The Case for Making Huge Changes

Karla Starr
5 min readFeb 7, 2024

People need people. In order to stay one step ahead of falling into a years-long battle with depression again, I decided last year to be more mindful and intentional about how I surround myself with people—something extra important as a single, childfree, self-employed person.

And so, I decided to get a house — one that was centrally-located, where I could have others over. And live with other people.

I’m buying a house! I told some people at a party last summer.

Don’t do it! cried my friend Leah.

Oh, but I found the perfect one.

You don’t want 4 housemates, she said.

Actually, I replied, I do. That’s the point.

Nope. Get a smaller place that you can afford all on your own. Maybe a more affordable neighborhood, further away. Living in a far-away neighborhood on my own was the exact environment that I needed to escape. Alas, I didn’t want to start blabbing about my mental health issues at the party and explain why living with people was worth paying more money for. What looked irrational to her made perfect sense to me because I was weighing the variables differently. And, quite frankly, it was none of her business.

Leah texted the day after. I’d be happy to sit down and look at the numbers with you, always up for offering financial guidance. Was she a financial advisor? Was she my financial advisor? Did I ask her for help? No, no, and no.



Karla Starr

Speaker & author x2, inc. Making Numbers Count (w/ Chip Heath). Behavioral science, cultural history, numbers.