I’ve always said the best part about having a blog is having a platform to have a creative outlet. Followed closely by those awesome readers that stick by you and coupled with meeting some pretty amazing people that are also members of this community.
But the total shift I’ve experienced in life recently (as mentioned briefly here) has had me re-evaluating so much of what I have going on in my life. When you don’t have a place to call home you feel beyond lost. I have felt so paralyzed since February 25th. I have gone through every emotion possible from this experience of not having a home. I’ve either been crying, throwing up, trying to laugh off the sheer amount of ludicrous scenarios I’ve endured or wanting to crawl into a hole and give up.
I actually wrote this post 2 weeks ago – at a particularly emotional point in the process and then let it sit in my drafts as logistics swallowed me up and then I underwent nasal sinus surgery on March 14th. Because what would this roller coaster be without a scheduled surgery?! Yep, my mom and I moved into a hotel for my recovery for 5 nights because well, that’s what you do when your daughter is homeless and you can’t take care of her in her own home. You get a hotel and you shop at Duane Reade and have your mom enduring the craziness that is Monday night at Whole Foods because the only thing that sounds good is Mac and Cheese…that I couldn’t even taste. So yea…
All that being said…through it all, I’ve wanted to find silver linings and the good in people/things/situations. Severe tests like what I’ve been going through make you re-evaluate everything, you know? So much of what I blog about is about materialistic things. New shoes to link to, over-priced bags I want but don’t need…the way I wish my apartment looked…I could go on and on. But now I’ve spent nearly 4 weeks living at other people’s apartments. Living out of a suitcase and a variety of haphazard tote bags that hold various belongings and wearing the same sweater 4 times in 2 weeks and the same boots 6 days in a row. And suddenly your world comes into a different view and you think…why do all these things matter? When I look around my “home”….what really matters?
You know what matters? It’s not the $600 boots or the $400 dress. It’s the angel figurines my grandmother gave me before she passed away because guardian angels were always our thing. And the framed menu from the 12 course meal I shared with my parents in France that was one of the most special times I had with them. And the tee shirt my mom gave me from her a trip to Maine with my dad’s family. And my Grama’s vintage clutch and her last bottle of Chanel No. 5. Those are the things that…when evacuating your apartment at a moment’s notice…that’s what you grab. Not the expensive boots or the 12 coats you’ve accumulated or the 20 some handbags. Talk about a reality check into what’s important.
Since February 25th I’ve felt like I’ve been floating out in space, nothing to tether me down. I’ve been trying to get a hold on my finances so that I can look for a new apartment so that has meant no brunching, no expensive dinners, no shopping. TALK ABOUT A LIFE CHECK. Life in New York gives you blinders is what I’ve realized. You are made to feel invincible because of the variety of situations you’ve endured day to day. As someone in my life, whom I respect very, very much, said to me not too long ago “Meghan, you live life never questioning any expense in your life. You’ve done so ever since you were an adult. And it’s not most people’s reality…being able to buy everything you want.” And shit, did that resonate with me. Not enough because I still worry about money every day (I have outrageous spending habits if we’re being honest) and lack of savings and wanting to keep up with having a blog which consists of making regular purchases…but this person was very accurate. I’ve curated a life I wanted but also one that doesn’t account for when life throws you curve balls.
That’s not to say I’ve had a perfect and charmed life because I sure as hell haven’t had that. (If you’re unfamiliar, you can read some about it here) but I definitely have had a lot of blessings. But I’ve also had what feels like my fair share of burdens. So when you’re feeling so beaten down it’s hard to feel uplifted by anything. Humor helps. Friends help a lot. Family helps for sure. But then you have the moments by yourself when you think “how am I to carry on?” and “why me?” and those moments will beat you up softly.
In thinking about all this, I think about how much the support of those around you lift you up. Keep you from falling apart at the seams or, once you’ve completely been broken down…they get you back putting one foot in front of another. Over the past month I’ve felt so paralyzed I’ve been barely able to get ready or carry on real life. I try to pull it together each morning but mostly I can’t even recognize myself in the mirror right now…
Most of the time I feel like blogging presents your best self. It presents how life is at its very best. Well, folks, I’m at the opposite of my very best right now. I don’t have a closet from which to dress myself and take outfit posts, I’ve been drinking an inordinate amount of wine and I’ve been wearing a lot of the same clothes over and over. I’ve also spent every last ounce of my energy on fighting my current property management company to try and get what I am owed from them while also looking for a new place to live come April. At which point…I will have been “homeless” for nearly 6 weeks.
So there’s that. With one blog post over the last few weeks I figured maybe it’d be therapeutic to put into words what I’ve been carrying emotionally and physically. All that being said, I know what I’m enduring now isn’t the worst. Things could be so, so much worse. I know people go through harder situations every day and that puts things in perspective. It has had me praying for people in far worse situations than mine. It’s had me looking to find those silver linings and seeking out what makes me feel good. Like SoulCycle classes, focusing on work, seeing friends and having those friends be the means to a fun night out or therapeutic sessions to talk everything out or you know…watching Frozen twice and singing all the words to “Let It Go” while dancing around. Whatever gets you through but damn are we lucky to have the people in our life that makes those moments happen, am I right?
In the meantime, I do want to just say thank you to some very, very special individuals who have helped me get from one day to the next in ways big and small…
- Bridget for taking me into her home (and her bed) and calling or texting me mid-day almost every day to see how I was doing
- Carrie for allowing me into her home for 3 weeks (and counting) and gave me her oh-so-amazing bed to sleep in while she was on vacation
- Taylor for drinking with me and eating pizza when I needed to do so and providing some much needed comic relief and for returning my cable box to Time Warner because I can’t make the trek due to surgery recovery
- Grace for checking in regularly and caring so genuinely
- Simone for giving me her apartment while she was traveling on business
- My mom for uttering the words “I’m so impressed with how you’ve been handling everything. You’re doing great.” (despite feeling like I was crumbling apart) and for coming to NYC for 5 nights for what was technically to take care of me post-surgery but was also majorly taking care of me emotionally
- My sister Shannon for listening when I was flailing and needed someone to provide sympathy
- My brother Kevin for telling me to forego his birthday present and following it up with “More importantly: how are things with you? I imagine I cannot help, but let me know if I can. Love you.”
- Caroline for offering me up a place with her sweet little baby Knox who “wouldn’t hog the bathroom” if I needed a place to stay
- Hallie and Jessica who have each emailed offering to help in any way they could
- My godmother who has called consistently to check in on my well being
- My co-workers who have supported me to leave at a moment’s notice to look at apartments, head to my place to pack up any items of importance, continually asked how I am doing through the emotional roller-coaster and a myriad of other reasons but overall proven to be the very best colleagues a person could ask for
- My brother Sean (and his roommate) for helping to pack up certain items of importance from my apartment and move them into their place for safekeeping
- Blog readers who have left uplifting comments either on the site or via social media – those words mean more than you’ll ever know
- My aunt Jan for noting “How you handle all the hurdles on the track is a testimony to your superior temperament and faith that all things have a reason and will work out as they are intended.” Because you know what? Words like that make you feel like you can get through tomorrow and hopefully the day after that…
- My local favorite bartender who patiently listened to me cry about my situation and told me he saw great things in my future (yep, I cried at a bar…)
- Bekka for offering me her place to stay while she was traveling and who I’ve known for such a short amount of time but who started as my photographer and has turned into a friend, for which I’m truly grateful
- My CA girlfriends who sent flowers post-surgery and have consistently sent check-in emails and texts
- My Dad for reviewing legal documents and providing counsel during such stressful and maddening situations
- All my other friends in New York who have shown their true colors in offering places to stay, management companies to try, provide new housing options, brokers to utilize and Marisa in particular for helping throw me a bone when I really needed one…the list goes on and on…
In the end I know chapters like this are true tests of our strength. I’m hoping this one will A) resolve itself soon (I did sign a lease this week for a new place so that’s a major improvement – somewhere to live!) and B) provide an experience to look back on and recognize several areas of improvement for my life. If anything, I’ve had a reality check on what’s truly important and I think every now and then that is so necessary…
Thanks for sticking by while I haven’t been able to blog. It means a lot and I hope to get back to regular programming soon…fingers crossed!