This year, in April, I turned 45. I also moved into the first house that I have ever bought. It’s taken me until I am thoroughly middle-aged to put down some actual roots. I’m in a suburb that I’ve always felt at home in, in an area that I first moved into as a teenage home-leaver. And despite the fact that the place needs some pretty expensive work to make it sustainable, it feels pretty good to finally have a ‘permanent address’.
Yet it feels completely strange as well. If I’m honest, I’ve never really aspired to suburban mortgagee respectability. Home-owning has, at times, been a repugnant thought to me. Partly it’s because, as a middle-aged woman with no real responsibilities besides my dog, buying a home is a massive life commitment. Partly it has to do with capitalism and the idea that I have just sold my soul to a bank while condemning myself to many years of wage slavery (aka work) in order to meet its demands. Definitely, partly it has to do with my lefty sensibilities and the idea that ‘property is theft’. And absolutely it has to do with the idea that buying a property on the stolen lands of someone else just feels like giving into the colonial project—though buying on my own stolen lands would probably create those same feelings too. Is it even ethical while the fight for land rights continues? How do you fight for land rights while also owning land on such colonial terms?
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