About two years ago, due to a series of unfortunate events…my partner and I needed to move on short notice. Trying to find a new home in January did not exactly lend itself to a plethora of options, so the first place that seemed fine enough, we took.
With the help of a few fantastic and oh so kind friends, we moved all of our belonging, our 40 pound dog and two cats into a 480 square foot studio apartment, in a 3 unit house. Looking back to that night, I can still remember Justin’s expression as he doubtfully surveyed the chaos of haphazardly stacked boxes and treacherous pathways that was now our new home, and how I half heartedly reassured him that we would somehow make it work.
Over the next few weeks we unpacked our things and with each empty box, the apartment felt more and more like a home. Although it was cramped and less than ideal, we reminded ourselves that we were only going to be there for 6 months. After a few weeks, we began to experience some of the joys in living in a 130ish year old house (oldest two story house in Fort Collins, by the way). For weeks in March and April, water would drip off and on from the ceiling. Our landlord’s couldn’t figure out the source of the water and honestly didn’t seem to be overly concerned, until the day water began streaming out of the light fixture in our living room! Shocked, and frankly, a bit pissed off, Justin and I ran around gathering towels and bowls trying to protect our books and furniture from the sudden living room rainstorm. I had HAD it!!! I recall my rant well…this place is drafty and freezing cold, it rains in the living room, I’m sick and tired of ancient plumbing that constantly backs up, the stupid dogs upstairs don’t stop barking, it’s way too small, AND the washer ate my sweater.
I became desperate as I searched the internet and scoured neighborhoods in pursuit of “FOR RENT” signs. Much to my despair, with distressingly low vacancy rates in our city we were unable to find anything that was better or more affordable than our current place. I was beyond disappointed and frustrated.
Shortly after I resentfully replied to my landlord’s inquiry if we were planning to renew our lease, something miraculous happened to me. It occurred to me that: 1. This was going to be our home for not just the next 2 months but for the next 14, and 2. If I wanted to avoid a 14 month long mental break down, a major attitude shift was in order, and 3. I realized that had never given my whole heart into making this apartment my home because I had always seen it as temporary.
As we began to creatively rearrange and rig the areas of the apartment that were dysfunctional or unattractive, our home took on a new form and I, a new energy. It was as if a switch had flipped and the lens with which I viewed my apartment was a drastically and wonderfully new one. The apartment I once hated and couldn’t wait to leave became one I absolutely loved. This may sound silly, but for me, this simple internal shift felt profound and like a clear reminder of an important life lesson.
I find it fascinating that such a small line exists between misery and joy and that the main determinate as to which side we are on is largely up to us. I’m not saying that we can be perfectly happy with living room downpours or life’s inevitable pain, especially not in the moment. But later when the storm is over, we can make a conscious choice. A choice to look at any situation, from the frustrating to the heart wrenching, through a new lens. Every situation is different, and each person is unique but there will come a time when we all have to decide.
When you are ready, will you choose to see potential and possibility, and find beauty in the least likely places?
When have you made an internal shift that changed the way you saw your world? I’d love to hear your stories!
Are you feeling like you want to make a shift but don’t know where to begin? I can help. I offer one-on-one life coaching sessions to help people create the change they want to see in their lives and most importantly in themselves. Check out my website caitlinbosshart.com