It’s incredible how disconnected I feel from my writer-self when I don’t have a desk. In our great move and downsize (out of both choice, and necessity), I lost my desk. It only seems fair, after all. With my fancy new laptop, I technically don’t need a desk. My husband on his many-years-old desktop computer does, and my desk fits into our apartment better than his (two desks wasn’t even an option). Marriage is compromise, right?
But I feel lost without it. The contents of my former office are scattered throughout our little living space, boxes crowded into convenient closet corners (or incovenient, if you need to get at the contents). All the notes, paperwork, inspirational magazines… all over. The book shelves that used to be a backdrop of motivation now stand above our dining room table (ironic because I have never lacked motivation when it comes to eating).
This is probably just a metaphor, though, that my head has created to minimize the greater disembodiment of moving.
As much as I like the concept behind the self-styled life, I realize now that there is something misleading in the phrase. It sounds like a finished product, whereas I know that in reality, life is not a static thing. It will always morph around, likely only loosely following the parameters we try to set for it.
Those people who say that they totally changed their lives around and are now perfectly happy, in some Oprah-style distilling of their story? While they might be very happy now, there’s likely a messy transition period that they are glossing over entirely.
I suspected this, but now I can confirm it. Building a dream lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight. You don’t just move and find that everything is perfect, as you envisioned it to be. I realize now that some may have raised their eyebrows at our declaration that in order to find some peace after the difficulties of the last few years, we were going to quit our jobs, sell our house, move to a new city and open a store. There’s nothing in that that sounds peaceful!
At the time of the decision, though, that incongruence never occurred to me. It was just so obvious to us that something had to change. I have faith that while there is never an endpoint, there will be a point at which all the newness suddenly feels comfortable, all the hard work pays off and we can begin adding in those other elements that we have envisioned as part of our self-styled life.
And hopefully, I’ll recover my desk. Or I’ll just get over it.
By the way, here’s a teaser of how our hard work is already paying off…