A community of peers created by the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation
In March of 2011 I moved into a new studio apartment. I had given away 80% of my worldly belongings, gone through Jon's things and donated most of them, and given up my large home in the suburbs. I went from 1432 square feet to 400 square feet. My new studio was on the main shopping street of a good sized city on an island in the San Francisco Bay. I moved over Starbucks. I have a movie theater a half a block away and a bookstore the same distance in the other direction. I have 30 restaurants withing walking distance of my front door.
The building was built in 1890 with a major remodel in 1938. It's funky, Art Deco and fabulous. I have to keep old-fashioned fuses on hand because if I turn the microwave on while the TV is on and then the refrigerator cycles on, I blow a fuse. The kitchen has a built in booth and a 24" wide stove. I LOVE IT! My view is of my bank across the parking lot.
I moved my things in and sort of arranged the furniture. I rearranged it all after 6 months when I finally bought a screen to divide the bed space from the living space. I kept all my artwork and have hung it to delineate spaces in the main room. It's become very cozy except I just had mini blinds on the windows in the living room and nothing on the kitchen window. The kitchen window looks out into a ventilation shaft, and while I kind of like the galvanized steel lined shaft, there is really no view. The living room looks out over a rather barren rooftop with my bank across the parking lot. Not really much of a view either. And I didn't make curtains. I thought about it many times. I had the perfect fabric in my closet for the kitchen window; I just needed to buy two tension rods. I measured for the rods as soon as I moved in and finally bought them 11 months later. It had been so long I had to remeasure. It only took an evening to finish making the curtains and hang them. They added such hominess and comfort to the kitchen.
The living room was another story. I couldn't decide what I wanted to do. I thought I wanted a cool retro 40s fabric to go with the style of the architecture BUT that would have been a busy pattern and would trigger my ADD. I knew how I wanted them to hang, I knew the texture of the fabric I wanted, I knew I was limited in color choices because of all the artwork in the space. After MONTHS of consideration, I chose a soft dove gray raw silk noil. I finally bought the fabric 15 months after moving, even though the bare rods had been there waiting since I moved in. It took me two evenings to measure, cut and sew. I got them hung and every wrinkle steamed out and started to sob. This really was my life now. I made the curtains and admitted that I could not go back to "before", back to when Jon and I had a life together. This was why it took me so long to make curtains. I wasn't ready to let go of the dream that Jon was just away for awhile and he would be back soon. They day I hung the curtains was the day my new life really began, the day I began to accept it was just me now, the day my hope changed from Jon coming back to a future for the new me. It was two years after Jon died and I was just starting to face my new reality. Because of curtains.