Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Another Healthy Choice, Perhaps? (Warning: It's a long post)

On this day in 2011, I was flying down to North Carolina to meet the Professor for the first time face-to-face. We'd been "dating" for just over two months via phone, email and Skype by then, so it seemed like the next logical step. That was the day he officially asked me to be his girlfriend. Of course I said, "Yes!"

Fast forward to today- November 5, 2013 and I've been single for just over two months. Over Labor Day weekend the Professor and I called it quits. It wasn't an easy decision to make and there were lots of tears from both of us. I don't really want to go into all the details, as it still stings, but the bottom line is that just because you love someone doesn't mean you're meant to be with them. We probably would have figured that out a lot sooner had we lived closer to each other in the beginning of our relationship. I don't have any regrets with regard to my relationship- the time I spent on/in it and the eventual ending of it. After all, it helped shape who I am today and that's not so bad, right?

My coworker McKenzie went on maternity leave early in August and at the time, the Professor and I were having serious conversations about my moving down to North Carolina to be there full time. We talked about where I would live, what kind of job I could get, how I would fit into his life and also make my own, etc. When she came back from her maternity leave a little over two months later, she said she hardly recognized me. I was now a single girl, who'd moved into a new apartment on the seacoast of New Hampshire instead of the mountains of North Carolina and who had also suddenly started running. Yup, I've started running. Who knows how long it will last, but right now I'm training for a Turkey Trot 5K and I'm only up to about 1.6 miles. Yikes! I've got a ways to go and only a few weeks to get there!

Since the break-up, I've tried to remain focused on things that make me happy, things that are healthy and things that keep me busy and distracted. First up, a new apartment. I decided to move closer to work and in doing so, reduced my daily commute by a little over 60 minutes. No joke. Such a great decision!

Seriously cute, right? When I first looked at the apartment, the only thing I didn't love was the wallpaper in the kitchen. The owners had done such a great job on everything else and I still don't understand why they left it. Anyway, I figured if I made everything in the kitchen as bright and cheerful as possible, you'd really just notice all the bright, cheerful things and the wallpaper would fade into the background. So, what's the verdict? Did I succeed? I made the curtains myself and painted the table, too. Here's the "before":

Obviously, it's in two pieces in the photos, but isn't it just the prettiest darn pedestal table you've ever seen? My friend Amy scored it on craigslist- she saw the ad and inquired about it for herself, and only afterwards found out they were actually selling TWO of them! At the time, I hadn't signed a lease, but how on earth could I have passed on this gorgeous table? Honestly, try to find a prettier pedestal table than this and you'll absolutely struggle. The best part? I paid $65 for it! I spent an afternoon painting it the following week and I'm quite proud of the end result: 

The color on top is called "Spiced Butternut" and the bottom is "Powdered Snow." It's actually the leftover white paint from when I renovated Juhree's office a few months ago. I used the same primer for this project as well. I think the color is perfect and works so well with the salmon curtains! 

There's more art on the walls now and I've moved a few things around, but I'm really happy with the end result of the kitchen. The thing about moving was that most of what I own has been in storage for the last three years. I sold the majority of my furniture when I moved from PA back to NH, but I kept all the little bits- books, music, kitchen stuff, artwork, etc. When I was unpacking in the new place, it felt a little like Christmas Day- I kept saying things like, "Ooh! A toaster!" and "Wow! I forgot I have this!" But as for the furniture, I was basically starting all over. I basically owned my bedroom set and not much more in the way of furniture. I scouted craigslist, Goodwill, Salvation Army and lots of second-hand furniture stores. I also hit Target, Marshalls and Home Goods pretty hard for some basic decor pieces to add a little character. Here's the end result...

The bedroom:

I still have to make valances for the windows, but I haven't found fabric that's quite what I'm looking for. I'm thinking grey and white stripes, but that's proving difficult to find, so I may have to come up with an alternate plan. We'll see...

Oh, I almost forgot the best part of the bedroom- the CLOSET!

I literally need a step stool to get to the top shelves! 

My friends have been calling me "Imelda." I'm not ashamed. I love shoes. Also, I don't even own a tenth of what she did, so there. :) 

Now for my favorite room, the living room, or as I've taken to calling it, "The Parlor":

When I first started planning for the apartment, I pictured a pristine white sofa. Then I saw that glorious lime green one and my world was shaken. As I lay on it, trying to picture my new living room design and attempting to wrap my brain around the idea of a lime green sofa, I suddenly felt happy and inspired by the challenge. And I have to say that these photos are really not doing the color justice. It's really lime-y! And in the end, I found a fabulous cream-colored chair-and-a-half with a matching ottoman that I'm using as a coffee table. In the end, I didn't have to choose! Oh, and yes, that's a turquoise blue piano. Because a lime green sofa isn't quite enough color, I had to turn my piano from this: 

Side note: Strongman Piano Movers are worth EVERY PENNY. 

To this:

More of that fabulous Zinsser primer! 

And finally to this: 

I'm quite proud of the paint job I did. I took the day off work when I had the piano moved and decided to spend the afternoon painting it BLUE! I couldn't be happier with the result and it is truly a great conversation piece. I bought the piano second hand from a very nice gentleman on craigslist. Much like the kitchen table, I hadn't yet signed a lease when I bought it. Fortunately, the original owner of the piano was an absolute sweetheart and offered to hold onto it until I was ready to move. He kept it for nearly a month and then was wonderfully flexible and accommodating when it came time to move it. I know that craigslist has a bad reputation (for legitimate reasons), but the last two months, craigslist has been a source of friendliness, kindness and fabulously cheap furniture! No joke, I've met some really nice people there lately, so while I still encourage people to be cautious and careful when meeting up with strangers, I absolutely recommend New Hampshire craigslist without reservation. 

Finally, the last room to come together was the sewing room: 

Believe it or not, this tiny room took the longest to unpack and set up. I still have yet to use it, but that will be changing very soon as I have some sewing projects to complete ASAP. 

So, there you have it- a little tour of my new home. I'm very comfortable and happy here, although if you'd told me a year ago that I would be living in a place like this, in this town, I would have said you were crazy. In addition to moving, I've been re-defining my daily life. It used to revolve around nightly Skype dates and countdowns to the next flight south. Now, I'm.... running. But seriously, all you can do after a tough break-up is wake up every morning knowing that it's all for a reason and there's something better out there (for both of you). I'm past the point of feeling sad all the time and I'm ready for what the future has in store. I wish nothing but good things for the Professor and I know he feels the same way towards me. Is there a better way to break up? I don't think so. 

So, in addition to running, I'm resolving to blog more! I still love fashion and style and this blog has always been something so fun for me to do. It's an ideal hobby, really. So, check back again soon! I've got lots to show and tell! :) 


Beth said...

I know you and love you, so I'm biased, but even if we were complete strangers, I'd be so impressed and moved by your attitude and the way you embrace every challenge. You're a marvel and an inspiration, and not just for your fabulous taste!

Renée T. Bouchard said...

Thanks, Beth! You just made my day! :)

MJ said...

Beth Could have said it better and I totally agree! Love you Nay! So prior to be your friend!

Renée T. Bouchard said...

Mel, I'm proud to be your friend, too! (At least that's what I think you meant! lol!)

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