as we’ve gained and lost a few days on our world travels), filled with laughter, joy and adventure along with sadness, loss, and some stress. Thankfully, there’s been a whole lot more of the former than the latter.

Today also marks the day that we close escrow on our San Francisco flat, simply referred to as 23rd Street. Over the last week of our travels, our agent has been giving us email updates as to the status of the deal – our 4th round of buyers this year who are attempting to buy our 3-unit building. After so many failed attempts at selling, it’s hard to get one’s hopes up and I’ve become somewhat numb and disbelieving that this ride would ever end. But it is. The buyers have signed documents, us sellers have signed documents (sister Joy signing on my behalf – THANKS JOY), and now I’m just waiting for the proceeds to be wired into my bank account. Long exhale.

So many times this year we’ve asked ourselves, ‘Why is this happening?”. I like to think everything happens for a reason and lessons are to be learned from all experiences and so we’ve contemplated this question many times. Actually there are two questions I keep asking myself: “Why did I have to lose a good friendship over this?” and “Why is this taking soooooooooo long?”.

I can’t say I have any good insight on the first question – most of you know the story: A good friend of mine since before we bought the building, she became one of my three partners in the building for close to nine years, pulled a freak-out during the first attempted sale, we stopped speaking to each other, and we had to take her to mediation back in September which concluded in me and my remaining partners buying out her portion in the building. This resulted in me owning MORE of the building instead of LESS! I have grieved quite a bit over the friendship loss, spilled a lot of tears. I like to think that on the path to enlightenment (for don’t we all think we’re on that path), the universe is putting me through a test. For what do I love more than anything than my relationship to money, and this former friend has cost me over a hundred thousand US dollars in unnecessary expenses and capital loss. Money that I would have liked to have. The universe, I think, wants me to bone up on the act of forgiveness and understanding. I feel that I have pretty much passed through the grieving stage but I am definitely not quite there on the forgiveness stage, nor do I feel like I am any closer to understanding the reasons for her actions. Maybe some day in the future we will come face to face again and we can quietly talk about this period in our lives, but I don’t see that happening for a while. Time.

“Why is this taking soooooooooo long?”. The answer to the second question seems clearer. As Bruce & I were pondering this last week, we concluded that the universe wanted us to understand that it takes time to become enmeshed and immersed into a new culture; the universe did not want us to hastily jump into any big ‘land’ deal before it’s time, especially since we fully expect this next land purchase to become our home and project for the rest of our lives. Some of you faithful readers & friends may recall that within our first weeks in New Zealand last March, we saw and were immediately drawn to a $1.5 million dollar property up in the Coromandel area and spent a decent amount of time working the numbers to see if we could buy it. And that would have been the wrong thing to do. It has taken nothing short of a year, and may probably take even another, to figure out where in New Zealand we want to settle. There’s so much to learn and absorb: climate issues, water issues, zoning, building codes, where the like-minded communities are, etc. The more we learn, the better equipped we will be to find our dream property. It’s been a blessing that we didn’t have the money from 23rd to rashly put towards the first property that got us excited as there are MANY beautiful places to settle in New Zealand. And it’s taken time to continue to define and refine our goals and budget. From this current trip we’re on, we have concluded that we are South Islanders and will now focus our efforts on two areas we’re keen on in the north part of the south island. YAY!

As I lay in bed this morning in an unfamiliar bed in The Top 10 Holiday Park in Wanganui pondering the conclusion of our sale, I feel a lot of things – a little happy, a little relief, a little disbelief, a little sad – all blended together making be feel quite neutral. I don’t feel much in the way of celebrating; I think I’m feeling more contemplative than anything. A nice walk in the woods is what is called for. I was saying to Bruce that I feel I need to do a little ritual to get some closure. He said we should do some kind of energy release ritual to release our energy from the building. That’s a good idea. I’ll be focusing on release today as we go out exploring Wanganui.

As so we move on.

23rd Street, I release you.