My favorite place in the world is my sanctuary.
I moved in with my boyfriend Steve after we had been together for about 15 months or so.
He’s 4 years older than me, so at the time he had been living on his own for the better part of 5 years when we transitioned into our first home.
Because of this, he essentially had an entire house’s worth of items. We did get rid of a ton of “stuff,” before the merge, but even so, all the purchases we made – like our living room furniture-- were technically “OURS” but ..at the time, I was still a student. Steve bought the furniture with his own money.
And that’s fine.
I currently live in a 3 bedroom house. Our master bedroom is on the top floor.
Two of the other bedrooms are on the ground floor—one is used as an office, and the other is our game room.
While I was still a student, in our old home, we both utilized the office. However, now that I am no longer in school, I typically don’t bring my work home with me.
I decided against setting up camp in the office in our house. – Steve used the office for several things, including a studio for his podcast.
Let me back up.
This was a power dynamic...that was unequal. SBJ had been out on his own for nearly 5 years when we moved in together—of course it was!
I try not to dwell on what ifs – I get consumed by those thoughts easily and my whole brain gets taken over like a virus.
But – the lack of “my own” space caused a lot of “what ifs” to fester.
Let me explain how this dynamic shifted and how the lack of space affected my mental well-being.
I had gone from being dependent on my parents – to on my own- - to living with a boyfriend that was financially independent.
Due to his love language --- Steve tends to GIVE gifts; he communicates his affection the best that way. All of the gifts made me feel inadequate.
Of course, I knew this feeling of inadequacy wasn’t warranted, but that didn’t evaporate that feeling of guilt I had – I couldn’t provide for myself – and when I could – I wasn’t able to get my loved ones the gifts and moments I thought they deserved.
I kept thinking, “Why are these people buying things for me? What is MINE? Is anything I own really mine?”
That was a really big issue for me and my identity. I didn’t think I was WORTH owning anything because I wasn’t CAPABLE to at the time.
That’s really dangerous.
Why did I need my own space NOW?
I found myself feeling almost awkward in my own home.Which is kind of weird, I know.
But hear me out:
The office was Steve’s space.
Our living room, kitchen, game room, and bedroom are shared spaces.
I started retreating up to the bedroom when I didn’t feel inclined to watch TV or play a game.
I didn’t enjoy the fact that I felt as if there wasn’t “my own” spot in my house.
I was turning into a recluse in my house.
I trudged down to my basement, cleaned up the storage, and got to work.
I’ve become an avid practice of yoga in the past year, so I moved all of my yoga
equipment to the basement. I arranged all of my coloring books, my games, a giant love sac bean bag, my “book” books..
I put EVERYTHING I needed to make myself feel safe, happy, and secure in this one spot.
I have an oil diffuser that I love. Aromatherapy is magic. (someone remind me to post my favorite recipes, I swear I will) Before I had an oil burner that was shaped like an elephant; I called him Babar. He’s able to exist without the fear of fire anymore!
Recently, Steve consolidated the office and our game room—and moved my sanctuary upstairs! I love it. It’s just good to have an area where I feel 10000% at ease.
I believe that every single human being on earth needs to own one thing. A book, a house, a rock -- any tangible thing that you can attribute yourself ownership to.
I don’t think people should define themselves with the things they own, but the act of ownership gives a version of pride that can’t really be found anywhere else.
Everyone should have their own space. --- It differs when you have a roommate, a significant other, or a family.
@@Try to create a place where you can just *be*.@@
I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed having MY space until it existed.
I am the emperor of my sanctuary and you can’t tell me otherwise.
Starting your own sanctuary:
Now, this could just be your backpack filled with an assortment of objects, or a piece of paper with a handwritten note on it…
1. Decide on the purpose of your space--will I be working out in it? Will other people be allowed here? Is it a place to relax? Figure out the feeling you’re trying to evoke from the space.
Figure out what objects and symbols you want .. to make your room yours. I have a giant bean bag, my yoga supplies, aromatherapy diffuser – tv and PS4... all of my books and coloring books area in here as well.
3. Your space could originate as a chair! As long as you are able to give the object proper acknowledgement – that’s all that matters.
Do you have a preferred place to unwind? Tell me about it.
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