November 10, 2011 2:36 PM Subscribe
Help me hack my living space or the way I deal with it... or decide to move out!
posted by carolinaherrera to Human Relations (30 answers total)
I'm currently living in a tiny room in a major city. The room is dark, very permeable to noise from all sides (people walking in the hallway on one side, road noise on the other, then the last two are the kitchen and living room), and really cramped. All of the bedrooms in the house are taken for the foreseeable future and there's no way I can switch.
I have depression and anxiety issues and disturbed sleep really exacerbates these conditions. If I get awakened at 4 am by someone going to the bathroom, I might not get to bed until 6 am, and then I'll sleep until 11 am, feeling crappy and depressed the next day. Since I mostly do my own projects, that means I waste a day and get nothing done. I'm in a "What am I doing with my life?!" phase, and I get distracted and off track very easily. I'm pretty unmotivated, and frustrated with myself.
Move, you say?
Well, I live with three roommates whom I absolutely adore. Two are old friends I've known for a long time and the third is a new friend that I really love. It feels like home and family to me, which is really important because I had a very dysfunctional family background and stability in my living situation is very soothing to me. They are great roommates and we mesh well with level of cleanliness, sociability, etc. We have a lot of joint social events and I'm de facto invited to whatever they go to, which is nice because I travel a lot and when I come home I have a ready-made social life. I can borrow my roommates' cars whenever I like. And the location is fantastic.
Also, the rent is very inexpensive. I travel a lot for various projects and I don't have to sublet my room when I'm gone, which is lovely, because I can always just come home whenever I want to. It feels like the room in my parents' house that I can always come back to, that I never had. I have a lot of issues around having a place that is always there for me, and this place makes me feel safe.
Financially, I'm in a weird spot. I have a lot of savings, but not a lot of income. So low overhead is really good for me. But if I rented a more expensive place and sublet it while I'm gone, that might work out similarly on a financial level (with a lot more work). Also, I'm in a phase of not knowing what I want to do with my life, so I might want to travel for an extended period of time, but it's nice to have a home base. I LOVE the city this apartment is in.
I feel like I am moving on socially a bit from these friends. They are well-compensated professionals but very laid back about their careers. I want to be with go-getters, with big ambitions and classy dinner parties. But somehow in a place with low rent. Hmm...
Things I've done to deal with the situation:
- Get a powerful set of speakers for my room so I can block out the noise with music
- Buy new furniture for my room so I have a proper place to work in my tiny room, a nice bed, good lighting, etc.
- Take melatonin and/or Ambien when I absolutely need to sleep
- Talk to my roommates about being super quiet -- they are really nice about it
So... what should I do to make this place better? Or to make it easier to deal with? Or should I just move out?
This is kind of a last-ditch effort to keep living with these people I really like, if only I could solve the problems above.
Thank you, Mefites!