swagger three flat. My landlord lived on the first floor and she was even more passionate about her living space and art collection than me. It was a wonderful place to live.
Then it all collapsed. First, my landlord passed away and her family, who lived in Michigan, started mismanaging the building. The lady on the third floor moved and I was left in the three flat by myself. I was determined to stick it out. My place was fabulous. For Real! Every inch was picture perfect. Something out of a home magazine. And thanks to my OCD nothing was ever out of place.
But superwoman kicked in. I knew I needed to move. I couldn’t afford my rent and the new owners were letting the building deteriorate. Two years after my landlord's death, I was still living in the building alone. I needed to move!! But the reality of it was that I was too broke to move. Honestly, there were days I didn’t have grocery money. So I created a plan. If I sell everything and move into a smaller place, I could live off the book advance until the second portion of the advance kicked in and I went on book tour. I implemented my plan. I had a house sale for two months, I sold half of all my clothes, all my furniture, except my bed, bookshelves and two wingback chairs. I started packing and looking for a new place.
So Hyperion walked and it left me devastated, emotionally and financially. I had invested everything. But that’s another blog. The economy took a dive and speaking engagements dried up almost completely. I was stuck in this studio. It became demoralizing waking up every morning looking at my bed. Depression set in. My OCD was hijacked by space. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't keep the place picture perfect. I had way too much stuff and the space was way to small.
For sure I made it do what it do. Looking back on this space, I can’t believe it was the same place, but it was. Friends who came to visit thought I had decorated the hell of of this place, but to me it felt like I was living in hell. I needed a new plan, but I was even more broke then before. I had been selling my designer handbags and jewelry for the last two years just to keep the lights on. So I didn’t have what I had before to have a house sale. Speaking engagements were few and far between, and when I got one, I was always so behind I could never get caught up.
I prayed to God for a new place. A living room where I could put a sofa. A kitchen that was conducive to cooking, one of my favorite things to do. Walls where I could enjoy the beauty of my art. A building where young adults weren't in and out all hours of the night. And a place where they put their garbage in the can, not in the hall. I mean, I was living on the Gold Coast, but it felt like some slum building. Because the rent was so reasonable, it was the perfect location and building for young people who wanted to live in a trendy area, but at 48 and managing the world of AIDS, this was not the place for me. Things had to change. I no longer had a sanctuary and it was eating at my core.
gmatic plan. So I just acted on faith. I started packing. I started looking for a new apartment. And when my lease arrived, I laid it on the counter and didn't open it for two months. By that time I had missed the deadline and had no other choice but to move. But I had no money, that was a hard core reality. I let my faith guide me on this one. I never stopped packing and looking.
But I was flawed. I was looking at all these big fancy buildings with a doorman. And it was all alluring. I wanted to be able to move into one of these fancy buildings. But I had to be honest with myself. #ForReal. Who the hell was I trying to impress? Why was I considering going into more debt then I was already in? I had to get over myself and over this image of living large. You can’t live large broke, that’s a fact!! Living that lie will only dig your hole deeper and deeper. So I let it go and faced the reality. And once I was honest about it all, doors started to open. I was able to think with a clear head and act within my realities. Faith plus honest action will get you a lot farther then some pie in the sky dream. There is a method to climbing up the ladder: one step up at a time. If you take one step, God will take another. But faith without work is dead. I called my current landlord. He ain't the best landlord but I had heard through the grapevine that his other buildings were a whole lot better than the one I lived in. They had an apartment for rent and I saw it the same day.
Twitter. Even the doorman in the building down the street that I always speak to helped. It pays to be nice.
And for the last three weeks, I have been creating my sanctuary yet again. A place where I can exhale. And it’s turning out to be some kind of fabulous. I’m grateful for this blessing. Grateful for the therapist that insisted years ago that I create a space to call my own. In the world of AIDS and my public life, my home is that special place... my private space...my sanctuary.
beaded and tweeted. My sanctuary became less about space and more about my actions. Now I can merge the two yet again. I’m #FeelingBlessed.