Today, after many false starts, my offices moved to our final resting place. I have to say, I have been with my company for a little over two and a half years, and the idea of permanent offices has been like an oasis in the sand. There is still a lot of organizing to do, but the thought that my work life is no longer a series of cardboard boxes is … well, I don’t think I have a suitable word. Euphoric?
I mention this because the idea of ‘settling in’ has always been a little alien to me. Growing up, we moved every few years, so unpacking all my worldly belongings from boxes, each item wrapped haphazardly in tissue paper, has never been a foreign concept.
As I sit on our couch (this evening, indulgently opened up to the size of a queen-sized bed for optimal lounging potential) and relish the moment of my man, my dog and myself relaxing in our home, I can’t help but ruminate on this point in my life timeline. Here I am, re-signing a lease for a fourth year (!!! I haven’t lived anywhere for four years since … actually, I can’t remember), raising the most beautiful little lady puppy I’ve ever met (huge commitment for any person), celebrating four plus years of getting to enjoy my life with my best friend in the whole world, and working for the same company coming up on tres anos. Could I have drifted more into ‘stasis’ than this?
And I’m okay with that.
If you’ve read this blog, you will know that I spend a lot of time dithering on ideas of fear, the unknown, growing up …. I use ‘dither’ with a smile and a wink, because I don’t want to take myself too seriously, but I also don’t want to brush it aside and eliminate any significance. Life is an amazing journey ~ some of us over think it (please cue flashing lights, signs and arrows pointing in my direction), and some of us rush through it like a bull in a china shop, just absorbing everything, living every moment to its fullest.
I am the first kind of person. My little brother, he’s the second kind.
He inspires, infuriates and provokes me. I am sure there is not another person in this world whom I love in quite the same way. It would be impossible ~ he is my only sibling. I deeply adore him; I admire how he walks through life to the beat of his own drum, how he listens to his inner monologue; how he articulates his opinions with thought, purpose and eloquence. He’s very passionate, very intelligent, and very, very infuriating.
A big sister is allowed to say that.
But no one else.
We grew up in a togetherness unlike the majority of siblings I knew. As youngsters, I remember spending a summer in the UK (the entirety of my maternal side lives there; my mother was born and grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland) and needing to be a team, as we were … dum dum dum … American. Ah, the horror! And we moved so often, we spent many a summer each other’s only friend.
I think about those times with such fondness ~ even though I know deep down, they weren’t always easy. Our last move (pre-us going to college and moving out on our own), we lived in an apartment for a few months waiting as our house was built. We shared a room in the basement, and I subjected him to repeatedly listening to The Fugees and Celine Dion. Weird combo, but I kid you not. (He also never lets me live it down). We spent that summer driving our grandmother’s Pontiac Sunfire (Sunbird? I’m not a car person…) around random streets for hours, listening to the radio. (I’d just gotten my driver’s license ~ there was no boredom in driving!). I don’t know if he remembers it the same way that I do. It doesn’t really matter. I love the memories I have.
Right now, what I think is most significant, is that out of the lumps of clay from which we were molded (and those lumps of clay had much in common) it amazes me that as adults, we are such different people. We have seen each other frequently in the past few weeks (a true anomaly, but a welcome one, in which I remembered who he was, and why it is that people love him so much) and it gave me a lot to think about**. (** See paragraph in which I specifically state “some people over think it”).
Change is inevitable (I am not breaking new ground by stating this).
Creating your own permanence ~ that’s what I’ve been learning these past five years. I say five years because it’s been about that long since my life ‘timeline’ took a little switchback and changed route a little ~ y’know, shook things up. Five years ago I was 27, and trying to get my head around my twenties, when I made a lot of wrong turns, and felt utterly confused and lost. At twenty-seven I made a spontaneous decision, it didn’t work out, I crashed and burned, and was left figuring out how to move forward.
Completely different circumstances, but that’s a little how I feel as a re-surface after this most disastrous July. Permanence, inconsistency, love, truth, family. What’s important.
Today, I pulled files out of the boxes they have been languishing in for nearly a year. I carefully placed them in drawers, and dutifully labeled folders. I spent far too much time adjusting my computer, keyboard and pen caddy on my desk (OCD much?). I set up pictures of my mother, my father and my brother on my desk; the first time I’ve ever done that. I ordered a bulletin board from Staples, and a frame for the poster I have been longing to hang on my office wall for years (battered ballet shoes). I told the man I needed a good picture of he and Lucy Lou to add to my collection.
I chose to make the office mine. I chose to believe that this office will be mine for quite some time. Taking that initiate and diving in hasn’t always been easy for me. I’m not the bull in the china shop. I hope that a year from now, I’m complaining about the very office I just moved into. I hope I still work for the company I work for today, I hope that the man and I and Lucy Lou are still lounging on our ridiculously comfy couch. I hope my little brother is still living the rockstar life in NYC, and my parents are still riding horses and golfing in Chester County. After a life of constant change, I am okay with asking for a little ‘same-ness’.
I pray that a year from today, the people who matter to me are still a phone call away. And that in the general scheme of life, not much has changed. In this day and age, that’s asking for a lot. I’m asking anyway.