A Room of One’s Own

There really is nothing like a room of one’s own, especially if, like me, you’re the kind of person who uses space and quiet to unpack the experiences of the day or week, synthesize them into some semblance of meaning.

The simple act of writing down my daily thoughts is sometimes the difference between a defined personal ego identity and being a being, arguably, a blob of fear and anxiety.

DJ, Anya, and I moved into a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment this weekend. Anya and I have moved enough that she was excited when we started pulling the furniture out of that little 390 sq foot box of an apartment.

She does circles in the bedrooms, the living room, lays luxuriously out on the back deck when we arrive at the new place. We are all more at home here after two minutes than we ever were in the box.

The box taught us a lot. You know how it is. Diamonds form under pressure.

The day I spent in jail, I realized we had less space to move around in that apartment than most prisoners in a jail cell in King County.

At first, we move in small orbits around one another as though we are still in the tiny apartment. It has left an impression on our senses of space, of self. My self seems to expand tenuously, as though wondering if this is real.

I had told DJ before we moved that I was feeling anxious and couldn’t understand why, having moved a million times. He suggests perhaps it’s because this is the first time I’m moving without a plan to go anywhere else for a while.

This hits me hard and like a merciful hammer. Thank god. Is this what it feels like to approach stability?

The space invites us to make it ours. There are two rooms and a living room and we can fill it with our things as we collect them, choose them, hand-pick them. I haven’t indulged in the simple act of setting space in some time and I’ve forgotten how rewarding it is.

My anxieties trigger a few roadblocks. It’s a feeling I can’t shake…something is wrong, something is off. It’s anxiety.

The thing about having a mood disorder is that our emotions are what influence is to act. I must often question the source of my mood.

Most of the time it’s hunger. If I feel sad at 3pm and wonder about what it feels like to jump off the bridge I’m crossing, most likely I just need a burrito. It’s fucked up.

When we move and the foundations of all things that keep me stable and secure are uprooted, anxiety is a demon I carry around like a backpack with its claws sunk in me.

I’m interviewing for a remote teaching position because the commute is a little longer and meanwhile writing for the blog at work, interviewing a James Beard Award-winning chef, and I wake up wanting to drop a bomb on the day because I feel like something is wrong even though, objectively it’s all good.

Is this self-sabotage?

Yes.

So much yes my self-worth wants me to stay worthless because worth means a responsibility to myself and others not to wallow and succumb to a life lived unambitiously. Below my potential.

A room of one’s own…this is where I find it.

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