The most valuable thing that has been reinforced in my two months of living back home is that I am a sponge. It may be apparent to readers from our cross country journey, but it didn’t sink in until the last week or so of living with the folks. I guess another way of saying it is that I am adaptive. Perhaps one of the reasons I get along so well in jobs is because I don’t take on a direct personality of my own, but reinstate the values and beliefs of my superiors and peers. It’s not that I don’t have my own values and beliefs, although admittedly they are still forming, it’s just part of my natural character to slide into the attitudes of the people I’m around. This was evident at home, where I put aside my preferences for peeing outside, reading and writing for entertainment, and vegan eating and instead lay on the couch and watch a long movie, nibbled on cheesy delicacies, and utilized modern luxuries that I have been without in my cross country travels.
The point of this realization is that now that I am finally here in my own space with my fiancé, I get to build a space that completely caters to my values, adding in and keeping out the things I observed from staying with friends across the country. Today is the day that I set routines that will hopefully propel me into life patterns, and I feel a mix between pressure and excitement. It’s like a new year in many ways- not only is the weather warming from a mercurial winter, but a new job is starting and my 26th birthday is around the corner. This is an exciting time for my blog, too, because instead of just plopping right into my sustainably-focused mind, I can chart out each decision on a new slate. In fact, to commemorate this, I am switching blogsites. I’m going to shift to Blogger, eventually backlogging all my old tumblr blogs. I think that blogspot is a little more professional looking, with a lot more options, such as people being able to comment*, and it will allow me several tabs to organize my blogs into personal rants like these, DIY projects, and art that I’ve accomplished.
So now that the world knows what’s up, I guess there’s nothing left to do but put down the computer and begin to build my new world, my way, with some help from my fiancé, of course.
—Flash forward 2 weeks:
Designing a creative, functional space where I can be productive and happy has not been as easy as I imagined. I’m writing this from my favorite corner that this morning I dubbed my “office,” which is nothing but a creaky but comfy papasaun and the edge of a desk slightly out of arms distance, now stacked with books, notepads, jump drives, and notebooks. Although I am happy sitting in my ‘office’ where I spent most of yesterday knitting, I can’t help but feel a bit boring. I am slowly getting into the routine that will be my life in this space, which is to say that there is no routine at all. It reminds me of college- navigating appointments and gym hours between classes and meetings. I loved that schedule, thrived in it, even…and yet I feel so displaced from it here. I love living in Albuquerque, and I’ve been trying to take advantage of every little opportunity that presents itself to me- like I also did in college. But I don’t feel ‘at home’ yet. The walls are decorated with our favorite designs, the counters are full of our beloved things, and yet, I’m unsure how to interact with the space. Perhaps I’m not sure how to redefine home now that I have the opportunity to make a space away from my parents and the people and spaces I called home for most of my life, even if I have been removed from those spaces for several years. I guess home is where the heart is and although my stuff is here, and I like it here, I’m not in Love yet, and my heart remains in those humid summer nights, the crunch of the oak leaves under the drying crab grass, and the handful of days when the windows can be open and the inside and outside world are in harmony. Will I ever find a home like that again? Will it take another 18 years of living in one place to have the roots of my heart remain so firmly in one place? I imagine Austin will always be home, even as the city that once revealed such possibility to me, is now foreign and threatening. But can I make this place feel like home in my heart, knowing that I won’t be living here for 18 years, or probably even 1/4th of that.
I guess through the last 6 years of moving around, I have held home my heart, absorbing how others interact with me and the spaces I live in…and now that there are no more attitudes to pick up, no more ideals to imitate…I’m left with my empty artwork, and this big old space wondering where I start making the connections just between me and the land. And how?