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?

Remember my pretty desk? The one so admired when I was freshly pressed? Now it has a giant computer on it and my husband's piles of a filing system...

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…

This is our store!

13 responses to “Disembodied

  1. Pingback: Breaking Bad: How to get out of Destructive Routines and Habits « the self-styled life·

  2. Pingback: I love housework (but don’t tell my husband). « the self-styled life·

  3. Jean!!!!!! OMG I miss you Chica. Congratulations to you and Mike, your store looks so beautiful. Not to mention your very professional website!!! I can’t believe how fast it has all come together. I love creepin’ on your blog and seeing what’s new to you…until I get facebook, and then I’ll creep on over there 🙂

    Are you staying in Toronto over the holidays per chance? I’ll be there Thursday evening until Tue afternoon, but I’ll be in a conference Friday afternoon to Sunday evening. Anyway, email me at work please. I would love to pop by your store or meet you and Mike for coffee or whatever.

    So much to catch up on…I hope you, Mike, Becks and your families are all doing well
    Lots and lots of love, Nada

  4. Wow! Your store already looks fantastic!! Are you going to be selling things online too? You’ll have to show us some of your designs when it gets up and running!

    I too feel lost without a desk. In general moving gets me all discombobulated, but eventually it will settle down and you’ll find your groove again 🙂

    • Yeah, we’re very excited with how it has turned out! We will hopefully be selling things online, though we’re not quite there yet! Haha, still working on finding a groove, but slowly getting there!

  5. The store looks gorgeous. Is your fireplace ornamental or does it really work? Hope business is going well since you opened your doors. What kind of hours does your store have? Is it just you and Mike running the business or do you have help yet?
    Yes, downsizing is always hard. Once you live in your new, smaller place, I believe it is easier to get rid of stuff again. You realize what you really need. My daughter keeps telling me to quit downsizing or I will have nothing left but, in reality, we don’t need all that much. Some day, you and Mike will be able to laugh at your situation now but until then, keep smiling and enjoy your life. All the best to you two. How does Becks like living in the city too?

    • The fireplace is ornamental! We found it on Craigslist… or Kijiji…
      We are open 7 days/week at the moment but will probably be closed one day/week after the holidays. It’s just us for now 🙂
      Becks is a good city dog. He likes the action, frequency of food on the ground, squirrels… We’ve already hit a few good dog parks! He just doesn’t like how much we work!

  6. The store is beautiful and I am sure will be a huge success! With you and Mike in charge, it can be nothing less. You’re right, changing your life can be messy and unsettling, but it is well worth it for the peace and comfort you will eventually find in knowing you made the right decision for your own “big picture.” One day you will wake up and the “new” will be the “norm” and you will wonder how you ever lived any other way. I’m so excited for you guys and your new adventure.

    • Thanks, Rachel! Yeah, we feel it’s all a worthwhile investment of time, money and energy! And literally blood, sweat and tears, although we hope that our sparkly store doesn’t show any of that now 🙂

  7. I recently made myself my own office space in my house. All spread out, tables to work on and leave my genealogy papers on. Maps, books, leather chair… the works. It was what I always wanted, inspiration to work and have a reading space of my own. I felt motivated. It lasted about 6 months, when I turned it all over to my Grandchildren, who moved in. I now have it all crammed in to my bedroom, same as you some still in boxes, invisible to me. My bedroom is an office/library/den/bedrm. You do what you gotta do. Go with the flow…. BTW, The store looks beautiful!

    • Aww, it’s sweet though that you converted your perfect space for the sake of your grandkids! Yeah, I think part of my realization was that while I feel like I’m generally a pretty easy-going person, there are certain things that I am apparently a bit stuck on! Having a desk is one, but I’m trying to be a bit more flexible (as I write from my couch…).

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