While I do my best to be “self aware” and give attention to my life and actions, I’m far from perfect, and my “consciousness” is not always running at peak. That being said, while I was running the other day I had a bit of an epiphany. which stemmed from a conversation I had with my friend DJ, where she and I were discussing my home.
In the last few months I (with DJs IMMENSE assistance) completely revamped, decluttered, organized and outfitted my apartment. Now I know this isn’t some amazing feat by any means, loads of people do this on the regular; however, I realized I have been TALKING about doing the upgrades/overhaul for years but truly hadn’t made any progress. To put that statement into further context, I have lived in the same apartment for SIX YEARS and not even bothered to do much besides hang some pictures, and poorly at that. With her help/guidance/knowledge and incredible patience, DJ and I hung shelves, threw things away, donated (3 car loads of stuff or more) things to charity, organized/sorted and labeled EVERYthing in my place, created a “dressing station” in my bedroom, installed floating bedside tables, arranged art and more.
During the process, and in the aftermath, she and I were going back and forth about my place and why I hadn’t done anything to improve it in so long, and she pointed out some things that were (seemingly) quite obvious, but that I was pushing aside/down:
1. My apartment was adequate as a “shelter” and place to exist, but it didn’t reflect me at all. It was a cluttered hodge-podge of things I didn’t need, some things that I didn’t even want, and generally just a bit of a comfortable mess.
2. My goals, life and presentation of self are all so planned/regimented in different ways, but my home was chaotic. Admittedly I don’t spend a TON of time at home…but in reflecting on that very fact I was forced to examine if I was trying to AVOID my home because it wasn’t as nice as I wanted it to be, or if I truly felt like being outside of my own place.
3. I DESERVED a space that was comfortable, luxurious (in its own little ways), curated for me personally and peaceful. THIS 3rd point was SUCH a crazy, emotional one for me to discuss. This realization infiltrated my thoughts and is truly the reason for this whole blog post.
As I alluded to earlier I had talked about, and taken miniscule steps toward, this “refresh” of my apartment for many years, but never jumped off the ledge and went for it. Only after taking action and talking with DJ did I realize why. I hadn’t believed or felt worthy of it. I could always “justify” and say how busy I was (I’m slightly less “busy” now than other periods of my life, such as when I was in law school and working, but really that’s not such a hinderance), how I didn’t have the money at the time to put toward home stuff (not true, as it cost less than $1000 total, not including labor), or how I just felt like I had more “important” things to deal with (again, false. Priorities.)…but the truth was I wasn’t ready to accept that I was worthy of such a space. There are a multitude of reasons and scenarios that contributed to those feelings of unworthiness, and they still exist, but I know now that I’m beginning to conquer them little by little. I realized my worth is as much based on the amount I am “pouring into” myself as it is in other people. I spend so much of my time trying to pre-empt and/or anticipate the needs of my friends/family/coworkers and more that I sometimes forget to see what it is I need. I try so hard to present an external image of myself as all put together from head to toe, especially in the workplace, but then was letting my home (and car) be a crazy pre-staging area to my “mask” for the day. Funny enough, just earlier this year I also began to prioritize and make it a point to care for my car by trying to keep it tidier and getting it washed/vacuumed out regularly. This began by way of a gift from a dear friend, R, and I am ever so grateful. I knew no matter how much I tried to convince the external world that I was all put together, I was never going to feel that way if I didn’t address the mess “behind the curtain” and do better.
Home is not just where we put our things, and I realized (albeit later than some) how impactful the home environment can be on a persons mood, mindset and overall wellness. I can now attest to the fact that my mental well being is improved by being in a space that feels freeing and peaceful, rather than chaotic and like it is closing in on me. It feels physically better to walk through and not bump into things. My soul feels lighter when I look around and don’t see trinkets from my past or memories of people who are no longer a part of my life. I don’t feel the need to run away from my house or be ashamed of inviting people over, instead I now love having friends come by and am proud to show my apartment to others. I feel better balanced, because things don’t feel overwhelming any longer. Cleaning my house doesn’t take as much time because things are all picked up and there’s a “home” for every item. I’m no longer cleaning around/under a bunch of baskets/carts and general clutter, instead I am able to easily sweep and clean up without “prepping” to do so.
All in all, I kick myself for letting this process take so many years … but I know why I did. I wasn’t ready because I didn’t believe I was worthy. Thank you DJ for helping me re-calibrate and rediscover my worth. Thank you for teaching me so many things. I am beyond happy to be able to look around and see/feel your love and friendship reflected back to me through every corner of my home.