Last year, in a fit of post-election malaise, I painted a maroon accent wall in my living room. It turned out so terribly and filled with me with a deep unwielding shame that I couldn’t shake for months. That is, until I found a way to heal from the trauma and finally move on: I painted another accent wall.
After my first accent wall spurred a deep sense of anxiety, I blamed anyone but myself. Why didn’t the guy at the paint store tell me I chose a garish shade? Why didn’t any of my friends warn me that it wouldn’t match any of my furniture? Why did I just paint an accent wall without doing any research on how to paint an accent wall? I finally went to a therapist who listened to me talk about “The Incident” for weeks before she asked, “Why don’t you just paint over it?” I was blown away. Therapy really is amazing. After her suggestion she said we couldn’t work together any more, but it doesn’t even matter because I’m cured now. And all it took was just having a way better accent wall.
Well, it wasn’t that easy. For days I stared at my horrific accent wall and thought, “It’ll be so hard to paint over such a dark shade.” Sure, I could have paid someone honestly like 40 bucks to do this but I made it so much harder on myself. That’s why I went back to the paint store and got another can of paint for my second accent wall without even stopping to ask, “Hey, can someone teach me how to paint to an accent wall? I fucked up big time before.”
It took weeks of patiently rolling the paint on to finally cover the darker color (it might have gone faster if I didn’t need to stop and meditate every thirty minutes, but we all heal from trauma at our own pace!), but I can now confidently tell you that my living room no longer looks like a room in a low budget haunted house. The wall is now blue and you can kind of see the maroon through it because I truly was not qualified to do this, but it’s so much better. Also I stopped going to therapy. I’m fine now!
It’s been a long process, but going through this has changed me from the inside out. I know there is hope in the darkness; there is help; there is light. There are also three more walls in that room, baby and yes, I’m comin’ for those next!