Sometimes I Wish I Could Be Remarkably Average…

©Chris Guillebeau

Sometimes I wish I could be remarkably average……sometimes.

I battle with this one quite a bit. I know that as a military family we can’t always take the next “logical” step, like buying a forever home at the “average” age.

I want to be normal sometimes. I want to have geographic stability and have that box checked once and for all…maybe. And I say maybe because sometimes, I don’t want to know where I’m going to stay FOREVER. I honestly like moving, but I hate explaining over and over to my very grounded and deep rooted family that our geographic instability is kind of a good thing that ensures that we will never be “unremarkably average.”

The comic below is amazing, and I think you’ll agree that to be average or “normal” is over rated to the max…again…sometimes.

©Chris Guillebeau
©Chris Guillebeau

Now just last month, I let the allure of being average plus low mortgage rates get me excited about the idea of checking the homeport box once and for all and agreeing to stay in San Diego indefinitely – well…at least taking that gamble, because ultimately the Navy tells us where to go. But chances looked amazing that we could stay here forever..FORREEVAAHHHH.

So the husband and I decided to take that leap and start looking for a home to buy. And we did it the way any normal human being would. We let our emotions run wild, fell in love with a house, threw away the rational idea that we should look for a home that would be easy to resell, and we bid on a house. It was a bad ass house complete with an atrium on half an acre, out in the country. I mean…beautiful.

So what did we do? Well if you read the comic, we did number 6. If you didn’t read it yet, here is a screen shot.



Pretty typical, no?  Here’s where we messed up:

  • Is BAH going up or down soon?
  • Can I rent the house out when/if we move?
  • Can I afford to pay the mortgage AND rent somewhere else if/when we move?
  • Is the home neutral enough to resell later? Or buying the “smart” home instead of your dream home.
  • Are we REALLY staying in San Diego forever?

Well – we bid on the house and the bid was accepted. Then we got approved for the mortgage. Then I realized I had to get a “real job” to sustain our current quality of life. I needed steady and reliable income. So I started looking for jobs…and I hated every second of it. Suddenly, I hated the idea of being “normal” and “average,” but I LOVED this house so I wanted to do whatever it took.

What do you know, the phone rings and its the detailer telling my husband his orders can’t go through. So then we panic and my husband takes crappy orders he knows he will hate JUST to be able to continue with the purchase of the home. He has always loved his job, and his rhetoric for taking the crap orders was “at least I’ll have a house that I love.”

That same day I found out that I got into Graduate school to get my MA in Social Work. So add to my list:

  • Military Spouse
  • Mom of two boys in private school
  • Managing Director of MSB New Media where everyday I feel fulfilled by my hard work
  • Massive mortgage
  • Searching for a full time job to help pay massive mortgage.
  • Graduate school.
  • Husband that hates job.

BUT! I would have a bad ass house. That I would never see…because I would be working or in class.

So – I panicked and I cancelled the escrow contract 2 days before our contingency was up.

Sellers: If you’re reading this, I’m SO sorry!

So what’s happening now? We’re moving to the east coast, naturally…and this is what life looks like now:

  • Relieved military spouse
  • Both boys to continue private school b/c we can still afford it.
  • Managing Director of MSB New Media where everyday I feel fulfilled by my hard work
  • Graduate school.
  • Husband will continue to love job.

So much better – and one thing about our new life trajectory is that it is NOT “remarkably average.” And I am so thankful for that. Sometimes being average is just WAY too much work. And sometimes we just don’t have a choice but to be non-conformists…no matter how hard we try.

Embrace the journey. Learn the Art of Non-Conformity.


p.s. Someone remind me to re-read this when I am mid-PCS move and want to buy a house in San Diego again to avoid having to move again. Knowing me, I might need a kind reminder. 🙂


  1. Carmen, we have purchased 4 houses in our 19 years in the military. We were under contract for 3 more, but never closed for various reasons. One of them we had built…totally broke my heart. I have learned to NOT love a house. They are investments to us. We have been lucky to be able to rent them out for short periods of time if we wanted and we have sold them 3 of the 4 for a profit. We currently live in the 4th one. I have vowed never to love another house until we settle in somewhere. And even then I am not sure I want to buy again. A house is permanent and WORK. They aren’t really good investments at all. We are forever buying something or changing something or fixing something. I say you dodged a huge financial bullet. 🙂 Enjoy your new duty station!

    • Wait a minute Jennifer, you said you sold 3 out of 4 houses for a profit, but then go on to say that real estate isn’t a good investment. How do you figure? Especially if your mortgage is lower than a rent payment.

      • I say that Chris because of the amount of money that houses require for upkeep. For example, the house we live in now could use new flooring, more paint, etc. We may not do those things because we won’t be there long enough to recoup the money spent. Most people won’t think about recouping what they put into a home…they will only consider what they paid for the house. For that reason I say that houses are probably not a good investment. We have put about $10k into our current house and that means what we need to sell it for will be tight. Does that make sense?

    • Jennifer – THAT is where we failed – there were two homes – one was the PERFECT home for us..the other was the PERFECT home to invest in. We knew what we SHOULD do, but we didn’t. Its crazy to think that if we were smart about investing in real estate we would have bought the other house and we would be staying in San Diego…stupid emotions. Im just not cut out for investment properties!


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