Blank Spaces & Unpacked Boxes
I sit amongst these blank spaces and unpacked boxes and temporary pieces of furniture and breathe. We are making a home and a home takes patience. Patience for time and money and the prayer for a combination of both at once.
We finish a corner, a section, a wall, and live. We paint a room and live. We stuff leftover items in a closet amongst unorganized chaos shut the door, and live.
We are making a home and a home takes patience.
I feel silly caring as much as I do about the look and the feel of the place in which I reside, especially now while the world is on fire and caring about the material seems selfish on a whole new level. But I care. I care a lot. I like pretty and warm and welcoming and inspiring and creative and fun and I want where I live to be all of those things and more.
I find comfort in a well put together home.
I find comfort in beauty.
When I was a teenager I stopped caring about aesthetics. It was too painful because I had stopped caring about life.
I lived in a room filled with literal garbage. Empty containers of whatever my latest binge. My latest means to soothe and abuse myself.
I showered only when necessary. Threw on the same giant jeans and giant t-shirt. Cut giant knot balls out of my hair from my lack of washing and brushing it.
I couldn’t clean. I couldn’t pick up after myself. I hid under layers and garbage and bad hygiene.
I was pining for a different life. A more beautiful life, but I felt paralyzed.
When I hung out with friends, I’d encourage them to re-arrange their rooms or put on fashion shows, so I could help them decorate and pick out outfits.
They were allowed beauty, not me. And as long as I could live vicariously through it, I could trick myself for a moment into believing that was enough.
I ached for beauty and I wanted it in all of it’s forms, but I masked it and denied myself in every way possible.
Beauty meant effort and effort meant living and I didn’t know how to do that quite yet. I didn’t know how to admit that beauty lived inside me and around me and existed the entire time I did everything in my power to squelch it.
When I started coming into my own, people often commented how shocked they were by my beauty. They couldn’t believe that this whole time I was actually beautiful. Well, me neither and uhhh thanks???
There is a lot to say about that.
A lot of problematic stuff that comes along with that.
I could rip it apart and analyze and discuss the issues with a culture that sees a woman or human as beautiful only once they drop some pounds and put more care into their appearance.
Absolutely that is an issue. But that is for another post on another day.
The truth is, what people were seeing wasn’t weight loss or better clothes it was the real me peeking through. Because when I made the decision that it was time to put myself out into the world and stop hiding my light, my beauty, was finally available for others and myself to see.
I little by little stopped being so afraid of it.
I came to rely on it and need it.
In my home. In my self care. In the way that I presented myself. In my words. In my everything.
I had ached for beauty for the entirety of my life and now that I was giving myself permission to have a little, I found myself needing more and more. I had been starved.
Aesthetics can be bullshit for sure. But they can also be an outward representation of how we feel about ourselves. Not just on our person but in our living space. In the environments we steep ourselves in. The content we take in. The people we surround ourselves with. The lives we create.
For someone like me who spent years hiding and denying and drowning beauty in all forms, it was/is important.
Beauty is nature and love and vibrant colors and laughter and hugs and confidence and a warm meal. And yes it can also be clothing and hygiene and a well put together home.
I am still learning on a personal level to allow beauty both in and out. I am still learning to believe I am deserving of it and safe in it.
There is still a layer of fear that I haven’t quite broken through yet.
There are still blank spaces and unpacked boxes and temporary furniture to breathe into and be patient with.
I am making a home within myself at the same time I make a home in our apartment. A home for my soul to live in and my life to be in.
That parallel is not lost on me as we pick out paint colors for our fairly new bedroom.
I am making a home and a home takes patience.