By Tanay Adams
I’ve recently given up living independently and moved home to take up space in my older sisters’ two-bedroom townhouse. It’s the first time I’ve lived with someone in almost five years, and though I moved from a studio, I built my place to be my personal sanctuary. It was a direct reflection of who I was; plants and crystals on every ledge, dried rosemary and sage hung on the wall with twine and gold accents here and there. It was my first apartment, and it took a little over two years to get it to a place that radiated exactly what I needed to feel at home. When guests would visit, they’d always comment on how it felt like a time warp in my spot and how they were so calm there that they could sit on my couch all day. Though I would never let that happen, I still enjoyed the complement of people feeling at home or miles away from their trouble just by stepping through my door. Since I’ve moved home, my living space has gotten bigger, but my sanctuary has gotten smaller.
Two things are true; I am blessed to have a whole room to myself in her house, and I fully recognize that this is her house. The second part of that statement made the first part of the statement seem a little more daunting, especially because it isn’t my intention to stay with my sister long-term. I’d been putting off, hanging up my pictures, buying a dresser, and unpacking my things, telling myself that I didn’t want to get too comfortable. Still, I’ve realized that delaying these things has made it impossible even to feel comfortable. By not physically and emotionally unpacking my move from Kansas back to South Carolina, I’ve really delayed my healing process and been denied the opportunity to create a new sanctuary for myself in this new path I’m taking. I am not the same, so my space isn’t going to look the same either. It reminded me of other situations, places, and relationships I’d been in where I was never fully present because I hadn’t unpacked the last one, and I wasn’t sure how long this was going to last itself. I prevented myself from feeling comfortable simply because of the fear of change, but I have no intentions of staying the same, so change it’s got to be.
I’m now more intentional in making sure that I’ve taken time to create space for me within this space. I realize that I feel at home when I see my image reflected back to me, whether it’s putting my favorite snacks in the cabinet or finally hanging up my tapestry in my bedroom. Though it’s a new experience, a new place, and a new way of living, I can fully embrace this new change to make sure I take time to create my space and set up my sanctuary. No matter where I am, and no matter how short or long term I’m going to be there, I deserve to feel comfortable and at peace as long as I’m currently there.
Tanay M.A. is a contributing writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. Tanay’s passions lie in holistic education and creative/poetry writing; both are heavily influenced by her love of Black Women, and her love of creation. You can follow her on Instagram @theamazingtanayzing