The Dragon Den

I walk into my new apartment – my soon to be home – and I’m hit with an overpowering stench. A mixture of cigarette smoke and some obnoxious fruity cleaner. I try to ignore it and look at my space. There’s a pile of old, blue mattresses taking up the entire center of the room and outdated cheap hotel furniture lining the left wall. The carpet is dingy. There are gold lampshades attached to the right wall.

I try to imagine what I can do to make this work. I feel a sick doubt in my gut. I feel regret readying itself to take over. I feel frustration and sadness. What the fuck did I get myself into? I know the price is why I’m here, but did I underestimate this challenge? How am I ever going to make this work? How can I possibly make this my home?

I’d love to include a “before” picture just to give you a first hand look at what I started with. Unfortunately I don’t have one. I briefly thought of taking one when I was scrubbing the walls with baking soda and vinegar – but the thought of taking a picture had me in tears. I was fully encompassed in doubt that this place would ever be better than what I was standing in at that moment.

I pushed aside the doubt with pure determination; the same determination that scrubbed every inch of that room, unscrewed the ugly lampshade lighting fixtures from the wall, and moved king sized boxsprings down two flights of stairs all by myself.

The day I moved my things in I was still nervous. Really nervous. This is now my home. The kitchen-less room with undrinkable water. The smelly, ugly room with paper thin walls and an ‘adjoining’ hotel door between me and my neighbours on the left. As the mover unloads my things he tells me that another tenant tried to rob and kill him when he lived in this building. I sit there on unpacked boxes and feel overwhelmed.

That night in a desperate anxious trip to Costco, I buy two rugs to cover up the crappy carpet and an air purifier, odor absorbers, and candles to help with the smell. As I shoved these huge rugs into my already packed car, completely exhausted physically and emotionally, I know the only reason they actually fit was due to my unyielding will. I stand outside the car looking at the rug that really shouldn’t even be transported in any car – and think to myself – Wow I’m not just determined, I’m really fucking stubborn.

In these moments it serves me well. I am proud of how well I’ve done making this place a home. From grody to homey.

           Home Sweet Home
My “Kitchen”
The Office
Soul Food
The Living Room

It’s been a week today since I moved into this place – my very own space. Living on my own for the first time in my life.

Living minimally has always been something I longed to do, and now I’m doing it. It makes life simple. Keeping things tidy and clean takes little effort. I love the calmness of the spaces without clutter and being surrounded with things I love. Only things I love. I feel calm, safe, free, and inspired in my space. And I even have space to dance around.

I have made this room into an entire home, a home I love being in. Not to mention the beautiful view of the ocean out my window. I woke up today so grateful.

Oh, and warm. It’s funny how I had completely forgotten the joy of what it’s like to not be the one paying the power bill. Feeling warm in the winter?! And not just warm, but it’s so toasty in here I get to go barefoot all of the time- one of my very favourite things. It’s like my own personal summer in here 🙂

Being in my own space is allowing me to feel settled and strong. I’m starting to be able to focus on moving forward. This week has been productive in getting caught up and refocusing on projects I haven’t been able to give my attention in the last few months. I’m really excited about continuing those projects as well as creating new ones!

The Dragon Den gives me space to be me – fully. I feel grounded, strong, creative, inspired, and mindful here. I made the physical space even better than I had imagined – and now I am dedicated to making it hold space for everything I need to be my best self. To nurture, support, and inspire the dragon to go into the world as fiercely as possible.

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