Last night was my last in the DreamLoft, an amazing 3000sf space that was home for a short period of time. Truly, it was unlike any space I had ever seen, but the practicalities of dealing the with incompetent management made the DL, well, more of a nightmare. Still, I'm so grateful for my time here. I mean, look at it!
Not sure if my new place will have the chartreuse wall as the ceilings are 17 feet high (that would make for a lot of paint action), but rest assured the furniture will be coming with.
What is important right now, though, is for me to reflect on what the DreamLoft was and what I can learn from the experience. Here's what I've got so far:
I behaved with the DreamLoft in the way I used to behave with dudes.
This was so amazing to observe in myself. I got blinded by its glittering hardwoods. It swept me off my feet with the 360 degrees of windows. The walk-in shower was pretty baller status. And I had plenty of wall space for the requisite handstands during the middle of the day. I even had room for ALL (every last bit of) my shit.*
In a word, the DreamLoft was a dream. A total catch. I felt so very lucky. Undeserving, even. I loved showing him off. And my ego loved how having him made me feel.
His glamour and, get this, potential, so enamored me that I was willing to overlook what I had already heard about the management. I didn't ask the right questions. And so I signed on the dotted line.
Then I proceeded to ignore EVERY SINGLE RED FLAG he threw in my face.
And boy, there were plenty, from day one. (See, doesn't this sound familiar???) When management did make mistakes (after mistake after mistake after mistake after mistake), I let them apologize and clean up their mess and convinced myself that I could "make it work."
Until one day.
The final straw came with a $2900 utility bill.
When I questioned it with the landlord (they were oh so proud of the new meter they put in for my apartment only), they said, "There's nothing we can do." In other words, "We don't give a shit."
And I knew I hadn't used that amount of energy. If I was going to resolve this final snafu, I was going to have to do it myself. Turns out that I received the bill for several other units along with management's OFFICE AND WORKSHOP. They claim it was a mistake, so considering there are only 2 meters for the building methinks they are both idiots and crooks.**
In a moment, I realized that I was done. I realized that no expanse of shining hardwoods, no future promise of a roofdeck, no amount of makeup couch sitting*** could make this better.
It was time to give up the Dream. I could no longer cajole, control, or make it better. You know the whole pig/lipstick thing. The DreamLoft was and is dysfunctional.
For the past six months I had let myself be a victim, and I wasn't going to take it anymore!
Looking back on it, as I sit here on Orange Crush in the DreamLoft for the last time, I am grateful for its lessons.
Intuitively, I knew that the DreamLoft was a metaphor.
It was the physical space that would hold a massive amount of transformation and growth, if I let it. It was HUGE. And forced me to dream in technicolor, jump higher and play bigger than I ever thought I could/would/should. I actually ran away from it for quite awhile. Technically, I moved in June 10, but I don't think I stayed there more than a few nights in a row until sometime in August. My office manager, Karen, knew where things were more than I did!
I didn't really settle in until October. And when I finally did, whoa, so much amazingness happened it's pretty unreal!
At some level, perhaps I was avoiding the inevitable pain that accompanies growth...but I'm glad that I finally let myself be here.
It gave me a wonderful space in which to contemplate, read, meditate, move, mastermind and be in community with my friends/family who visited.
Thank you, DreamLoft, for your lessons. And now I move on with fond memories and a brand new storage unit.
My recap of things to consider before I jump into another LTR (with an apt or otherwise):
* Do your homework! Ask tough questions. Get to know his friends/family/customers.
* Don't ignore red flags. Especially if they come frequently.
* Remember how you want to be treated. If he can't treat you that way consistently, is he worth it?
* Don't let external qualities blind you to the interior/core. It's what goes on between you that matters most.
* Employ the concept of sunk cost. Just because you've invested time/money/energy into him doesn't mean you have to "stick it out."
* If you ever use the words "I'm going to stick it out" you better start to get REALLY curious with yourself about that situation.
* Watch your tendency to try to fix things/make them better. That's codependency 101 sister.
* If something sucks, say it sucks and make a decision to move on or make it better. Very simple.
I am happy to report that I'm moving to a new place today- pictures forthcoming. So long DreamLoft. Thanks for the memories.
* That would include: my gifts stash, craft supplies, sewing stuff, paint/canvases, a massive wardrobe including shoes/jewelry, and a whole bunch of books and vitamins. All in one place. For the first time EVER. It was amazing. No storage unit visits. Ahhhhh.
** I am publicly going on the record (and will yelp and google review) the egregiously ridiculous events that have characterized my business dealings with Fountainhead Development, a local Richmond landlord, about whom I had heard bad things prior to leasing with them. Avoid them at all costs, people. They have mostly misguided and inexperienced staff, poor communication, little (if any) attention to detail, inept leadership in the owners who point fingers rather than take responsibility and most of the contractors doing maintenance (with Tommy and Freddie being exceptions) don't give a shiznit about their work. Case in point: gaping hole around switch plate in bathroom. Maintenance request put in. Whoever repaired it slapped spackle ON TOP OF switch plate without removing it from wall to actually repair the damage, wiped it down and called it a day. No sanding. No painting. Dunzo. How you do the small things is how you do the big things... so let's not even get to the multiple move-in dates, massive leaks, and my threatening to put rent money in escrow before I could get my basic maintenance requests for oh, hot water in my bathtub, fulfilled. Consumers need to know about businesses like this, and I am happy to share the facts of my experience.
*** Get it? makeup couch sitting is a euphemism for makeup sex!!