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Living Spaces, Then and Now

From Crack House to Dream House

When I was 22-23, I lived in an apartment that was nicknamed the "crack house." It was an empty, desolate-looking place.

There was an air mattress on the floor in the bedroom, and an old chair and small desk-thing I picked up from the Salvation Army in the living room. And besides for a few cheap pots and pans, that was about it.

The air mattress had a small leak in it, I would pump it up at night before going to sleep and by morning it would be deflated and I would awake on the hard ground.

No other furniture. The walls were completely bare, no evidence of decorative effort anywhere to be seen. No TV.

When I wasn't working I would hang down at the bar on the corner and watch TV. I quickly became a local, the owner and bartenders new me and I got lots of free drinks.

Mostly I spent my days and nights working. I worked weekdays and weekends, all day Saturday and Sunday matter of fact, around 70 hours/week if not more. I was focused on building the business. I was married to my work.

On Saturday nights between 8pm and midnight you could find me pacing around the crack house, passionately yelling into my phone, all of my sales reps scheduled back-to-back 15 minutes each. 5 or 6 hours later I would roll off my deflated air mattress and get ready to head out to work. On Sunday nights I would manage stats to get inputed into our CRM and then prep for Monday meetings the next day. On Mondays the scoreboard would start back at zero, if you are in sales you know the feeling. We would kick off the week with a Monday 7am team conference call, and then we were off to the races.

Working hard, chasing dreams.

Fast forward a decade, today I live in my dream house. Or dream apartment I should say. It's a 650 square foot apartment, cute little 1 bedroom 1 bath about 2 miles from the beach.

The best feature of the space, in my opinion, is the vaulted ceiling over the open kitchen/living room, it must be 20 ft high. So sick. The second best feature is the balcony patio tucked away behind palm trees, a little bit of imagination and maybe we're in Hawaii. The first 3 years living here we had no patio furniture, but I recently picked up a 4-piece set on Craigslist... game changer.

The space is beautifully decorated. There are 2 gallery walls with some favorite photos from our travels. Crystals from Quartzite for good energy. Plants everywhere, lots of plants, all different kinds. My guitar hangs on the wall in the living room. A good selection of books are shelved on the TV stand, and yes, a TV. The first 2 years living here we plugged my computer into a monitor to watch Netflix, but now we have a smart TV... game changer.

The fruit basket is full of bananas, mangos, and avocados. The exposed DIY pantry shelves are perfectly organized. There is a smoothie station in the kitchen. Owning a Vitamix is a true symbol of "making it."

I love this home.

Gratefully, I have lots of time to enjoy it. Many perfect days are spent here. I work from home, so I'm here most of the time. I go in the ocean every week, surf or swim. I make a smoothie every day. I play guitar when I feel like it. I water the plants every Thursday. I watch lots of movies.

Most of all, it's a home filled with love. I love my wife. I love my daughter. I love when friends and family visit. I love cooking good meals in the kitchen. I love waking up next to Ash everyday, in our nice comfortable bed. I don't love getting up at 3am to feed Lil P, but really I do.

I love sitting out on the patio with my family, in the warm afternoon summer sun and the cool ocean breeze, looking out at the palm trees and imagining we are in Hawaii.

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