I’m best able to live among things I love when I’m single. In my first marriage, and again in my last, I’ve managed to accumulate less-than-perfect things — and lots of them — and I’m trying to figure out why. I know that I avoid talking to my husband about anything I’ll have to convince him of, having already gone through the exhausting (for me) process of convincing myself and loath to repeat it. I know that I’ve always struggled to pay more for something of quality than to buy what I think I can afford; I apparently don’t feel like I can afford or deserve the best so I settle too soon.
And while managing stuff can be important, and spending equally so, I cycle back to the same old patterns because I haven’t dealt with the underlying challenge: I don’t think nice things are for me.
When I’m single, I can convince myself to acquire in line with my deep desires (simplicity, beauty, history, longevity); when I have to convince someone else, I get all caught up in guilt and explaining and not-wanting-to-convince because you’re-not-my-parent and I end up with a bunch of stuff I don’t really like.
Javi and I had a playdate with a friend (of his!) from school. On the way from one place to another, we dropped by their house to put some food in the fridge and I realized: I have only twice, ever, been comfortable inviting people into my home (ever or spontaneously) and both times I was single. I’ve blamed that on the place, assuming that apartment was just more appropriate than this house, but I’m realizing the story is bigger.
I like this house, and while it’s not huge or expensive or in a chic neighborhood, it’s spacious, eminently practical and has a history. It’s not the house that prevents me from feeling good about having people over, it’s how we live in it. The half-finished projects don’t help, but how we inhabit our spaces is the problem.
I don’t inhabit my body well, either.
So there’s that. Identified but not dealt with. I’m going to let it soak a while. In the meanwhile, here are three photos I love so much I want to lick them.
After looking at these images, the only conclusion I’ve come to is that I probably need to paint my baseboards white. Clearly not as deep an epiphany as I was hoping for….