I’m starting to hate my apartment.
I don’t know where this blog is going. I could just be complaining, I might discover some great epiphany about how I’m coming of age, it may be something else, I have no idea. But I’m stressed and frustrated and I find myself in need of writing, so please allow me.
So, I got my apartment in March, and it was great. I knew some negatives about it – the overhead light in my bedroom didn’t work (fine, I said,) the room I was choosing as a bedroom didn’t have any closet space in it, so I’d have to use the closet in the spare room (a calculated decision, given that there wasn’t a lot of space in the “spare room,” which was actually designed as a bedroom) but I decided I’d eat those things and just deal with it.
But then, things started to get worse. I got a dog, and it turns out that my dog liked to eat the floor. So now there’s a massive gash in the floor as well as other little ditches he’s dug, oh, and he tore at the wall as a puppy. It makes me insane looking at it, because I feel I’m supposed to fix it.
But it’s not just the dog’s fault.
I wanted to use the spare room as a study where I’d write music, read books, do that sort of thing – but work needed a little extra storage space so I decided I’d donate my room for it.
My kitchen has almost zero counter space which, like the other things, I thought would be fine at first. But I have to wash dishes by hand and having little counter space means having little space to dry dishes which means we have to do them in small spurts. And there’s the small matter of how doggone long it takes my kitchen sink to get hot water so that I can even do dishes.
Then there’s the lock in the back door which, admittedly, I don’t go through a ton, but it’s infuriating when I do because the key takes about 30 seconds to get in, and another 30 to get out. Ok, 30 is an exaggeration. Nevertheless, it’s something that makes me a little crazy.
It’s almost as though each time I walk into my apartment, I just get a little sad.
Why? Not sure. But let me have a crack at it.
Maybe when I see that gash in the floor, it’s a reminder that I jumped the gun getting a dog when I couldn’t afford all of his shots, and I didn’t have the time to be home with him the way I needed to be, and I couldn’t afford to hire a dog-sitter. Maybe it makes me think of walking the poor guy at 4 AM the day after a fight with my girlfriend, when I woke up feeling totally alone, desperate, and helpless. Maybe it makes me think of how I can’t control how my time was spent, because I wanted to give attention to him (because he’s my puppy) but also to my girlfriend (because she’s my girlfriend, and I wanted to get in as much time as possible with her before she left for her fall internship) but also to my job (because I’m salaried and I want to be an excellent worker.)
Maybe when I try to turn on the light and it doesn’t work, it’s a reminder that I don’t know how to be as handy as I’d like to be.
Maybe when I let my kitchen become a total mess, it’s a reminder that I don’t always think through scenarios the way I should (after all, I should have considered the lack of counter space.)
Maybe the fact that there’s nowhere to sit and hang out is a reminder that I’m still struggling to find community in a church, eight months after leaving one that I called home for years.
Maybe the fact that my room is a perpetual mess is a reminder that sometimes I overcommit myself to other things and other people and I don’t take time to take care of my own space, my own bank account, my own health and well-being.
Is this what adulthood is? Feeling like I’m scrambling to keep up with life’s pace – with work, with relationships, with friendships, with values, with personal convictions – and never feeling caught up? Is that what it is?
I find myself frustrated. I like my life, I really do. But I’m also stressed sometimes, and I find that this apartment can trigger that. And could it be that there is something to the idea that negative memories get attached to certain spaces (in the same way that positive ones get attached to others) and maybe what you need is an escape?
Don’t get me wrong – I still believe that the ultimate solution is to choose to be content and sleep in the bed you’ve made.
But maybe sometimes you just need to buy a new bed?
Or, you know, get a new apartment.