Five years ago I bought my first car, brand new, a shiny little black Chevy coupe. I had a perfectly serviceable car at the time that was just much older and not flashy:
a 1994 Oldsmobile Achieva; I still miss that car!!
But I wanted to be seen looking successful and flashy and stylin' in my sporty coupe. I was heading home to where I'd grown up and although I didn't know it at the time, I was feeling insecure about how little I thought I'd achieved in life. I wanted a symbol of my success, or at least, a way to fake it, when I went back. So I bought it, and went a step further and got the upgraded sports model with shiny rims & sunroof & spoiler & fancy-ass sound system .....
That car was awesome, and I loved it. Until about five minutes after I signed the contract and went to talk to the friendly insurance agent. When I realized that my insurance payment was going to be two thirds of my car payment all over again, I started to feel a little short of breath, but stupid pride wouldn't let me say "whoa, I totally didn't research insurance properly, I thought it was going to be less, I take it BACK, keep the car!!" I was so stubborn, even when I had panic attacks driving away in that car, I still didn't turn around.
Two years later, I sold it for a car that was less than half in insurance payments that I like just fine but I had to finance the shortfall (sorry if that was too technical; basically when I went to sell the coupe I owed more than it was worth so the salesperson very kindly just increased the purchase price of the replacement vehicle to cover it). Ergo ... I'm still paying for that stupid car.
Here's the point of that sad, sad tale: five years ago, shiny speedy new was my priority. I stayed in the shiny, flashy, new mentality despite the panic attacks for a long time. Actually I think until I adopted my dog, I still fantasized about wearing sleek, sexy clothes, driving a fancy car, and living in an uber-shiny, modern apartment:
I thought I wanted to live here....
But the dog changed everything. Partly cause he chewed half of my stuff, but also because my priorities changed. I wanted a car that I could put a wet, muddy dog in without wincing. I wanted comfortable furniture, easy to clean floors, easy access to the outdoors, preferably trails and parks. And when it's pouring rain or blizzarding outside, there's a certain point you reach when you just don't care HOW you look, you don't care if your boots don't match your coat or if everything you're wearing is giant and puffy and makes you look like the Michelin man and your touque is some retarded thing you found buried in the back of your mother's closet - you just care that you are WARM and capable of moving around with your extremely active dog:
my niece and I in the backyard at my parents' place
you can just see Anu's head; watching us very intently in case we have a ball (of course I do!)
Also, I'd gotten into the habit of doing crafting, knitting and sewing projects. I'm not saying I was very good, but it changed me dramatically. I stopped wanting to buy anything and even if my dishclothes were kind of crooked with holes in them where I dropped a stitch, I loved them. I gave friends homemade cards and when, instead of sneering at them, they expressed amazement that I was 'crafty', I honestly experienced a feeling just like when the Grinch's heart grew "three sizes" in his chest :)
And I got addicted to DIY blogs and the idea that I could actually create my own stuff that does what I want it to, instead of having to organize my life around premade stuff that other people want/ed. When I came across this blog post on apartment therapy, I fell instantly in love (well, not with the rug, that stuff reminds me of milk commercials, eeeuughhh). Someday I will make this!
... turns out I wanted to live here!
I love how no two items in this room match exactly. The sofa's also modular and can be transformed into a bed just by rolling the two end pieces around front (so much better than offering guests a lumpy futon!)
I loved the idea of not only creating something myself, but also something that reflects me and my priorities. Mismatched rooms illustrate a lack of concern with perfection, and a room/house that says "Above all, we prioritize the unique, comfortable, open, and honest" also says "WELCOME! You're Awesome! You fit right in!!"
Wouldn't you want to go visit / live there?