I’ve been spinning my wheels. I’m fidgety and uncomfortable and full of mood swings and I’ve been avoiding blogging because even though I am packed to the rafters with spinning thoughts, I can’t get a grip on any of them long enough to make something of it. I finally pinned one down this week, though, and I think it’s been contributing to the fidgeting. So here goes.
I chose the wrong apartment.
The housing market in Portland is tight, and I needed to find someplace. So I could unpack. So I could get back to working. So I could get a handle on money. So I could start settling and moving forward with the things I’m planning. When this one became available, it was the first place I’d seen that had good light for taking product photographs, and a gas stove (for janky metalsmithing. I make sterling ballpins on the stove. Now you know.). The walls are painted good colors, the bedroom is enormous, and it was the first place I’d looked at where I could picture my things in the space. I jumped at it.
A month into living here, I know it’s wrong. I know it’s not the neighborhood I want, I know that this apartment is designed for someone much taller than I am, I know that the bathroom doesn’t have nearly enough storage space and the towel racks are in terrible places, I know that the light is good for photographs and terrible for working, I know that the functional space is awkward and I haven’t been able to get a comfortable groove going for working. The wood floors are beautiful, and they smell amazing, but they also make it echoing and loud and cold because I need rugs and more furniture. The bedroom is still enormous, and beautiful, and is functioning as a refuge from my business. That was important to me in looking for a place – somewhere to shut the door on work. But my work is not working in this space, and I’m anticipating needing to move in a year when my lease is up.
So, naturally, I’ve resisted settling all the way in. Most of my photographs and art are not hung. I haven’t unpacked the doodads and bits and collections that make my home look like my home. I have boxes of books that are still packed, boxes of seldom-used kitchen things that are still packed, boxes of hats and shoes that are still packed. I am acting like a person who is moving, and it’s keeping me in a state of paralysis. I’ve been in flux for such a long time that in a way it feels natural to hold back from settling. Even though I ache for someplace that feels like home, that contains and reflects and restores all the parts of myself, even though I’ve spent the last year waiting and working and planning for the moment that I’m in now, I’m finding it difficult to let go and stop planning for the next thing.
This is bad for me, so I’m stopping now. Next year will have to take care of itself (Don’t borrow trouble, says my father’s voice in my head. Future Kateri can deal with that, says the voice of Shana in my head.). This week I’m staying in and unpacking the rest of everything. The art is going on the walls, the knickknacks are going on the shelves, the hooks are getting hung and the hats and scarves and coats and necklaces and earrings and twenty bottles of nail polish will get put away. I’ll look for good lamps, and will figure out how to store my supplies and inventory so I’m not shuttling them from one surface to the next. The furniture will get rearranged, and if that doesn’t work, rearranged again. I’ll start looking for furniture that works for this space. I’m going to act like this is the place. I am going to wrestle this apartment until it gives me what I need: a home.