Suffer for your art


I live in a closet. Which is very nearly a literal statement of fact, most people have living rooms that are bigger than my apartment.

On top of which the area this apartment of mine is located in is not the most ideal. In one month I witnessed a random man going through my mailbox, what was either a murder or drug bust at the house next door eventually involving the FBI, and a major fire in the other house next door which was ruled as arson even though there wasn’t any arrests or investigations.

Never a dull moment here.

The thing you need to understand is that it doesn’t need to be this way for me. Before moving here I lived with my mother at her quiet house some five minutes away. Only cost me two hundred every payday plus chipping in here and there for what might be needed, and I still got to live like a moderately irresponsible teen.

I also have had an offer from a good friend of mine to live with her rent free as long as I needed. While I’m sure I would be expected to carry my own weight and help where I could, I would still essentially be living twenty times better than I am now.

So why then I am living in my little rat nest for four fifty a month with such obviously better offers out there? Freedom mostly, the challenge of living on my own having endless hours of silence and no human contact. Learning how to be responsible for me and that it means more than paying your bills on time.

But as a creative person, it was something a little more than that. There was something poetic in the way this backside apartment looks out at the city from its hidden spot on the hill, the way it’s right in the middle of everything while being worlds away just like me.

I could immediately picture my ratty yellow chair at this one good window in front of a tiny square table where I could sit and write completely undisturbed for hours. The second I walked in I knew this was the home for a penniless writer just like me.

Then I fought for this place, actually fought not only the untold others trying to get in but myself and my nature as well. I am nearly thirty years old and I still avoid the phone like the plague. If I can’t do it online or over a text it simply doesn’t get done. I must have made two dozen phone calls of my own volition in one single day trying to pay a ridiculous holding fee so I would have time to pay the full deposit.

I organized the entire move myself, called up friends and friends of friends to help. People I can barely speak to in real life or face to face and I have no trouble sticking my hand out for a favor all of the sudden.

And somehow it all worked! Between that magic source of energy and bravery I drew from in those weeks (which I am still trying to find again), and my amazing mother who covered my ass where I didn’t realize it needed covering.

She deserves her own paragraph really. I spent all my savings and then some just to get the damn place, never thinking that I would need such mundane things like trash cans and dish soap. So behind my back, she drains her own savings and spends two hundred plus making sure I have my basics covered. Then she spends hours of her time making me curtains and decking out everything that it would feel just like home my first night.

That isn’t how it should have happened, it should have been so terrifying that I immediately back down, pitfalls should have been in place to make me stop and think before I acted, and my mother should have let me fall on my face if I wanted to run away from home so badly.

It has been almost seven months since I moved in here. And with all the drama and less than savory goings on, and yes even fighting for parking, I have to say that more and more it’s worth the experience.

Putting myself in this stressful and expedited learning process has made me stronger and more resilient than I thought I could ever become. And as an extension of that growth has made me braver with my writing.

I’m not saying that it has made me better at it of course. Even now part of me wants to trash this post because all I see is rambling and a vague point if you care to dig. But the fact that I am still writing it, and that will be adding it to the blog in the morning once I reconnect to the internet is a triumph. Pure and simple.

I leave you now with another sample from the Genre too perfect for words, I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor.


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