No one but me
This is my first summer living in Los Angeles. It is hot! And what I wasn’t expecting was the humidity. I am never one to stay indoors on the weekends but yesterday afternoon after I went in the pool to cool down, I stayed inside with my doors opened and my fan going and watched Sex and the City Season 6. Carrie couldn’t make up her mind about getting married to Aiden, and since it is an old episode I obviously knew why, because eventually she was going to marry BIG. She didn’t know this yet though.
I sweated on my couch and watched Carrie cry over Aiden and give her engagement ring back to him. Aiden wasn’t right for her. As nice and handsome, and as willing as he was to marry her, there was something missing. She knew it and went with her gut. She went back to being single again, and didn’t know what the future held and if she would ever get married.
It is this in between phase that is so hard. When we know something isn’t right, but we don’t know what we want yet. I can relate. That is where I am now. I knew I had outgrown my marriage, but as I talk to men that message me on the dating apps, and DM me on Instagram, I am engaging with them, but I am not sure what I want. Sometimes I get excited about the idea of having a boyfriend, and someone to share my life with. Someone to walk my dog with me, and make breakfast together. But then the next day, I can’t imagine someone else being in my space. My space I fought so hard to be in. My space that represents my sanity, and my oasis from chaos.
I understood why Carrie freaked out when Aiden wanted to join their apartments together and sledgehammered through the wall. Her space was sacred, where she wrote, where she walked around in her underwear, where she stood in the kitchen and ate peanut butter out of the jar with a teaspoon while swiping through bumble. Well, maybe that last sentence is what I do. The things I do when I am alone like putting on EDM music and dancing in my mirror. Like cutting up all my T shirts and sweatpants and turning them into half tops and booty shorts. Like laying with my pup on my bed staring out my window at the palm trees and thinking of nothing. These are all things I would feel self conscious doing in front of someone else.
My home is my sanctuary where I never feel alone, where my stomach and mind relax, and where every time I enter I say, ‘thank you’ to the air. Just thank you for giving me this beautiful space, in this beautiful city to write and create my art. Everything about it is me.
Can I see myself sharing it? Not right now. And I have often wondered if this means I am in for a life of forever living alone. Carrie freaked out about Aiden coming through the wall and invading her space, but she gladly walked away from her apartment when there was a chance to live with BIG. So, I realize it is the timing and the person. One day someone will come into my life that I will be excited to share my space with, or maybe be ready to move on to a new space. I don’t have to stress about it, or try and predict the future. It will happen when it is time, and when it is meant to be.
Last night also reminded me of when I first started my journey. I went on a drinking binge of white wine after my mother died. I don’t even like white wine that much, but I had bought a case for Christmas entertaining, and it was available, and it did a good job of numbing out my brain and body. The sugar content is high, and my body pushed the sweet liquids through my veins so that I could sit on the couch without wanting to jump out of my own skin. At that time, the only thing I had the energy to do when I wasn’t working was watch tv. So I watched Sex and the City over and over again. I couldn’t even tell you what the episodes were about because I wasn’t taking anything in. I was just staring at the images across the screen until my mind and body had enough alcohol to blank out the pain.
That was 5 years ago. Sitting on my couch 5 years ago, I had no idea what the future held. I was just trying to make it through the day without having a nervous breakdown. When I decided to stop drinking, it got worse before it got better. I threw up, and became so weak that it was no longer a choice to lay on the couch, it was a necessity. I could barely lift my arm to use the remote to switch to the next episode. All the emotions that I had been avoiding knocked me down and flattened me. I was at rock bottom.
I knew I had to make a change. I didn’t know how or what, but I knew that something different was out there for me. With no evidence to back me up, and just a tiny whisper of a voice telling me that I could create a better life, I started my journey. After the alcohol let go of my brain, I started to see more clearly how I was my own worse enemy, and how not protecting my boundaries and my space was destroying me.
I slowly started to take my space back. I decided to convert our dining room that we never used into my office. I took a leaf out of the dining room table, turned it sideways and made it my desk. I bought a computer, and a chair. I painted the walls a warm tan color, and I bought a large shag carpet that covered the entire floor. I started collecting ceramic buddha heads and lining them up on the window ceil and on my desk. I took down the old blind and left the window curtain-less so as much light could come is as possible. I told my family I was starting a business in my new space. And I know that they rolled their eyes and snickered behind my back, because when they asked what the business was, I said ‘I don’t know’.
So there I was in my converted dining room, tapping away at my computer and eating boxes of cookies because all I craved was sweets when I stopped drinking. I had claimed some space back. It was just one room, but it was a start. My daughter wanted to sit at my desk, my husband would come in and lay on the floor when I worked, my cats started sleeping in my new office. The old dining room that was collecting dust and no one ever entered was now the place everyone wanted to be.
It was MY space though, and I told my family that sometimes they need to leave me be there. They weren’t used to that, and I feel like I hurt their feelings. They weren’t used to me claiming something just for me. But the energy that came forth once I created my new space and protected its boundaries felt like liquid gold; warm and valuable. It was addicting.
It was a slow process. Every day I felt stronger and more determined to follow my gut and my instincts of protecting and expanding my space. I had no idea where it was leading me, but it led me to where I am now. To the space I now call home in the sun and by the ocean. I fought hard for this space, and it is all mine. It brings me joy and makes me smile every morning I wake up to the sound of the ocean and the shadows of the rising sun on my blinds.
Am I ready to share it? Not yet. But I have faith that the time will come when it seems natural to share, and I will be excited to share. Just how Carrie was excited when the timing and person were right. I am looking forward to that time.
But in the meantime I am enjoying dancing in the mirror to EDM music, eating peanut butter from the jar standing in my kitchen, laying on my bed in my underwear with my pup just staring into space, and watching Sex and the City reruns all afternoon, with no one but me.