A Room of My Own

“I almost wish I hadn’t gone down that rabbit-hole – and yet – and yet – it’s rather curious, you know, this sort of life! I do wonder what can have happened to me!”

It was almost six months ago that I fell down the rabbit hole. My partner of three years came home one night, completely out of the blue and with no warning, and said he wasn’t happy and he thought we should break up.

The last six months have been some of the most remarkable of my life. Friends have rallied to support me and the direction of my life has completely changed. A full life renovation was inevitable: I had to examine everything in my life, think about why I’d kept it, whether it still worked, whether it was of value to me, and get rid of everything that just wasn’t.

So I gave up living way out in the suburbs in a handsome garden apartment (a location agreed on between me and my ex, designed to be closer to his work). I gave up knitting, which I’d largely taken up as part of a knitting circle with his mom. I gave up reading things that were good for me rather than things I was interested in. I gave up ever tolerating opera (which had been another concession to his mom). I gave up sitting at home every evening watching TV and eating pizza, which was his preferred way to unwind. I gave up some friendships that had fit us as a couple, instead of me as an individual.

And part of that life renovation was also going on a life shopping spree for new things to replace all the stuff I got rid of. I went to New York and lived in Brooklyn for a month, I took up metalworking and rock climbing, I started rediscovering my artistic inspiration, I went back into community theater. I spent time with friends I’d missed while living out in the boonies, and made some acquaintances into friends. My friend K remarked to my friend E recently, “While I’m really sorry Beckery’s going through this, it’s been great to have a chance to actually get to know her.”

I’ve just moved into a new apartment with a new roommate, after several months of couch-surfing while I tried to figure out what I’m doing with my life. Before we moved in, I decided to make the space that was mine really mine — no compromises, no half-measures. And after a while, a Pinterest board just wasn’t enough in terms of containing my thoughts on the process and the goals. So here we are.