Dear Noisy Neighbor

Friday, June 30th, 2017

Dear Noisy Neighbor,

Do you know how long I’ve been waiting for this day? The first day not waking up to you? Over a year. Feels like it has been an eternity. The past 13 months at home have been some of the most challenging, frustrating, angst-ridden days and nights of my life…because of you. I will never know what you were doing upstairs ALL HOURS OF THE DAY AND NIGHT. Do you ever sit down?? I’m convinced you don’t. You consistently woke me up multiple times beginning at 5am every weekday AND weekend. You woke me up almost every night after I had somehow fallen asleep in the middle of the night. You never seemed to be away from your apartment and it drove me mad.

I turned into an angry woman while I was home. You ignored me when I talked to you those few times about the noise. “Please be mindful that you have a neighbor below you,” I said. 5 minutes later, you were back at it, stomping around, dropping things, and God knows what. You ignored the conversation and letter from our landlord reminding you of quiet hours. And all those times you were building things in the middle of the night (at least I think that’s what you were doing?), I would bang on my ceiling to give you a message that you are keeping me up at 3am. You ignored those, too. You still kept making noise and never respected that there was someone below you.

A couple weeks after you moved in last year, I remember thinking that it would get better. I told myself that you were still taking the time to move in and move your furniture around, so I shrugged it off. I didn’t know at the time that the incessant noise you were making back then would last for an entire year, every single day.

When we arrived at Fall, I was losing my mind. Curse words that should never be uttered were coming out of my mouth any time we were both home. Which was all the damn time. Do you ever leave? Whenever I’d pull into my parking spot and see your VW Golf, I would scream in my car to attempt to get the anger out of my system before I walked into my place. I didn’t like who I was when you were home. I was angry all the time and I hated what it did to me.

Several nights, I’d shout out to God and ask why this was happening to me. “What lesson are you teaching me?? Are you trying to send a message that I need to get out of the Eileen? Do I really have to deal with this for a year?? What did I do to deserve this?!?!”

It may not seem like a big deal, but losing sleep was not good for my health, mentally and physically. I stayed home from work a couple days just so I could try to catch up on sleep and get back to my senses. Even on those days, you were still home and prevented me from napping. In February, while my best friend was out of town for a month, I walked to her house at my bedtime almost every night just so I could sleep in her bed. I was basically paying rent for an apartment I was never in.

When the days began getting colder, I remember panicking. At least in the warmer, lighter days, I could leave and spend all my time outside. When it was cold, I felt trapped. I didn’t have anywhere to go for hours to get away from your noise.

So I told myself that this was all happening so I would appreciate a good night’s sleep when I was no longer your neighbor. “This will make me appreciate sleep so much more when I can finally get it.”

I had a lot of hate and anger toward you for making me lose sleep. The worst was losing my dreams. I used to write in my dream journal every morning – interpreting my dreams is a hobby of mine. Because of you, I stopped dreaming and that crushed me. Since May 2016, I have written less than 10 dreams in my journal… One of them was of me speaking to a man with bricks for feet. I was so upset that you even found a way into my dreams.

But you know what?

Thank you.

Thank you for making so much noise every waking moment.

It nearly drove me insane, but I’m better now because of you and your noise. To escape you, I was in the park any day it was warm enough. I probably read a dozen extra books this year in the park because of you. I also attended dozens of yoga classes that I likely wouldn’t have because of you. I went on so many walks because of you. Any time you were home, I would leave to do something that would better me.

Thank you for making so much noise that you made my decision easier to move out. When I heard you were renewing your lease, there was no question. It was my (super noisy) sign that I needed to leave the Eileen. And to top it off, your girlfriend was moving in, doubling the noise. I immediately turned in my notice to vacate – no way was I going to survive another year.

And that thought I had last Fall about having the best sleep of my life once I was finally away from you? It happened last night. I fell asleep to complete stillness, not a sound. Also, my dreams returned.

It’s true. I value and appreciate sleep so much more now because of you. Sleep is so good for the soul – you should give it a try.

Thank you, former noisy neighbor. It was a year of hell, but my life is better because of it.

Sweet dreams,

Yesterday, I wrote that when one door closes, another opens. This is a pretty beautiful door that’s opening…


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