This is what it looks like when I find my center again. Rows of freezer sandwiches. Homemade whipped cream, plain yogurt, berries reduced in sugar. No fancy, scratch-made version of graham crackers. Just those familiar sheets from Honey Maid, sealed in the same brown plastic I remember from childhood.
We started looking to buy a house in Portland, and man did that do a number on my brain.
One week ago, I was happy in my tiny apartment, sitting at my perfectly appointed work desk, doing and thinking all number of things.
Six days ago, after having casually looked into homes here and there, we found one we thought might be great. It was a little more money than we were hoping to spend, but it would have been worth it.
Five days ago we put in an offer.
Four days ago our offer was passed up for something better.
Somewhere along the way my brain got rearranged. This house, I thought it might have been The One, moving us out of our cramped little space and into ... King's childhood, into a home big enough to host friends and family who visited, onto a tree-lined street, nestled in hills.
I think my brain got trapped in that space. But now a void of space (what is that even?), because the house wasn't going to be ours. So my brain was a vacuum, and I became desperate to fill it with a home any home that we could possibly get but my god this housing market is tight and expensive and there are so many options but only so many of them that we can afford but what if we just spend a little more money or maybe we don't need to live so close to the city what if we live in some next-town-over because, by god, we need a home.
Somehow this weekend we also did really wonderful things. We picked five pounds of blueberries on Sauvie Island (we've already eaten most of those by the fistful). We went on a four-hour hike. We had donuts and coffee. Twice! We ate dinners with friends. We watched that gawh-ram season finale of that gawh-ram show.
It was truly and deeply good.
So when I started to feel desperate again come Sunday evening and into Monday, I had to ask, "Why am I feeling like this? Why when there were so many good things?"
Luckily all that goodness did its job and gave me perspective. Made me shake my head and doubt how seriously I should take myself feeling so desperate.
"Why, when this apartment was wonderful a week ago am I trying so hard to escape it?"
So I scrubbed off that crud. Did the grocery shopping. Stocked our home with vegetables and fruit (persimmons!) and a half-gallon of heavy whipping cream. Made freezer sandwich cookies. Things were starting to look like something again.
And then I cleared off my desk. This is my perfect, tidy, modest space that feels complete.
I scrapped my to-do list, too, and put just one lonely item onto it. Do you see that little piece of yellow tape on the window up there? Email Justin. Look at that. Look how simple it is to get back.
Just do this one little thing and you'll get back.