Decorating and My Self-Esteem
The best feeling in the world is knowing I’m going home after work. Being home makes me feel good because I can be myself. I can sit in silence and think. I can take a moment for myself. I can make a list of things to do and decide to do nothing. I can look at all the happy people on social media and silently judge the attention seekers. My home is my comfort zone. I don’t agree with the idea that states comfort is the enemy of achievement. Yes, I think that sometimes I should do things that make me feel uncomfortable, but ultimately I believe that my comfort zone is where I can reset and reflect. I lived most of my life feeling uncomfortable about being an introvert and feeling like I needed to not be an introvert. Literally. I spent many years not feeling comfortable in my skin. I challenge myself to speak to people and open up more. I have done plenty of things to step out of my comfort zone and still have more things to do. However, I refuse to believe that my comfort zone is hindering my growth. My comfort zone is the reason why I’m growing because it’s my place of peace and calm. Since my home is my place of comfort I think it’s important to have things in it that make me feel good.
Before moving to Kuwait I felt at ease knowing I would move into a fully furnished apartment. It’s stressful having to buy furniture and add to that decorating and putting things in the right place. I would have had to think about the color scheme and hanging up pictures, and making sure things match. As if I didn’t have enough to think about moving to a new country in and of itself. Knowing that my apartment was fully furnished put me at ease until I got here. Imagine my shock when I found out a fully furnished ugly apartment is not all it’s cracked up to be. I appreciated that I had furniture, that I had a place I didn’t have to pay for, but wasn’t nice. Everything was envy green – all my curtains, the couch cushions, and even the base of my dining table was green. This was a little disturbing and I’m not even going to touch on the fact that my couch was basically a long wooden chair with cushions. I wasn’t angry because I had more pressing issues to worry about like the first day of school and getting my classroom ready. I was just a tiny bit disappointed. The most I did with that apartment was buy a small pot for my aloe vera plant and hung up a picture I got for free. Everything else remained as is (outside of me changing the furniture around from time to time). So when the opportunity came for me to move to another individualized fully furnished apartment, I took it.
When I first moved into this new apartment (which is my current apartment) it already came decorated, painted, with nice comfy couches. I didn’t put much thought into doing anything because I liked it as is. I also had more pressing issues like, the first day of school and getting my classroom ready. I put a few pictures up and that was all. It wasn’t until the beginning of this school year that I decided to make it my own. I was so excited about my plans for decorating that I came up with a name for it. The three p’s- pillows, plants, and pictures. I was happy because I took a task that was complicated in my head and made it simple.
Thinking about decorating gave me anxiety because as I explained last week my perfectionist philosophy has been if I can’t do it perfect then, why bother? I considered all the effort my mom put into decorating our home (which she is so great at that her work could be featured in a magazine) and decided there were too many details that I didn’t want to think about. I use to call myself lazy, but in actuality, it was because I didn’t want to add to my list of things to worry about and overthink. My way of coping with perfectionism is to not give myself too many things to focus on. I do my best work when I’m focused on a few things at a time and I fail miserably when I try to do too much. Part of the reason why I get anxiety in the first place because I try to do too much. This school year has been the first year I started with confidence in myself. So that gave me the mental space to even be able to think about how I could personalize my space. When I came up with the three p’s I realized how easy it can be and how I was stressing over nothing.
Pillows, pictures, and plants
As the name suggests, I focused on getting pillows for my couch, pictures for my empty frames, and plants. The pillows and plants were the easy part. I knew I wanted a peace lily and snake plant to help purify the air. As far as pillows I just chose the ones that spoke to me. Getting pictures was not a hard task, I decided to use photos I took and ones printed from the internet. The hard part was finding the photos online that would fit what I was looking for, which again wasn’t that hard. Decorating my apartment made me realize how much of a monster task I made it out to be, when really it’s just a minor one. Personalizing is what I like and not what designers find aesthetically pleasing. I have to be pleased with the outcome because it is my comfort zone. Yes, I can take advice from designers, but my decisions are based on what makes me happy. I also learned that you don’t have to do much to create a nice looking space. Pillows, pictures, and plants or small details really do make a difference. I learned that decorating is more than just making my apartment look nice. It is customizing my space to an aesthetic that speaks to me and makes me happy. Now when I move into a new space I know I am capable.