Happy 700 issues to me! More than 17 years ago, I started emailing an out-of-area Buyer about our local marketplace. He wanted to know what houses were coming, what was currently on the market, and what homes had just sold and for how much. After several weeks of analysis and aggregation, I figured my efforts were worthy of sharing more broadly; and so, The Piedmont Perspective was born, AND because I'm a gal who is known to have an opinion (or two), the essays quickly followed suit. (If only I had written 700 Seinfeld episodes).
Along the way, I've rankled a few subscribers, debated more than a couple, and agitated a fair share, but overwhelmingly, most of my readers have been hugely supportive. (Thank you.) Collectively, you've inspired story after story.
For the record, the majority of tales are a composite of experiences - they are NEVER someone I've singled out - but if you saw a bit of yourself along the way, it certainly was unintentional, if not always subconsciously unavoidable. More than anything else, the essays were my own personal journeys, with a not-too-subtle smidge of self-help therapy mixed in for good measure.
More often than not, I've poked fun at my husband, my family, and myself who for the most part, know better than to read The Perspective, but can't as easily side-step the teasing at the hands of their friends who DO. (A collective apology for oversharing.) Interestingly enough, it's more often men who respond on Friday morning than women. I'm not sure why that is, but it is. (Whoever you are, your comments are always a welcome boost.) As happened a few weeks ago, I heard from a colleague who vehemently disagreed with me and that's fine, too. We all grow with healthy, respectful, and divergent debates.
I've also often heard, "I don't know how you come up with a new topic week after week," and the truth is I don't. The plots are universal and are frequently repeated. They pinpoint our hopes, dreams, desires, disappointments, the unknown, love, trust, faith, and fear. That's it; a never-ending carousel of what keeps us up at night (including those of us who make a living helping Buyers and Sellers achieve their goals - aka: Realtors®). However, it's the individual stories that keep me fascinated week after week, AND hopefully, keep the reader engaged as well.
On my best days, I try to find something wise, informative, or helpful to impart, and that's been extremely gratifying; good, bad, or indifferent, I've always written my truth ("truth" being a subjective. concept these days). At some point, I may collect these missives and compile them in a book, but as it is SO much tougher to be a successfully published author than to be a successfully proficient Realtor, I'll stick to what I know, and what I know is that home ownership is a gift that much of the population never has the opportunity to realize. Aren't we lucky? (Yes, we are.)
In a world where 68 million refugees have fled their homes due to climate, conflict or disaster, the ability to feel safe and to have a roof over our head is no small feat. And in our own backyard, Oakland experienced a 24% surge in the homeless population this year alone. With a looming global recession, an ongoing war in Ukraine, and unprecedented weather events, these staggering numbers are likely to rise.
That homelessness exists anywhere in the world is heartbreaking, but that it flourishes in such numbers in the "richest country" on earth is mind-boggling to say the least, AND a political failing no matter what party you align with, OR faith you practice, OR news you subscribe to . . . . We must do better.
Perhaps, Winston Churchill said it best:
"We shape our homes and then our homes shape us. There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of humans are created, strengthened and maintained. We shape our dwellings, and afterward, our dwellings shape us."
I'd say Winston summed it up pretty well. Maybe he should have thought about writing a blog. (I could give him a few pointers. )
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Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 18 years and has published more than 670 essays on life and real estate.