Chaos as a Path to Better Things

I know when I am “in chaos” I cannot see the forest for the trees, but looking back, sometimes chaos is the path that gets me to my next step. One of the best examples of this was back in 1999, when my landlord increased my rent by 50 percent. At that time, I was a single mom and struggling to make ends met with my rent at $1,000 a month. I didn’t know how I could possibly make ends meet if it went up to $1,500.

Our upstairs apartment off of San Elijo Avenue in Cardiff

Our upstairs apartment off of San Elijo Avenue in Cardiff by the Sea, California

A lot of friends got irate and said “they can’t do that”, but truth be told, yes they could. There were no rent control laws in Cardiff by the Sea, California, so yes, they could do that!

I really wanted to stay, as this was one of my favorite homes and I had lived there with my daughter for seven years. We could see the ocean from the kitchen, the living room and my bedroom and yet it was a very private flag lot off the main road. I fell in love with it as I watched two dolphins jump out of the water when I first came to look at the place. Needless to say, it quickly become my “ideal home.”


View looking down the driveway, where I saw 2 dolphins jumping out of the water prior to moving in

Myra and me back in the late 90’s out on the deck

Then, John downstairs, said “you know what they’re going to do don’t you?” As he then shared his thoughts that having not sold the place in the past several months while it was on the market, they would take it off the market, up the rent, get a good income track record, then put it back on the market. Soon the reality of struggling to make my rent and then ultimately losing it later penetrated my being. It forced me to think of my attachments differently.

Part of the interior of our San Elijo home

I began to wonder if I might be able to buy a place. You see “wonder” is how new ideas often enter my awareness. That led to starting to look at homes and ultimately buying a new condo in Chula Vista closer to my work. So me and Myra left the coast and moved south into a wonderful brand new condo with all the amenities I got to pick out! It was the perfect size and very comfortable and functional too. It wasn’t my ideal city, but being closer to work and having my own home was a wonderful new experience. Little did I know, that five years later, I would sell the condo for nearly three-times what it cost. Having worried I needed to be debt-free before buying a house, I never realized that sometimes buying a house can help you get debt-free.


1999 inspection of the Chula Vista condo as it was being built

Not all chaos in life leads to such an amazing end to the story, but I do like how this experience has me look at chaos differently. I now trust that the changes that chaos brings, will not only enhance the lessons in my life, but bring me to a new place in life that I can continue to grow and learn from. So from this vantage point I say “thank you landlords” for pushing me like a baby bird, out of the nest. It was this change, that led to other changes, that allowed me to retire early at the age of 55.

What are some of your chaos times that yielded good things in the long run? Please post in the comments below.

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1 Comment

  1. Gena says:

    What a wonderful way to capture a good thing about Chaos Kathy.


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