A Desk of One's Own

a desk of one's own

Hello! This blog post (the first in quite some time, I know, I know) comes to you from my brand-spanking new desk. After years of writing slap-dash at the kitchen table, on the couch, sprawled out across the bed, I finally took the plunge and carved out a little writing nook for myself. I know there's nothing holding me back from becoming a Serious Writer (TM) except my own hangups and inecurities but I'm hoping this dedicated space might help me trick myself into making it a priority. A lot of pressure on a few square inches of particleboard! 

I had my eyes on a $300 West Elm stunner but Brian, ever Mr. Practicality, suggested that perhaps I start out with something a little more financially reasonable and see if a desk actually helps me establish a set writing routine before we throw down several Benjamins on another piece of furniture for us to artfully stack our unopened mail on top of, so now I'm the proudish owner of a boxy but functional, $40 Ikea number that fits snugly into the space at the end of our bed. Seeing as how in the now 2+ weeks of desk ownership I've written nothing more than "cute desk lamps" into a variety of online retail outlets and "home office inspo!!" at Pinterest (and those while curled up on the couch), I begrudgingly admit he may have had a point. 

I hate when that happens! 

But now I have extra motivation to re-up my writing game - to prove his sensible ass wrong and upgrade to the fancy desk of my dreams. Some people write for love, others, fame. Me? I'm just in it for the furniture.

This desk is one of many little improvements I've been making around our apartment this winter. After 1.5 years here, I've decided to finally throw myself into making this little house a home. I am kind of shit when it comes to interior decorating. I don't know why this fills me with shame to admit, but it does. It really does!  I LOVE interior decorating, at least insofar as taht means looking at other people's spaces. I could spend hours on hours pouring through design blogs and magazines. I used to subscribe to Domino back in the day and now fill my instagram follow feed with accounts dedicated to beautiful homes and design tips and tricks for making the most of small spaces. But for whatever reason, I've never seemed to turn this interest into anything more than wishful voyerism. My own spaces are always decorated half heartedly, at best. I WANT to have a beautiful home but lack some kind of personality chip to actually make that dream a reality. 

I will say that, as much as I advocate for city living, much of my hesitation to dive into decorating does stem from the transitoriy nature of life here. I'm always aware that my spaces are temporary that I'll eventually have to move - likely sooner, rather than later - so there's little point in getting too involved. In the nine years I've been in NYC (9 years! So old!) I've lived in five different apartments with nine different roommates and one husbo. Every single year I either moved to a new (small!) space or welcomed a new housemate, each bringing their own weird used furniture and knick-knacks and particular design aesthetics. Why bother getting out the hammer or splurging on a nice new couch when things'll just be upended again in 11 months? One might think that marriage would instill a sense of stability but not much has changed. For one, we still live life on a yearly lease basis, ever waiting for the inevitable rent increase to toss us back out into the wild, and for two, I married a total Practical Pete of a man who thinks there's no need to spend money on nice adult furniture when we can just use these old milk crates as clothing storage. Sure we can't actually move our coffee table, as the legs are so rickety that even the slightest gust of wind causes it to tumble to the ground, but who moves coffee tables anyway? 

But I can't blame Sensible Stan - it takes two to tango and two to decorate an apartment and I sure ain't doing anything to improve the situation. 

Last August we re-signed the lease on this apartment for another year and I realized, just literally now, that this is the longest I've ever been in the same place with the same person in my adult life. I also realized - and stay with me here, I know I'm really revealing the depths of my insanity lately and probably getting boring in the process - but my inability to commit to a decorating scheme is all tied up in the Big Issue I'm trying to work on with myself, my constant penchant for worrying about things far down the line instead of focusing on what's right ahead. 

When we re-signed the lease, I made a pact with myself that I was going to really lean into the decorating, I started saving up money to get a new rug and coffee table, collecting photos to frame, made a few trips to Ikea. And then I started to panic: if we're going to have a baby anytime soon, we're going to have to move to a bigger apartment. Should I be spending time, money and energy on decorating this place or should I be saving up for a crib or something? And conversely, does committing to this apartment mean I'm giving up on the idea that maybe we'll have a baby sooner rather than later? And then instead of either a) just decorating the goddamn apartment or b) having a human baby, I go for option c (both because that's the next letter in the alphabet and first letter in the word CRAZY) which is to frantically search for 2 bedroom apartments in Brooklyn and freak out about how expensive everything is and read statistics on likelyhood of miscarriage the older you go into your 30's and bite my nails to the quick because everything feels out of my control and scary. 

Here seems like a good time to reveal that I'm FINALLY going to see a new therapist this week. Gird your loins, Dr. [Redacted]: I'm coming for ya, and I'm NUTS! 

But I'm proud to say that even without profesh help, I've realized a few key truths. Like the fact that having a baby and buying a rug are not exactly mutually exclusive. Some people do both! Hanging a frame or three does NOT mean I am giving up all hope of ever bearing a child...it just means I'm hanging a frame. Also, even if I do get pregnant tomorrow, which I probably won't (another story for another day!), that thing'll be cooking for at least 9 to 10 months, depending on what science is saying these days, and our lease goes through August 1, so it's not like we'd be moving immediately. There is plenty of time for the future to work itself out while I learn how to live in the here and now. And the here and now may as well look cute.

So I'm decorating. Very slowly, I'm making good on all the little projects I've been dreaming up. I bought a pretty new rug and a handmade coffee table from Etsy, which I realized is our first piece of furntiture that's not from Ikea or a hand me down. Adulthood! I have a stack of frames and a vague idea for a gallery wall. I got new throw pillows. And I bought this desk. Where now I sit, oversharing, as always, about the inner workings of my overactive mind. 

And everything I can't control? It'll turn out great. It always does!

PS: I know this blog has been wa-haaaaaaaaaay more introspective and personal than the laughfest I assume you signed up to follow. Sorry? I realized I'm enjoying this turn to the deep side. I'm thinking I might like to keep on keeping it real, if that was a phrase I used ever in serious conversation, balancing a bit of seriousness with the usual humor. I promise I won't always be this ... feelingsy. I hope you'll stick around!