I have this sort of empty room in my apartment. Well, it’s like one of those half rooms that’s designed for some kind of formal dining table situation, but that I’ve never used for that. It’s always been kind of half full of ideas and intentions and art projects, and I’ve sporadically used it for working out and yoga and meditation. But mostly, it’s where stuff kind of sat when I had nowhere else for it to go. It’s where I planned to write and practice mindfulness and generally do all the healthy, feely good things.
I have disliked this untidy afterthought room problem immensely for as long as I have lived here. I walk in and glare at it, because my home is my sanctuary, my respite, and my solace. The rest of my house is tidy and neat and stylistically curated to the goddamn max. I hand placed everything just so, because I care how it feels when I am home. My office looks the same way. It’s part of who I am. Anyone who has been over here knows the deal. My home is my shrine to myself and the things and people I love.
The fact is, ever since my big dump up happened, the energy in my place has felt wrong. For weeks I had a really hard time being here alone. I was just all wound up and anxious to the point where I would pace around trying to figure out why I couldn’t just be okay in my own space. I would cry and move things and ended up cleaning out every closet and box and drawer in the place trying to heal my wounds.
OK, it was wrong way before the actual dump up part. Way before.
The reason I was tied up in knots being here is because it was never mine alone. It was a place I spent a huge amount of physical time doing those mundane domestic things, lovingly cooking countless meals and watching films and laughing and fighting and fucking and wanting and waiting and longing and never being ever whole within these four walls. This is the place where I spent a year of my life feeling sad, anxious, depressed, worried, jealous, and kind of terrible most of the time. This happened so stealthily, I honestly didn’t even realize it until very recently. Way after the dust settled, it became very clear to me that I had been fighting to stay in a relationship that was completely wrong for me. It was wrong for us. We were wrong.
But, I mean, come on. It’s not like you don’t know it’s wrong at the time. Like, deep down, in the dark abyss of your heart, you fucking know. I always knew. Always. There was never a time where I wasn’t delaying the inevitable. I’m an incredible liar, so what I do is tell myself that it can be fixed, that whatever glaringly obvious and deeply painful differences and problems and obstacles exist aren’t necessarily that big of a deal. Not really. I moved my boundaries so many times, they just disintegrated and I forgot what they were made of.
There’s a reason we find ourselves pacing the floor, wondering how we got here: Love type feelings make us stupid and needy and irrational to the point of self destruction. Obsession and codependency isn’t love though, is it? The sex haze keeps us pliable long enough for feeling investment to occur. And if you’re like me, you can’t stand to give up on anyone, because it feels like a failure. No matter how smart it is to get the fuck out.
No one wants to go through a breakup. It sucks. It’s sad to lose someone you loved, even if you drove each other crazy. It doesn’t have to be anyone’s fault. You can still love each other and like each other and not have any business being in a relationship. I didn’t really know that before. I had never had to choose to leave someone I was in love with before. The kind thing to do is end it. I wish I had known that earlier, because one thing I never ever wanted was to hurt the person I loved. I wish I could have been my best for him, but I wasn’t. Because I wasn’t my best for me first. That just never works.
The reality is that it’s almost impossible to choose the ending until there is no other choice. We stay and we wait until it’s Defcon 4. We wait until we’ve destroyed our worlds and we have to go live underground and wait for the fallout to subside.
Sometimes that’s just how it has to be.
The good news is, all this strife and pacing and dancing to Rihanna in your underwear is temporary. (OK. I still do that.) The bad, horrible, heart crushing parts fade away. Distance offers a rational, clear perspective and suddenly you wake up one morning and think, “What the actual fuck was I doing?” It stops hurting, and you find yourself again. It doesn’t even take as long as you think it will, and you will feel better than you thought you could. Because what happens when you get your heart broken, and you go into it and feel it and own all that sadness and pain, that’s when you change.
It takes time to rebuild a solitary life again, but you can and you will and it will be full of awesome friends and new possibilities. Which brings me back to the emptyish half room. I was having brunch at a friend’s house recently and she showed me her bedroom. Inside was a miniature teepee that she had made so she’d have a place to meditate and journal and be inside her own sacred space. It was just so lovely and perfect…I wanted one. Not a little teepee, but something…
I thought back to when I was a kid and I used to make intricate blanket forts with my little brother. We had this game room with a full size pool table, and we’d of course use that as a base to construct architect-level multi-room tunnels out of sheets and pillows and whatever we had lying around. Our mom let us leave them up for weeks. It was the absolute best, and it inspired me to create a grownup version in my half room.
I saged the shit out of every room and dug out all the draperies and sheets I had tucked away in my armoire. I got a small hula hoop and bought a colorful rug and pillows and a fancy meditation cushion. And I rigged it up from the ceiling with ropes and lights and love. I have a Ganesha tapestry covering the door. Ganesha: Remover of Obstacles. The first sound. The OM. This beautiful room vibrates to that string now. To mine.
IT FEELS AMAZING IN HERE.
I am sitting inside my nest, writing and listening to my playlist right this minute. It’s a perfect, lush, warm, luxurious, cozy nook where I can read and write and meditate and journal and snuggle and go down musical black holes for hours. Every time I walk through my front door I turn and see it and light up because it makes me so deliriously happy. I can’t wait to show you. This isn’t going to do it justice, but we’ll try.
|New view from the front door. SO HAPPY!
|Admit it. You want to get in here with me.
I’m never one to question the climbing of mountains and being the tortoise and how things always end up how they should. I’m stubborn and I have to process my own experiences to get where I need to be. So be it. This is how we learn. Burn it down and rise up from the ashes. But I do know this: There is always someone else. Everyone deserves to be lifted up and not torn down. Find someone who is already how you want them to be. More importantly, find someone who helps you be who you want to be, who inspires you to shine, and who thinks you’re fly the way you are. Find someone who feels like your sanctuary. And if you can’t, just fucking build one yourself.