a room of one’s own

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Lately I’ve been feeling really sad about the fact that I can’t afford to rent my own place in LA and still be reasonably close to work. It got to the point where I’d get home from work every night and spend hours on Craigslist, getting more and more depressed as I scrolled through the apartments I couldn’t afford, or the shit-holes I could maybe afford, but only if I stretched my budget. I had dug myself pretty deep into a self-pity pit, doing nothing but complain about how much I hated my living situation, how depressed I was that I couldn’t afford to live alone.

On the full moon, I did a tarot reading that essentially told me I needed to shut the fuck up, stop feeling sorry for myself, and actually make an effort. Go out there and do shit! And since I’m stubborn but not that stubborn, I did just that.

With this newfound optimism and gung-ho attitude, it occurred to me that I really don’t have it that bad. My rent is reasonable for my area. I have my own bathroom, utilities are included in rent (I can run my AC all day and don’t have to pay extra?? Honestly a sick deal), we have a washer/dryer, I very rarely even see my roommates, and my drive to and from work is never longer than 30 minutes. For this city, that’s a lot of pros to check off on the ol’ pro/con list. Yeah, I wish I wasn’t 32 and living with roommates, but I could be a lot worse off.

And the thing is, my room is massive. It’s the master suite, and I swear it’s like the size of a 2 bedroom in Manhattan. But I wasn’t using any of it. I was just spending all my time sitting on the bed, or in the bed. I’d eat my dinner in bed, write in bed, watch TV in bed, play video games, everything in bed. There was a desk in the room, but I didn’t ever use it. Most of my room was just empty floor space.

So when I was veering toward “woe is me” about my living situation one night, I realized… I could do something with this! I have so much room at my command. I could probably even fit a couch in here. I could have a little sitting/TV area, and a separate bed area. And if I put in a slight modicum of effort, I could actually get another bookshelf and not just pile books on the floor like a feral beast. I could turn my big stupid useless depressing room into… a makeshift studio apartment!

So I took full advantage of Target’s Labor Day sale and got to work. I spent an entire morning and most of the afternoon rearranging, cleaning, assembling furniture, and shelving books… and I can’t even express how happy I am with the results.

This is mostly stuff I already owned — I only just bought the couch and a bookshelf — but I’ll be getting some side tables and an ottoman for the couch soon!

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All of a sudden, my bedroom is a tiny studio! It feels like a real home. All I had to do was move some shit around and shove a couch in here, and voila! The coziest it’s ever been. I can’t get over how happy I am about this. I was so low about my living situation, and now I feel a million times better. I’m renewed and refreshed.

Let this be a lesson to me: stop feeling sorry for yourself, Meg, and make the best of what you have. There are often solutions I don’t see at first because they seem too simple, but in this case, a compromise was exactly what I needed.

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