For the past few days, I’ve been packing up my house, getting ready to move. Moving is always interesting, because it’s somehow the most stressful and most exciting thing at the same time. Thinking about actual moving day fills me with dread and makes me feel like there are weight shackled to my ankles, literally forcing me to drag my feet. But the idea of a new home, getting to start fresh—it feels like getting to rebuild from the ground up.
For me, the apartment I’m about to move into is the first place that I’ve ever gotten to buy all of the furniture for. My first apartment didn’t even have a living room, and most of the furniture in my current place was provided by one of my roommates, whom I didn’t meet until the day we moved in. So to say some things aren’t totally to my taste in an understatement. Trust me, I’m not complaining, because in a lot of ways it’s been a huge blessing to have someone else just show up with all the things we needed for our living and dining room, but now that this phase of my life is ending, I’m really exciting to be able to do things myself. Picking out furniture has been thrilling, honestly. I’m not being even the slightest bit sarcastic. It’s been one of the most exciting things to handpick each item that I want to have in my new home, and to know that it’s going to be mine. The new living room is going to be gorgeous and cozy and inviting and happy, the kind of space that I’d be proud to tell people was mine.
And it’s not just the living room that I’m getting to decorate. I’m keeping most of my bedroom furniture, with the exception of my desk. The desk I have now is a small, sort of spindly thing. It wobbles when you use it—literally for anything— and it’s low enough that instead of a desk chair I have a little ottoman type stool. This is the desk that carried me through college, and when I tell you I never sat at it once, I mean it. I was strictly a homework-in-bed type of girl, considering I did most of my homework after getting off a closing shift at work, and there really just wasn’t anything appealing about the concept of sitting at my tiny little desk and hunching over on my stool to type a twenty page essay. My desk has become more decor, a place to keep my knick-knacks and journals, than anything else. And since I’m a full time writer now, I guess it just seems a little unsustainable not to have a place to actually do my writing. As Tara Schuster says, I need a place where I can take myself seriously, and this desk, though nice and cute and decent, is just not that place. Sitting at that desk makes me feel like a fraud, and it’s hard enough for me to believe that I’m really a writer on the best of days, so that’s really the last thing I need.
So, I treated myself to a new desk and desk chair to put in my bedroom when I move. I spent weeks picking a desk. Every time I found one, I backed out because I convinced myself I didn’t deserve to spend that much money on myself. I felt selfish every time I considered something more decadent than a hundred dollars. I kept going in this circle that led me back to desks that looked exactly like the one I have now. I kept telling myself that I should be content with what I have and stop being so greedy.
But then I saw this big, beautiful L-shaped desk, with a bookshelf and drawers, in this beautiful (manufactured) pale wood, and I swear it was calling my name. I could see myself at that desk. This image popped into my head of me in a fashionable and professional outfit, typing the next great American novel while I sip my espresso. It was such a detailed image that it felt more like a vision than a thought. (I am not claiming to be psychic or saying that this was actually a vision. What I’m saying is that it just felt very real, very possible, and very right). I still remember ever detail of that image, and I remind myself of it every single day. It’s not that that image is my wildest dream or anything like that, but it is something that my deepest, truest self wants. I want to be a writer who wakes up every morning and puts on a cool outfit and sits at her desk and spends the day being creative. I want to write like that.
I had this realization recently that I could have my dream job if I wanted it. My dream job is to be a fiction writer, full time. I used to think about it all the time when I was waitressing, but I never admitted to people that’s what I wanted. I would mostly tell people that I was applying for internships in the publishing industry, or that I wanted to work at a magazine. I said those things because they feel more reasonable, more doable. And also, I think that they’re less scary to say to other people because it feels like I’m not admitting to my own excellence. Does that make sense? I don’t know, I guess I feel like by saying I’m applying for other jobs, it’s like I’m still waiting for someone to give me their approval and move me from the restaurant industry to the publishing or writing industry. But by being a full time fiction writer, I’m admitting that I’m creative and talented and hard-working enough to do it on my own, and that I don’t need to wait for someone to tell me I’m good enough to do it. And that’s really scary. I don’t think anyone else placed these rules or limitations on me, I think I placed them on myself for the most part. But for the past couple months, I’ve been letting go of those limitations and embracing what I feel like is meant to be for me. I am meant to be a writer.
So yeah, I bought myself a gigantic L-shaped desk to write at and a beautiful chair to sit in while I’m writing, and I bought myself some beautiful art for my walls that makes me feel inspired. I feel like with this move, I’m moving places and into a new phase of my life. It’s a phase that I’ve been moving into bit by bit for the past couple months, but moving into this new place and building this new space is like one of the final steps before I fully become who I’ve been working on becoming, who I’ve always been but been too scared or hurt or insecure to actually be.
The closer I get to moving, the more I feel like myself, and the more I get the feeling that my entire world is changing. I think that when tremendous things are about to happen to us, we know if only we take the time to feel for it. That’s the feeling I have right now. Like tremendous, wonderful things are coming. I am ready.