(read the title like Eminem)
I could write 10 pages about how horrible the past 3 months have been in our last apartment, but I won’t. It smelled, it wasn’t safe, and it definitely wasn’t comfortable. I knew it was a huge stress point for both of us, but it really became clear this past weekend once we moved out for good. I feel like a completely different person, like my mind has cleared, a massive weight has been lifted, and everything in my life is coming back into focus. The feeling is incredible, and I don’t want to forget what it took to get here.
I haven’t cooked or baked since July. I haven’t used the sewing machine once. I haven’t made anything for Ruby, and I haven’t done any of the planning or preparation for her that I knew I needed to. Our laundry basket was always overflowing, and nothing was ironed. I didn’t write (obviously) or do anything creative. I let my nails go to shit before I forced myself to at least take the nail polish off. I didn’t buy anything for our house except for candles to mask the smell, and plastic for the windows. We got two stains on our couch because we ate dinner there each night. Everything that was important to me started to slip between the cracks because I just couldn’t find the motivation or desire to care. The worst part is that I knew all of this was happening, and I still couldn’t fix it. I don’t think I was depressed, but I definitely wasn’t myself, and I wasn’t in a mentally healthy place.
One of the things that bothered me the most was the smell. Not only did it bother me at home, but it got in our clothes and our jackets and it would bother me during the day when I was at work. All I could think of was how detrimental it must be for children who are raised in households where their parents smoke, and having to go to school each day knowing that they smell. It is a HUGE emotional stress point that seems trivial, but deeply affected me. The first thing I did when we got to the new house was wash all of our jackets, blankets, towels, and lay all of our rugs outside to air out. Just having the smells gone is the biggest relief.
At work, we were discussing Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and how it applies to everything in our lives, both personal and work related. It was like a lightbulb clicked when I saw this diagram, because it explains exactly how and why the house issue is affecting me in so many different ways. The things that I was missing the most were psychological and self-fulfillment needs, but I couldn’t get there without feeling physiologically comfortable. It was so refreshing to see proof of what I’d been feeling and know that my discomfort was validated.
We spent the weekend unpacking and settling into the new place, and I already feel so inspired. We made a delicious dinner, I baked a pie, and we walked downtown Ballard to buy two little accessories for the kitchen. I’ve been making lists of projects I want to start and we’re going to get back to meal planning. Everything that used to be our normal is slipping back into place and it feels like we’re home. Brian said that he feels like he’s on vacation in our house, and I feel more like we’re real adults. I think even regardless of where we just came from, this house is a turning point for us and we’re so happy to be here. This feels like a home where we can start our family, and I’m finally able to feel some excitement about what comes next!
I have to say too, that it’s a huge testimony to our relationship that Brian and I (somehow) made it through this whole transition with our relationship very much intact and probably a lot stronger. A lot of the credit goes to Brian for putting up with an unhappy pregnant wife, and I love him so much more for it. This house thing aside, the past few months have been a weird time for me, adjusting to all the fun new stuff that pops up with pregnancy (hello hormones and exhaustion), so I’m sure I haven’t been easy to deal with. Brian has been so patient and understanding and rational (sometimes to a fault) and is the only reason I didn’t lose my mind, burn down the house, and move into a hotel.