I close my eyes, say a prayer and open my property tax statement.

I don’t want to read it.  But I do. 

Then — I can’t put it down — and I’m mumbling, shaking my head, rocking back and forth, twisting my hair —

Get the picture? 

This can’t be — I repeat over and over and over —

Flip the switch to activate distress response.  Stagger 20 feet from the kitchen to my tiny closet office.  Find and dig through the folder marked “Wells Fargo Mortgage” —

Hold my breath as I put my hands on the recent statement. 

And then it registers — no — it “clicks” —

A pistol cocked and pointed right between —

I-can’t-believe-my-eyes.

But there it is.  The same number. 

The current amount I owe — after three years of stuffing every bit of extra cash I can into my mortgage — is now equal to —

My current estimated market value.

Sigh. 

Feel very sorry for myself. 

And then — it occurs to me —

With how tough it is out there, I am one of the lucky ones. 

Yep. 

Never coulda woulda said this a year ago but it’s true now —

If you’re lucky enough to say you’re running harder just to stay in place — well —

You’re lucky enough.

My art flows from the patterns & paths of my lived experience which ⏤ like yours ⏤ are at once deeply personal and entirely universal.

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