We spent our Labor Day laboring.
Last month, the day before our anniversary, we gathered all the spontaneity we could find, and decided at 4pm on a Sunday afternoon to switch the bedrooms in our apartment. Bedroom becomes the study, study becomes the bedroom.
When we moved here last year, there were dreams upon dreams of what the second bedroom could offer us. A place for our books. A place to create, to work, to read. A place for guests to stay. A place for exercise? A place that would serve us in a way the living room, or bedroom, or kitchen could not.
Unpacking didn’t take too long. And sometimes, the things we hoped for in that room happened. But overall, the study has been unused. It’s the stereotypical, second-bedroom of all 2-bedroom apartments: where papers clutter, items without homes gather, and where a quick close of the door locks all the chaos in, without anyone knowing (except us, of course, which didn’t really help).
Walking upstairs, it was the first room you’d see, and most of the time, it caused stress.
When thinking about year 2 of marriage, then, we thought, perfect! this is the easiest motivator for switching things up. now that we know what it’s been, we see what it could be…so….wanna do it? wanna switch the rooms? RIGHT NOW?!
It was pretty fun, too. We got the bedroom situated that day, but found ourselves needing to re-think the new study space altogether.
Over the last month, we tolerated going in-between rooms to get what we needed (our closets hadn’t changed) and combed through books and various belongings to decide what we kept, what we trashed, and what we gave away.
With a full day together yesterday, we tackled some more. Closet sweeps and switches, re-arranging furniture (again), and many talks about what we envisioned, and how to get there. It was productive, and I am much more hopeful about the transitionary phase its existing in now. I’m sitting at the desk, which is cleared and ready for work, enjoying the natural light filling the room and casting playful shadows on the wall.
The floor is walkable.
The books are on shelves.
The room is, overall, usable.
For now, until we can revisit it in a couple weeks, this space has a tangible taste of what’s to come, and it’s exciting.
Mack and I had some serious conversations over the last few days about work, and jobs, and schedules (pertaining to me) and this transition is beginning to normalize, but then there are nights where I’m crying, unsure of how I make this happen, how I pursue so passionately this thing I love, without being swayed within the first couple weeks to other options or part-time gigs.
Both encouraging and discouraging is how violently attached I get to trying this writer "job" for real when talk of something else comes up. It shows me I want this badly, but it also scares me: am I being stubborn? too unrealistic? I want to give writing the best chance I can. I want to go full-force into the “work from home” (yes, cue song) mindset and see what happens. Is it more of a risk financially? Yes, but not harmful. Is it more ambiguous for this schedule-loving, consistency-craving, and routine-abiding lady? Yes, but not impossible. Is it harder describing “what I do" to people, like when you change your name at the bank, and they ask your profession, assume “student,” and once corrected, tell you there’s no category for “freelance writer” or “writer,” so they’ll just say “business owner?” Yes, but oh well.
Week 3 of this change is seeing realities unfold, but rather than push back, I’m trying to participate, and withdraw a capacity of wonder towards the how of it all, without forgetting the why. Week 3 has meant waking up for runs the last couple days, because a jolt in the morning is worth it, and necessary. Week 3 will mean dedicating different hours for creating than for consuming, and intentionality towards environment choices. The study can function for that purpose right now, and being here, rather than working at the kitchen table or on the couch, is gooooood.
I compiled a list of publications last week, and plan to go through them this week, letting the editors know that I exist and want to contribute.
The goal was to write for an hour, and with 5 minutes left, I’m ready for the transition. The mornings have been cooler in Pasadena recently, and I am relishing the breeze from still-open windows, feeling hopeful for the day and ready for what’s next.
(Which, obviously, is lunch).