This is somewhat of a continuation from yesterday’s post.
Where you lay your head to rest every night is way more important than you think.
Granted, not everyone has the luxury of having a warm, safe place to sleep at night. I am grateful to have shelter, but I also want to talk about how your sanctuary contributes to the sanctuary of your mind.
I used to just rent the best place in my overly stringent budget. When I was first starting out, that meant some pretty shitty places and situations. I’m talking 5-7 disgusting roommates, one who smoked in his room, and combined they had 3 cats who they’d let roam free INCLUDING ON THE STOVE TOP. (nightmarish situations)
Right now, I am in what I thought was going to be a cute lil apartment. Instead, 2.5 years later, I have:
- a bathroom ceiling that is literally about to cave in from leaks,
- cracks in my ceiling and headaches from my upstairs neighbor that has mental health issues and fits of violent rage against himself, (I’ve tried multiple ways to help/report, believe me.)
- sleepless nights from my next door neighbor blasting (and “singing”) Rihanna’s ‘Stay’ on repeat for the past month at the top of his cigarette-smoke damaged lungs, (literally screaming down the hall and coughing up a lung .025 seconds later)
- OCD issues from this roach-infested building
- PTSD and diatomaceous earth dust all over my apartment from multiple bed bug experiences
- Bare walls and a half-decorated apartment because I’m always afraid bed bugs will come back in from the neighbors
Yet I stayed. I stayed for 2 1/2 years. Why? A combo of reasons:
- I didn’t want to go through the effort of finding another place to live in the NYC real estate climate
- I wasn’t sure what I could afford or what I would be approved for ( I didn’t even look)
- I have a bias against roommates
- I thought it would get better
- Paralyzation from being overwhelmed
- I misjudged the effect a place of residence has on the human psyche
I was so embarrassed about my apartment. I never had people come or stay over, maybe about 8 people total have been to my place over the past 2 1/2 years. 8 people over maybe 12 visits total. The last time I had company was when my mother stayed over for my Uncle’s funeral in August 2016. When I worked from home, I was the most depressed I had ever been. I often would choose to eat out, because I knew if I cooked something delicious, I would probably wake up to a sneaky bug that crawled in from the hallway or the wall overnight.
I’m not rolling in the dough, I’m actually jobless right now. And as soon as I move to LA in the next few weeks, I will be “homeless.” But one thing I will be taking with me on this move is the lessons I’ve learned from my nightmarish apartments. And that means:
- A clean building w/ attentive management (or I will push for immediate action on issues)
- A modern, bright place w/ central air/heating
- Laundry in apt or building
- Hiring an interior designer for my room
- A kitchen I can cook in
- Roommates if I must, in order to afford such a place (most likely)
- A sanctuary I can call home