My Personal Sanctuary

My zodiac sign is Cancer, and whether or not you believe in that stuff, I can tell you that the definition of my sign is right on. “They love to create cozy, safe spaces that serve as their personal sanctuaries, then spend lots of time in them.” Once I create my cozy space, I never want to leave. I get comfortable, relaxed and my sanctuary becomes a part of me.  Even when I lived at home, my bedroom had to be cozy and inviting with extra seating for friends. I had plants hanging, lots of natural light, and it was always neat and organized. I wanted my friends to feel like they were able to kick off their shoes and relax. 

When I rented my first apartment, it was on. I fully embraced my domestic side. I began to create the home I always wanted. I took care of each space that I lived in as if it were my own. When I purchased my first home, I was thrilled. It was the smallest home on the largest piece of property. I decorated and landscaped, and made the tiny house my sanctuary. It was a place to come to after a long hard day at work. It welcomed me in, relaxed me, calmed my nerves. I was never the party girl. I enjoyed staying home and having friends and family over. I loved to decorate, and my friends would often ask me to decorate their homes. Eventually, I doubled the size of the house and added a pool…my space was just perfect. I could entertain in our fantastic outdoor space. I was happy and never needed to move again. So I thought.

I am not a person that needs a mansion or brand new home. I need a space that offers me comfort and the conveniences that I want in a location I love. Unfortunately, my husband craved something entirely different. He wanted bigger and better, so the new home search began. I had a list, and it was simple. I wanted to stay in the same area, a two-car garage would be nice, and a better kitchen because that was the only thing I did not upgrade in my current home. So we looked and looked, and my agent found an old house that needed some work on a beautiful piece of property. I told my husband I was not too fond of it, but he wanted to see it. He took one look and was in love with the trees and boulders. So the offer went in that very day. 

I left my first home with a heavy heart because it was my sacred space, and two, I hate moving. My girls were upset about leaving their friends and moving out to the country, as they called it. But soon, my domestic skills kicked in, and I created the sanctuary I needed. We remodeled, upgraded, landscaped, and this home became my forever home. I will never move again, or so I thought. Then life happened 15 years later. I divorced and had to sell my home. As I took the last walk through the empty house and ran my fingers over the door frame that held years of dates and hash marks from the girl’s height markings, I began to cry. All the memories, good and bad, came flooding back to me. I put so much work into that place, and now once again, I would need to create my sanctuary somewhere else. 

Now, I was on a new journey—a journey of one. I was living on my own for the first time in my life. No kids, no boyfriend or husband. I rented a condo in my town, giving me the space I need and the conveniences of my home. I felt pretty damn good, all things considered. I never wanted to leave my house and go through another such move, but this was the start of a new chapter, and I had that excitement to pull me through. 

Once again, I embraced making this new place my sanctuary. I fell in love with my space, loved not tending to an acre of land, and having more free time to do other things like travel. Then one year in, they wanted to sell the condo. I was in disbelief. I had to find a new place to live. Needless to say, I was devastated. In my mind, I could not comprehend finding another place moving again in just over a year. How will I handle another move? 

I searched and searched, and with the luck of the universe on my side, I found a great space three miles away. The owners of the place were super friendly, and I felt blessed to rent their condo.  I don’t think everyone thinks about their living space as a grounding place. For me, it is my earth, where I plant my roots and grow. It’s how I can function correctly. If my space is not precisely what I want, I am out of whack. My friends and family tell me I must sacrifice things on my list to get a place I can afford or move when I need. I tell them, nope, I will not sacrifice, and I will find what I want when I need it. I will manifest the perfect space. All you have to do is believe.

Five years in, my perfect condo was being sold, and I find myself needing to uproot myself once more. Each time it seems just a little bit harder. Maybe because I am getting older, or perhaps because it seems the moves have been more frequent since I sold my home. Either way, this move hit me hard. Let’s face it, packing and moving suck. In southern California, the housing market is limited and extremely expensive. If you are like me and want a specific area, you limit your selection even more. When you are the sole decision-maker, the stress can be overwhelming at times. Then, you need to change your routine for weeks or months to find what you are looking for and get through the move. Meanwhile, the world around you keeps spinning, and you start to feel helpless. 

Okay, so things could be worse, no one is dying, but there are days when your house is half-packed, you’re standing in the middle of your living room not knowing what to do next that you consider hiding under a rock until it’s all over. Then you realize you are an adult, and you must continue on your journey. Like every other space you have inhabited, you have made it a wonderful sanctuary because that is what you do. You know deep in your heart that anything worthwhile in life takes work. You also realize that maybe you are a person that change has to be forced on you from time to time so you can grow.  So you put your big girl panties on and do what you need to do. You will be okay, just like you have with everything else in your life that was hard. You will survive and come out on the other end just fine. This new home will be lovely, grounding, full of love and peace, just like every other home you have lived in. So take a deep breath and exhale. Everything will be okay and you will have your perfect personal sanctuary again.

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