I am at the little writing nook in my new place. It’s not much at the moment. The desk has some potential, but, like everything else in this dingy, partially furnished, third floor apartment, it needs help. The chair is uncomfortable, and does not fit the desk in size or style. The lamp is hideous, an inexplicable combination of cheap blue ceramic with a purple velvety shade. It gives terrible light, but is fine for now.
In fact, it’s all fine for now. And in time, it will get better.
In the 18 months since The Big Breakup, I’ve lived with others in 3 different places, all wonderful, but none of which were my own. I am a slow healer, and I see now that the places I stayed were baby steps to this one. Last summer, after her husband left, my sister told me she couldn’t see a future without him. I knew exactly what she meant. We invest so much in the story that we’ll always be with the one we love that the shock of another reality can almost be too much to bear. Break ups and divorces happen every day. Still, this doesn’t make it any less painful when you are faced with the task of creating an entirely new story for your future.
My new story came into frame slowly, and being here is a welcome new chapter. Living with other people, (good friends, in fact), helped me ease into living alone again. If these friends lost patience with me for my slowness in turning the page, and for “squatting” in their homes for so long, they never showed it. And oh how I love them for that.
Moving has stirred some things up for me. There’s been some melancholy for things that I’ve lost, but mostly I feel a peaceful awe that I made it here. I’m re-learning things about myself that I forgot, like that I can be a bit messy when no one is watching. Or that I can’t settle into a place without completely transforming the kitchen first.
There are new things I’m finding out about myself too.
Like my willingness to climb down from bed each morning to meditate on the rug, my body in the direction of the east facing window so that I can feel the sun’s warmth while I sit. For some reason, I’m less hesitant about meditating in this apartment than I’ve been anywhere else. I think it’s because this space feels more sacred to me because it’s “mine”, and because there is no threat of interruption.
I’m also finding that I have patience about what this place is now, and confidence in what it will be eventually. I used to feel mortally embarrassed when things in my home weren’t just so, but I guess years of therapy cured me of that (thank you Elizabeth!). At the moment my apartment is dark and spare and in desperate need of some painting and decorating. It’s far from cozy, but my friends haven’t said boo about it. Instead, they’ve shared glasses of wine with me among the mess, and helped me figure out what should go where.
Once the kitchen is to my liking, I’ll tend to my little writing nook. I’ll get a better chair, make sure all the knobs on the desk match, and will replace the terrible lamp with an attractive one. My refuge under the eaves will be transformed into a comfortable, inviting place to write. But for now, it’s fine just so.
As am I.
More Food, Less Pain,