I finally did it. With the help of my roommate, I painted my bedroom. It’s now a gorgeous, romantic shade of grayish lavender, called “piano concerto,” which means it’s grown-up and high-brow, and not the color of a nursery. I can’t stop staring at how beautiful it looks, especially with my bright green abstract painting of a mossy underworld, roots reaching towards the earth’s core, amoebas bubbling up (the artist’s name I never got; she was a waitress who sold it to me for $50). And how perfect the lavender looks with my sister’s deep blue waterfall painting, and the painting from my grandmother, which looks like a village rebuilding itself from the aftermath of a tsunami. It’s a favorite of mine, which hung on Grandma’s dining room wall since I was a child. Two women stand on the shore, talking, maybe working together, maybe getting some water for their families. The artist’s name looks like Milo, and I have no idea who he or she is, or what became of her.
This project I procrastinated for months, and wondered if it would ever happen. Decorating has been an ongoing struggle for me, not just because it takes time, money, and work, but because it screams of permanence. It means I’m staying here, and rarely do I want to stay here, because I always think I’m on my way to somewhere else, somewhere better. Even gardening I couldn’t do. Last spring I’d played around with the idea of growing some herbs and tomatoes, and at the last minute decided it wasn’t worth it because I’d probably move next spring. Why put seeds in the ground here when I’ll just be somewhere else next year?
Because if you’re always focused on the future, you can’t be happy now. Why not make the best of what you have today? Maybe part of the fear for me was that I’d love it too much to want to leave. This feels more like my own space than ever before, and I have plans of making it more so. If I leave this, I go into the unknown, and there’s a 50/50 chance that would be worse, maybe more restrictive, less my space, and more our space, a space I cannot leave when times get tough. Who knows? That’s a future that hasn’t happened, and maybe never will. Maybe it will happen and be both my space and our space.
I bet my mom would love this room. She would say, “It’s so you!”
I love it here.
Since the day I moved to Maryland, I had plans of moving back down South as soon as possible. This wasn’t home. It’s too cold, too snowy, too crowded, too expensive, too this, too that. But when the opportunity arose for me to move back, immediately fear set in. Where would I work? Would there be a support network there for me? What about the friends I’ve made here? I would have to start over again.
And where is home, really?
I can’t think of a single place, but I know it’s out there. I just haven’t found it yet.
It reminds me of this beautiful passage from Dolores on “Westworld,” when Bernard asks her to imagine two versions of herself:
On second thought, it’s not that it’s out there so much as it’s right here. I just haven’t gotten comfortable with here yet.