What didn’t feel good about living alone was the chronic loneliness. I didn’t realize how pitiful “me, myself and I” could feel; especially without any diversion from my own negativity. What was wrong with me? Why did life still feel so bleak? I had made so much progress since the startling realization that I was 38, single, homeless and without a plan.
I had somehow mustered the strength to re-claim my pre-marital independence and gain some financial resilience. Enough to get my own spot in the city and slowly morph it into my own personal oasis. In fact, I was steadily turning my 400 square foot studio into a home. I chose a 5th chakra blue for my West facing wall with a Hudson River view; the perfect color for truthful self-expression and learning to take responsibility for my own needs. I positioned my white lacquer desk and brand new 21” iMac in front of the large picture window and, for the first time in all my years of NYC living, I enjoyed a view that didn’t make me feel like a peeping Tom or that I was doing time in Rikers. I could even watch the sunset from my bed.
A simple guilt trip convinced my EX to ship some of our bridal registry items from the Van Nuys storage unit. It was imperative that I feel like an adult; not a broke-ass college freshman furnishing my dorm-sized apartment with dollar-store items! Nor did I wanna backtrack to life in my early twenties when I was a starving artist living in survival mode. Besides, I was entitled to half of that shit anyway. But I didn’t ask for much; just our Pottery Barn dishes and utensils, some All-Clad cookware, our Breville espresso maker and a carved Buddha wall plaque he had given me as an anniversary gift. It was the same Buddha that hung opposite our bed and gazed back into my sad eyes offering me peace and emotional solace when my EX broke the news that our marriage was over. Whether or not that anniversary gift deserved a place on the walls of my fresh beginnings was still yet to be determined. Instead, a black chalkboard wall with scribbled inspirations and multiple vision boards served as my artwork.
I actually believe it was my desperately needy conviction in the power of vision boards that helped furnish my apartment. Call me crazy but, how else did I miraculously manifest the West Elm modular sofa I had ripped out of the catalogue and slapped onto a poster board to create a collage of all my material, emotional and spiritual desires? And this sofa with 2nd chakra orange upholstery was the perfect contrast to my 5th chakra blue wall and ideal for stimulating my creative, emotional and sensual self. Plus, it doubled as a twin bed for overnight guests I wasn't (ahem) sleeping with. I auspiciously acquired my sofa when I popped into the store one day to simply feed my intention. I noticed the “sale” sign just as I was sinking my butt cheeks into the cushions and making myself at home in the mock living room display. Thank you Universe! Because, what started off as a window shopping extravaganza turned into a cash purchase of the heavily discounted floor model I was sitting on. And my contemporary new modular sofa instantly replaced my bed as the cozy reading spot for all the subscription magazines that systematically appeared in my mail box instead of bills.
Yes, in order to truly create an oasis for myself, I had to eradicate the influx of bills that made surprise attacks like blood-sucking vampires lurking behind creaky coffins in a haunted house. Getting bills in the mail stressed me out. They could easily turn a perfect day of emotional progress into one of major emotional setback; paralyzing me with anger, fear and resentment. Receiving all those damn bills felt like a twisty-faced, finger-pointing demon screaming at me in a guttural voice “You’re such a failure!”. All that debt was a reminder of the poor decisions my EX and I made as life partners; decisions that helped erode our happy foundation. Yes, debt was a reminder of my dreaded truth; the real life shit I didn’t wanna deal with such as the total mis-management of our finances, the failed communication, the rejection, the break-up and impending divorce. I just couldn’t cope with the weight of all that defeat so I picked my battles and chose to stick my bills in a drawer to detach myself from any associated emotions. The crazy thing was, I actually had the money to cover all of my expenses but was somehow hell-bent on self-sabotage; perhaps to punish myself for being such a fuck up.
But when debt-collectors became more menacing that the demons in my head, I was forced to deal. So, I set up paperless, automatic, on-line payments... for everything! Then, I subscribed to my favorite mags like Marie Claire, InStyle, Oprah, Time and Time Out NY. Plus, Netflix. To this day, the only thing that comes through my mailbox is pure entertainment and escapism!