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Category: my story

Welcome to My Office

The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.—Maya Angelou

After three years of seeing therapy clients at The Women’s Center downtown, I began private practice early last year. Craving character and charm, my practice launched in a historic building off Dupont Circle, The Anchorage Building. I started, as many therapists do, by subletting other therapists’ space.

For nearly a year and a half I’ve shared a few offices with other therapists while craving the opportunity to create my own space. As the Maya Angelou quote above mentions, I wanted to set up a safe space for myself and clients. Something more me.

Every few months I followed up with building management to inquire about any space opening in this sweet, five-story structure. Finally, a room with a fireplace and window opened. And it turned out to be the very first space I had sublet, so I knew it intimately.

Within days I signed the lease, sent in my deposit, and chose the furnishings for an August 1 move in date. My tiny apartment was soon filled with large boxes awaiting their new home.

When designing the space, I started with the bigger pieces: a champagne tufted velvet chair, a beige tufted velvet settee, a champagne gold mirror desk, a baroque acrylic chair, a smoky crystal chandelier, and a mirror coffee table. I craved cozy, comfy, and chic.

Then I filled in the rest. Obsessed with details, I carefully chose: a letter board with pink, white, and gold letters, a handwoven jute rug, faux fur pink pillows and a white faux fur sheepskin rug, a champagne-colored aromatherapy machine, a pink urn-styled bowl for mints, a gold urn-styled bowl for a tea assortment, an acrylic trash can, tray, and tissue box, pothos, philodendron, and peace lily plants in various shades of green (all known to purify the air), a gold baroque mirror tray, a gold baroque mirror for the fireplace mantle, two retro silver clocks, a medallion for the chandelier, gold pig bookends (still to come and will be spray painted gold), and birch wood for the fireplace.

I wanted to create a soft, feminine, inviting space filled with comforting touches. The jute rug and plants bring in natural elements, while the chandelier and faux fur provide luxurious elements.

It appears the style leans a little boho glam. There are a few how-to articles that I found after choosing my decor and wondering what to call it. Here’s one from Surround Yourself, Houzz, and Decorista.

And the best part, I stayed under a $2,000 budget thanks to Target (coffee table), Overstock (velvet chair), Ebay (chandelier/medallion), and Amazon (everything else, yep, even the plants).

The only item I purchased in person is the large peace lily and pot in the window. The remaining items were brought from home or used in my previous offices—books, rattan and damask file boxes, K mug, water bottle, pens, washi tape, and candle.

It’s my first full week of seeing clients in this office and it feels soft, light, and airy. A home away from home. A safe space to explore, process, and be. I feel honored to help facilitate the experience in this setting. Bisous. x

{photos by Marie Maroun}

July in Review

The people that I liked and had not met went to the big cafes because they were lost in them and no one noticed them and they could be alone in them and be together.—Hemingway

Month in Review

Last month’s jaunt to Paris truly was a moveable feast. From riding a carousel, to eating a vegan rhubarb kiwi crisp, to writing in Luxembourg Garden, to doing yoga in the Tuileries, to sipping pot after pot of green mint tea at sidewalk cafes. Suffice it to say, the experience was sensory-filled and I’ll be writing about it here shortly.

July provided a few exciting opportunities such as signing a lease on my own office space (I’ve been subletting the past 1.5 years), seeing Ain’t Too Proud at The Kennedy Center (SO good), meeting Jamie Cat Callan, and spending 10 days in Paris.

In addition to these experiences, I made it to the other side of a 10-day summer cold, enjoyed two belated birthday teas with girlfriends, shipped 70 Year of Tranquility care packages, conducted interviews for upcoming podcasts, hosted two Facebook Lives, handled TONS of Paris logistics from hotel to transport to programming to goody bags, hosted five weeks of the Year of Tranquility yoga module, spent hours online purchasing furnishings for my new office (blush or gold?), took numerous ballet classes and am FINALLY seeing some improvement, hosted a five-day Paris writing retreat with a GREAT group, penned numerous thank-you notes, sent a Love Note,  co-hosted a Pigs & Pugs Project board meeting, released three podcasts, collaborated with therapy and mentoring clients, and did my best to navigate jet lag.

I chose the Hemingway quote at the top because I resonate with the people in the big cafes. There’s something about being solo in a group of people that feels comforting and anonymous. It’s my favorite place to be. As an INFJ I crave alone time, desire to go unnoticed in public places (wearing all black helps with that), and am quite private (despite blogging since 2004).

At some point during the last five months of 2018 I want to go on a quiet, contemplative getaway that involves getting lost in Parisian cafes, a Redwood forest filled with ferns three times my size, or a cabin in the woods surrounded by snow-capped firs. Alone, yet together with other cafe goers or wild creatures inhabiting the woods. If you have any location suggestions where Gizmo can tag along, I’m all ears. Bisous. x

August Wish List

Settle into my new office
Daily reading time
Finish Happily Ever Esther
Read A Moveable Feast
Cultivate backyard garden
Savor walks with pups
Lots of girlfriend time
See McQueen
Take three weekly ballet classes
Organize Tranquility du Jour and Year of Tranquility feedback into projects
Learn lots at Main Street Vegan Master Class in NYC
Finish Module 2 and 3 of Journal Therapy program
Finish Module 1 of Veterinary Social Work
Daily greens
Collaborate with therapy and mentoring clients
Pen blog post about Paris, my new office, and my “uniform”
Consider home kitchen and bathroom renovation
Schedule self-care {Year of Tranquility monthly focus}
Update therapy website with new photos

Savvy Sources

Forget a Fast Car: Creativity is the New Midlife Crisis Cure
Why You Should Be Revisiting Your New Year’s Resolutions
8 Outdoor Spaces to Inspire Your Own Small Space Oasis
Taking Control of Your Distracted Mind
Beginner’s Guide to Boho Glam
Reinventing Yourself
10 Wellness Tips to Live Like a Parisian
50 Ways to Cultivate a Creative Habit

Online Bon Voyage Video

Paris is always a good idea.—Audrey Hepburn

Tonight we fly to Paris. I can’t believe I’m typing this!

Earlier I hosted an Online Bon Voyage to share  tips on scarf tying à la Parisian {crashed by Jackson the cat}, our Paris preparation process {hint: it’s extensive}, and a peek into the 10-day adventure.

Missed us live? No worries, here’s the replay:

Also, here’s a sampling of the Paris resources shared via today’s Love Note:

The Best Places to Walk
13 Films to Inspire Your Next Trip
16 Vegan Restos in Paris to Know
Cute Parisian Cafes
Author’s Favorite Places to Write and Read
How to Wear a Summer Scarf

plus My Paris Favorites.

Watch for more Facebook Lives coming from Paris over the next 10 days. I’m virtually packing you into my suitcase and bringing you along! Bisous. x