A story from inside the quirk cave
Especially in the online world, but also in the real world, there can be anxiety in “going away” for a while. Whether you’re stepping away from your business, from your workplace, or just from your friends, there can be fear in distance. The loss of constant connection. Will I be missed? Will trust diminish if I don’t show up for a little while? What if when I come back, they think I’m not as valuable anymore?
All of those could be true. But, the thing about life is it’s never “either / or”.
What if the best thing you can do is take a step back? To create something different. What if going away isn’t “bad”, but a vital part of the process of getting perspective?
What if the world is like a snow globe, and when you shake things up, that’s when you discover a new magic?
Here’s my story of how I have been shaking my “home” snow globe for the past few years and what I discovered…
When I moved from Atlanta, GA to New York City in 2013, I sold just about everything and arrived with only a few boxes and a suitcase.
This was during a time when I was challenging my own assumptions of what I thought was possible.
You see, I used to be overly perfectionistic, bordering on OCD, and so I threw myself into the fire of “the way it had to be” and experimented with seeing the world in a different way.
If I could survive a brand new, extremely harsh city, living on a blow-up mattress in someone’s office, then what else might I be able to do?
For over two years, I’ve been jumping from sublet to sublet. I’ve lived in a Bushwick loft with 4 other young 20 somethings. And, I’ve rented a room in a 2 bedroom Astoria apartment that overlooked a brick wall, with a tiny bit of sky, that was like an echo chamber where if someone else was watching TV, it sounded as if it was coming from the living room. I also lived in someone’s bedroom who was a huge Harry Potter fan, and the room was filled with all things magical.
All of those experiences were experiments in discovering what I absolutely needed to thrive and what was icing on the cake. I learned about who I was by living in other people’s spaces.
Finally, two months ago, I signed a lease and officially have a permanent residence for 2015. I still had hardly any furniture, so part of my technology hiatus was I went to Tennessee where I grew up and actually built some furniture.
The biggest lesson I learned is one of the most underutilized choices we have is the ability to make our space our own. Even if the only thing that is your space is a closet.
–> When creating your space you could ask yourself, “How can I furnish this space as ___ as possible?” If you’re going for cheap & fast, this is usually the Ikea-fied version. But, even if you are going for as modern as possible, or as traditional as possible, you’re deciding based on someone else’s ideal.
–> Whereas, you could be asking, “How does this space reflect who I am?” This doesn’t have to a look a specific way, and it doesn’t even have to be expensive. All that matters, is if everything in your space enhances your experience of the space and of yourself. By all means, it’s great to use influences, we are all compilations of our likes / dislikes of existing and non-existing things, but instead of purely emulating, consider what makes you feel the most alive?
You have the choice between the easy option:
a typical scotch tape dispenser
taking a few moments to be intentional, to add some personality and discovering:
a snail tape dispenser!
It could be the difference between:
a default black stapler
a white whale stapler!
The quirkified version of creating your own space means using your internal gauge as the standard for beauty.
Here’s a peek into what my space looks like now!