From Interior Designer To House Coach-Jody’s Story
A Prisoner in Your Own Home
I was married to my first husband for 15 years. We lived in three different houses, spending five years in each house. In our first house, I chose three different shades of white paint to use throughout the interior and the furniture was also shades of white with a few pops of color in throw pillows and wallpaper borders. The exterior of the house was a cheery yellow with white trim and a bright blue door. I now see how that perfectly reflects who I was at the time… trying to look happy on the outside while feeling lifeless and empty on the inside.
The second house was red with white trim. I painted it in a consistent shade of bright white throughout the entire house, so it was just a sea of white. We spent a significant amount of money on home improvements but it didn’t fit the life I longed for, so we moved on to house number three. It was significantly larger and had every design element I wanted but the life I longed for didn’t come with this house neither.
During my last month living there, I looked around with a new perspective and I was shaken to my core, when I realized that I felt like a stranger in this house. The walls and carpet were taupe in every room, and we purchased new chocolate brown leather furniture for the great room. I painted the walls with a faux finish and as I looked around from this fresh perspective, I was overcome with the realization that I made it look like a prison! The walls looked like concrete and they were towering over me. One month after making this realization, I walked out on my life, as I knew it and started over.
In house number three, I noticed startling patterns in myself: I would continuously make impulse purchases, only to find that I hated it, so I’d donate it to charity. Another pattern was my obsession with moving furniture around the house. You might think: “I do that too”, but this was truly an obsession. I’d rearrange it to what I thought was perfection, stand back to look at it and hate it so I’d move it again. This continued ALL DAY LONG. Eventually, the furniture might have ended up right back where it started, and I would be physically and emotionally exhausted and so frustrated because I couldn’t create “the look” I wanted. I was embarrassed, when family came by and saw that I changed something significant in the house since they last visited a few days ago.
House-coaching helped me realize that these obsessions and recurring patterns, was me trying to feel something, not simply trying to create a look. I was emotionally numb.
I recall meeting a massage therapist and we talked about color. She asked: “What’s your favorite color?” I replied: “I don’t know.” “Don’t you ever wake up craving to wear a certain color?” she asked. “No,” I said. “I can’t handle color. I have no color in my house and my wardrobe is 90% black.” Her next comment shocked me: “Jody, you have a lot of emotional issues going on and when you figure it out, you are going to crave color.” She was right. After I left my old life behind, I moved into a condo on the water and I filled it with the colors of a tropical beach getaway.
Living on my own for the first time in my life, I made my condo a nest for healing, discovering who I am and following my dream to become an interior designer. I wear my passions on my sleeve now and can’t imagine how I allowed myself to get so lost. I lived my life for someone else, on autopilot, just going through the motions. I buried myself and became the person I thought others wanted me to be.