I’m back in therapy. One of the things we’ve talked about recently is the unrealistic and unreasonable expectations I have of myself. We’ve discussed my fear of being “found out” when people around me realize I’m not all that great. I give myself no grace and no freedom to make mistakes or come up short.
It’s starting to look like someone might be planning to live here! The front of the house has a coat of primer which is a great sneak peek at what it’s going to look like with fresh paint. Not to mention all of the freshly trimmed trees and vegetation. It’s looking more like a cozy home than an abandoned piece of history now. You can turn into the driveway without fear of scratching your car and another burn pile of limbs and such has been burned. That’s progress, folks!
I finally feel like I have something to update you all on! We’ve been in that yucky middle part that I dread so much. It’s where things slow way down and it seems like NOTHING IS HAPPENING. Usually, you’re waiting on someone to do something and it’s where I lose all motivation. The good news is, I’m learning this about myself which means I can learn to be prepared for it. This is my fourth house to remodel in two years and it’s happened every single time. The yucky middle is where I lose motivation. So now that we’re coming out of the uneventful middle, I figured it’s time for an update! Continue reading
I’m fighting the anxiety this week. Fighting it like a nemesis that showed back up after years of peaceful living without the battle of its control. I felt it immediately upon opening my eyes and I knew it was war.
This anxiety has waged war on my thoughts, my relationships, and my appetite. It showed up and demanded control of me, despite my resistance. As I walk the trails of my park, my refuge, I realize that I need to seek help again. I need to get a grip on this inner turmoil and I can’t do it alone.
I think about that therapist I just heard about. I think about scheduling an appointment and then immediately travel down the road of reasons why I shouldn’t bother. I might not like her. She might not take my insurance. My insurance might drop me if I don’t get my shit together.
Then I question, what would I tell a friend in this situation? If I saw a friend struggling in the way that I have over the years, what would I suggest to them? I’d say schedule the damn appointment. If you don’t like her, schedule another. And another. Until you find someone that can help ease the turmoil you feel. No one is supposed to live in misery. We all deserve to be free and happy and it’s time to do something about what’s been holding you back.
I entered into a new relationship and I brought years of hurt and fear with me. It’s like an old, tattered suitcase, full of years of disappointment and insecurity. It’s bursting at the seams it seems, like that suitcase that’s just a little too full. Like that suitcase that you sit on top of, squishing its contents as tightly as you can, just hoping to get it mostly zipped. You zip it and pull it behind you, secretly trying not to think about its potential to literally bust open at any moment. Hoping, praying even, that it’ll just stay together. That you’ll make it through the busy airport without anyone seeing your dirty undergarments scattered about on the floor.
That’s the suitcase I’m bringing with me. It’s stuffed full of dirty little insecurities. Times I’ve been hurt or felt inferior. Times I’ve worried about being left behind and harsh memories of when I was. It’s full of images of the things I hate about myself, including my tendency to think this way. If you were to unzip that bag, its first layers are neatly folded. It’s sorted into neat stacks and crisply pressed. You can tell that hours were spent folding things just right and smoothing out the wrinkled edges. It’s underneath that top layer that you begin to see the case’s real contents.
It’s disheveled and confusing. It’s as if you stuck your hand inside and swirled it about violently, looking for something frantically. Not the top layer though. It’s much more put together. I don’t want to carry this suitcase anymore. I’d like to sit it on the trail I’ve hiked for miles and bid it farewell. My arms are tired of hauling it and it’s really not serving me very well. I’d like a new wardrobe that’s not stained with shame from the past. I’d like a new suitcase, one that’s empty and begging to be filled with new experiences. I’d like to open and close this new suitcase without fear of its contents bursting from any exposed nook or cranny.
Truth being told though, I don’t know how to sit this suitcase down. It’s chained to me in some way and I feel obligated to carry it the rest of the way. It feels reckless to sit it down and I’d feel empty and exposed. When I encounter a new trial or obstacle, how will I face it without the arsenal of experiences stored in that bag?
As I think about it, I leave literal suitcases and bags scattered on the floor, delaying the task of unpacking them and putting them away. I loathe the process of pulling out the contents, refolding, and putting things away nicely. I’d much rather trip over that bulky suitcase for weeks than sit down and handle it today. That’s what I’ve been doing. Avoiding the suitcase, knowing fully that I’ll just continue to trip over it until I sort through what’s left there. Both the literal and figurative suitcases are holding me back. I can’t travel to the next oasis without first unpacking from the last trip. I can’t experience the absolute joy that’s waiting in this new chapter, no matter how badly I want it, without setting down my old baggage first. There’s a train for me to catch, a journey waiting on me to fully embark upon it but I have to empty that suitcase first. Empty it, put the items away, and open that new bag, that’s ready to be filled for the next trip.
I wrote this several months ago during a time when my anxiety and fear were running wild. I wrote it, never really intending to share it with anyone and it’s kept coming to mind the last few days. As I read it again, the feelings that prompted those words felt so real and I realized that there are many of you who know them all to well. Your triggers might not be the same as mine, though if you struggle with anxiety, you know how it feels to be overcome for seemingly no reason. I felt pressured to share, these words I intended to keep private, because something told me that someone out there needs a little nudge to seek help, just as I still do. Someone needs to not feel alone and to feel encouraged to reach out. I scheduled that appointment and while it took me several more months to do so, I’m back to working on the things that keep me up at night. If you, too, feel overcome with emotion at times, find a professional to help you navigate that inner dialog. Seeking help does not make you weak. As a matter of fact, only the strongest people have the courage to face those darker corners.
One of the main questions I get about the new, old house is if I’m opening the front porch back up. The short answer — no. The porch is currently enclosed with old crank windows all the way around. I’m not sure when the open porch was closed in, but my guess is that it’s been that way for a very long time.
As you know, I recently started rehabilitating a 100 year old house for myself. Saving old houses has been a dream of mine for many years and I’ve been so thrilled to get to bring this one back to life. Before I purchased this home, I set my eyes on another 100 year old beauty in Monroe’s Garden District. I’d shown the house to a few clients and it had not worked for any of them. I began thinking about purchasing it myself and what I could do to update it without losing any of that old-house character. I even started a Pinterest board for it! Long story short, I decided I wasn’t quite ready for the project at that time, and shortly after, a different set of clients had the opportunity to make it their home. Continue reading
It’s been right at one month since I closed on this diamond in the rough. It’s amazing how much has changed in such a short time, and I’m pretty jazzed about it. These photos were all taken last night, so I could show you what’s been done lately. Continue reading
My tip top favorite thing about living here is being on the water and the views. My camera roll is full of photos of that bridge in different lights. The clouds are beautiful and I wake up every morning to the sunrise in my bedroom window. Not being a “morning person,” having that view to see when I first wake up is motivation to go ahead and open my sleepy eyes! Sunny days, cloudy days, and stormy days — they’re all a beauty on the river. Continue reading
Kitchen cabinet demo is almost done! We were able to remove that fabulous sink and it looks like it is salvageable. I’m excited that there’s wood under the kitchen ceiling too! We uncovered some old wallpaper there which was an interesting find. I’m sure it was really pretty during its time. There’s not wood under that breakfast nook addition and I’ll either add more bead board or sheetrock that area. I’d really like to understand why the bead board is cut into pieces like it is on the one side. Oh, the unanswered questions. Also, there might be wood under the paneling walls. Fingers crossed. Continue reading
It’s been a productive few weeks with the old house renovation project. Demo always moves along the quickest and has the biggest impact. Eventually, I’ll share my plans/struggles/ideas for each room. For now, just try to use your imagination the best you can. Things are moving fast over here! If you don’t remember what it looked like before, you can start here. Continue reading