I’ve had a really hard time decorating my living room. Like, it gave me palpitations and kept me up at night. It took me six months to find a rug, and then I returned it within three days and got a new one. I had to stop myself from looking for coffee tables every night. You don't have to tell me, I know I have issues.
The thing is, I’ve never had a place of my own. I’ve never lived in a place I wasn’t planning to leave. I went from Florida to DC to India to New York to DC to India to New York in the last six years. Two of those years all my stuff fit in one backpack. Two other years, one suitcase. Most of that time I shared an apartment, some of that time I shared a room, and then some of that time I just shared a bed.
Now I have these 600 square feet and they’re mine today and next week and next month. No end in sight. Do you know what that feels like? It feels equally like looking out over the ocean from your perch in the sand, and looking out of a glass box like some sort of cage. Is it freedom, or is it a trap?
Weird things happen when you’re not leaving. Friendships curdle, family splinters and rebuilds, relationships start and end because of reasons other than airplanes and visas. Jobs are monotonous or fulfilling, or both. In that weird thing called routine you can find both meaning and numbness.
Last year, I got a job that I love. Then, I moved into this apartment. Then, I ended a relationship with a lovely man. Then, Trump won. And then, a friendship broke and tore me down piece by piece. By New Year's I no longer knew who I was.
This stuff just doesn’t happen on the road. When you’re in motion things slide right off of you. People don’t sink their hooks in too deep. By the time a city suffocates you, you’re in the village. By the time you realize your heart was broken, you’re in someone else's arms. Most countries have whiskey.
Now I’m still. Busy as hell, but still. And everything is sticking, and everything has to be dealt with, and nothing will just disappear. So yeah maybe I shouldn’t have spent hours trying to figure out if this coffee table should be wood or marble. But maybe that’s the only thing that matters.