– Jawanna Martinez
As many of you may know, widowhood has a keen way of making you question “Who am I?” There’s a need to sit back, contemplate, and discover who you are and what you want for your life. It can be intimidating, but also freeing. Freedom to reinvent and rediscover yourself, learn things you may not have known, try things you may have never tired, and accomplish things you didn’t believe possible.
I cautiously traveled my own path of self-discovery after Jon passed away. Some of the aforementioned facets were more difficult or took longer than others, but now, nearly 8 years into my widowhood journey, I can appreciate each and every bit of the transformation.
One of the pieces to my puzzle was creating a new space for my “new normal.” Our family had always been in an apartment, and never had the opportunity to really make a space of our own design. In each place we landed there were things that made it special, but I don’t ever recall experiencing that feeling that our humble abode was our sanctuary.
A year or two after I lost Jon, I found myself looking for a home that my boys and I could continue to move forward in. It was definitely bittersweet. I’d always dreamed of buying a home, and I’d always envisioned it as something I would do with my husband. But that didn’t deter me from finding the perfect place to provide my children and I the safety and stability that we so desperately needed.
When it came time to move in and furnish our new home, I thought long and hard about what I wanted it to “be”. I remember asking myself “what in this world, either object or place, brings you peace, tranquility and makes you happy?”
I carefully selected each and every item, and spent hours planning where each would go and what purpose it would serve.
The end result is a place that I love going home to and spending time in. A space that, when I walk into it, allows me to breathe and decompress after a long day. A home that I’m proud to welcome my friends and family into, because it reflects who I am… as well as something amazingly beautiful in this world that makes so many people happy!
I challenge each of you to take a look at your own spaces, whether it be a house, condo, or apartment. How does it make you feel? Now think of place that you go that you absolutely love. A place that seems to bring you an unexplainable joy each and every time you visit.
For me? It’s nature. Especially the beach. In fact, there have been several studies confirming the therapeutic properties (both mentally and physically) of being near the ocean. So, I closed my eyes and envisioned what the colors and textures of the beach looked like, and what things about the ocean I loved the best. From there I found myself gravitating towards cool shades of greens and blues. Splashes of bright white. Pops of vibrant colors. Seashells, reeds and grasses, beautiful glass bottles and vases, and distressed wood pieces.
“What is it about this place that makes me happy?”
Tap into your senses. Think of the sights, sounds, smells, and feel of it. Colors, textures, shapes… there are so many ways that you can incorporate this special place into YOUR special place. Then get creative! There’s no right or wrong way to express your creativity.
And no right or wrong way to create a space that soothes your soul!
If you feel like you lack the creativity bug, Pinterest will be your best friend. And don’t forget to check out some of the tips that Carolyn shared with us at the Widow Empowerment Weekend last summer!