12 Days of Advice: Day 10

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

Peaks and Valleys.

Just when life was starting to pick up momentum and I had “nothing to complain about,” the funding for my job gets cut. Now I’m jobless with zero income coming in.

The amount of times this has happened to me out of the blue is laughable. But at least this time, I wasn’t screwed over. I’m definitely bummed though. I loved my boss, my team, the people I met daily on the street, the streetwear fashion, I loved that job.

As with change, I’m also disoriented from having the “off-white” carpet ripped from under me. What do I do know? Do I finally head over to LA? If anyone is looking for an actress/host, let me know.

Why do I keep getting glimpses of success and momentum? When will it finally culminate into one big break?

I want my rocket ship, my upside down avalanche of achievement. And I want it now.

In New York we have earthquakes, they’re called upstairs neighbors.

I have an upstairs neighbor who is out of control. He has above average stomping capabilities, is extremely restless, and love to drag his furniture all over the floor. I’m convinced he is incapable of doing any activity quietly or sleeping. I have cracks forming in my ceiling now because of him.

But this isn’t your average “my upstairs neighbor is horrible” rant. I’m actually concerned for his sanity (and mine.)

Now, I’m far from a licensed medical anything, but something is seriously off. Every two weeks this man will go into a fit of rage, either fighting himself or upset about something else. I’ll hear him screaming holy terror at the top of his lungs, banging stuff, throwing things around… a few times he’s throwing himself around, having a one-man scuffle all over the floor. And it’s never at 5pm, nooo it’s always at 3, 4, 5am… some ungodly hour usually the night before an early call or photoshoot when I need my sleep the most. (How am I the only neighbor witnessing all of this?)

The first time I didn’t know what was happening, so I went up there myself, like “Can you calm the fuck down please? I have cracks in my ceiling because of you. Calm yourself. Thank you.” Yes, it was a combo of yelling and mothering… and that worked… temporarily.

Until the next time, I hear him yelling at himself, then straight up glass shattering everywhere, and “AHHHHH!!” and and I’m like hold up… this man needs serious help. So I called the police, who of course do nothing, and tell me to call 311 next time. Cool.

Except ever since that day I called the police, I’ve seen him in the elevator a few times, and I swear this man won’t even look at me, seriously tense elevator rides.

So what do I do? Keep calling 311? What if one day he ACTUALLY hurts himself? What if one day, he decides to have a spontaneous raging fit, except he comes down the fire escape and takes it out on me?

I really can’t afford to move right now, and why should I have to? When I’ve been here for 2 years and he’s been here for 3 months? And okay, then some poor soul moves in after me and deals with the same thing… then what?

I wish he could just take his meds or see his doctor or something and just get better because this screaming bloody murder, banging and hollering and stuff is just out of control.

Something has to give.