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June 3, 2013 at 8:50 AMComments: 2 Faves: 0

Breathing Easy in My New Condo

By Claire Franklin More Blogs by This Author

I Can See Clearly Now!

I recently moved from a one-bedroom apartment into a three-bedroom condo, and I feel like a completely different person. I can breathe more deeply, my eyes can see more vividly, and my mind can think more clearly. In other words, I am much, much happier.

I was so miserable in my apartment that I believe it was actually making me sick. I’ve had more illnesses and ailments in the last 15 months than in my whole life combined. In that time, I have battled the flu, numerous stomach problems, several colds, two UTIs, and a bout of poison ivy. I have felt tired and cranky almost every day for the last four months, and my work productivity has slowly but steadily dropped since the new year.

I'm pretty sure that one’s living environment can, and does, directly influence things like creativity, productivity, happiness, and even well-being.

I blame most of this on my living environment. It was small and dark, with just two windows and four rooms total. I had no space to put anything and had to work while sitting on the couch with my notebook in my lap. My neighbors were a strange and restless bunch who added to the general glum feelings - one walked the sidewalks looking for discarded pop cans, while another spent every weekend with a different woman (I’m not exaggerating). The couple across from me made it their business to know what everyone else was doing, and the couple beside me smoked everything they could find – I know this because the odor made its way into my apartment regularly. I don’t have the vocabulary to describe how much I hated being there.

The Heebie-Jeebies

Sometimes, when I had to be in my apartment most of the day for work, I felt like the walls were closing in on me. I remember looking up once from my computer and thinking the walls were actually moving. Other times, I would pace the very narrow path I had in the living room, thinking that I’d never be able to leave and would spend the rest of my life in that 600 square foot space.

Based on these personal experiences, I'm pretty sure that one’s living environment can, and does, directly influence things like creativity, productivity, happiness, and even well-being. I know other people have it far worse than I did, and I know I shouldn’t complain about having a roof over my head, but the very air of that apartment felt stifling. I never felt a positive vibe when I was there, which is interesting when you consider the stories I once heard about that complex before I moved in.

Rumors circulated that the entire complex, all 600 units, sit atop an ancient Indian burial ground. The apartments are rumored to be haunted by those whose remains are buried there. Given the extensive macabre history of my hometown, this is almost believable. Can I confirm that ghosts roam the complex? No, but I can confirm that my individual apartment didn’t emit a happy feeling. Instead, it felt downtrodden and depressed, feelings that began to seep into me as well.

Needless to say, I am quite relieved to be out of there and into my new place. I have space to roam, a nice area for work, and more windows. I plan on using the energy that I absorb from the new condo to produce lots and lots of writing.

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  • that is awesome Claire, I'm fortunate enough to have my home (a ranch style home) and a cottage on a lake 40 minutes away. I love my home (although it could use some updates at this point, like new counter tops and a new floor in the kitchen) and I love my cottage. The difference is my cottage is quite small, I actually call it a doll house. But if we can keep the clutter down to a minimum then it doesn't seem so bad. My husband added a porch with three sliding glass doors to the lake side of the cottage and this is our favorite room. I agree with you open space is very very nice to have that's for sure.

  • I can agree, sometimes we just want a home. I feel at home in my apartment, but someday I do want a house. I remember when I lived in the dorms for college, it felt like a prison cell. There were things to do besides be there, but whenever the doors shut behind me I felt instantly sad and lonely.

    I used to feel that way in my old apartment too, before I moved in with my fiance. It's all about the attitude you feel in your living environment that can make a big difference.

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