The picture continues to unfold. Box by box, one bubble-wrapped bundle at a time. The apartment is almost done (well, in the sense that everything almost has a place, and everything is almost in it). And I love it more each and every day. I love it more than I was willing to imagine. It was everything I knew I wanted, and some things it took me experiencing to fully appreciate.
I have built a ridiculous amount of Ikea furniture in the last 2 weeks, during which it was necessary to utilize both the accompanying allen key, as well as a case of Strongbow to help to decipher the universally confusing instructions. There are no words to explain the process — only seemingly easy, yet-always-confusingly-ambiguous diagrams. I like to imagine the Ikea Informational Designers laughing heartedly at the millions of North American dopes swearing profusely while trying to patch together the Lerberg shelving unit. Frustration ensues (as does more Strongbow). Everything ultimately ends up working out fine, albeit
slightly considerably off kilter. My friend Meghan lent a hand with the large Expedit room divider thingamajig, and if she hadn’t, I might not be here typing this right now. I would instead be visibly twitching in a corner muttering about wooden dowels not fitting into too many holes. Why are there holes if nothing fits into them?? Why, also apparently confused Ikea Instruction Man, why??? At times I was concerned about my mental desire to punch an illustration, but it all worked out in the end.
There are subtle differences to my feelings for this apartment vs. the last. I love the hardwood floors. I dis-love the lack of counter space. I love the brightness. I dis-love the fact that sometimes I feel like I’m living in a fishbowl. I love the fact that I can walk from one end of my place to the other in roughly 3.2 seconds. I dis-love the fact that I can walk from one end of my place to the other in roughly 3.2 seconds. The windowbox of course, goes without saying.
For once in the history of me I have far too many shelves for books, and not enough volumes to put upon them. Over time, one builds a substantial collection. Bit by bit, your personal library expands to fill the space, to tell the story of your literary life, your tastes and trends as you get older. But books are tedious to move, and being that I knew I would be coercing my put-upon friends to help me move again at some undetermined time in the future, it seemed only right that I cut my collection in half… in quarters. So I gave them all away. And now my shelves look alarmingly empty. I never realized how much I felt my book collection somehow reflected my intelligence or ability to be interesting. Funny how those ideas seem to develop all on their own, in the back of your mind. So I’m beginning again. At least now I can been more choosy, and can do arty things like color-coordinate them, as opposed to my tried-and-true ‘lining them up in terms of height’ method before.
Here is some photographic proof that despite me not having any sort of cohesive style, it still sort of works, in all it’s randomness. (It also proves that I, like the rest of the city have fallen into NHL playoff watching fever). I love color. I love texture. I love vintage ceramics that involve anthropomorphic cats wearing hats and smiling mischievously. I love out of date technology like cameras and typewriters. Although mildly alarming sidenote: my typewriters are currently M.I.A. (which when you think about it, is it a feat it itself, being that they weigh about 20lbs each, and there are 4 of them).
I have managed to separate the space with the shelving unit, which actually ends up making a pretty sweet little bed nook. I hung paper lanterns overhead and curtains at the foot of the bed to close off the space a little. Which ends up making it feel really cozy when I’m tucked inside.
I was afraid that if I moved into a bachelor suite that I would end up feeling like I never left my bedroom. I was worried that people would come over to visit me and it would feel awkwardly small, but the opposite has been true. I think the mirrors and giant windows lend themselves well to opening it up in here.
Plus, the times I feel like I need to get away from these walls, I can slip out into the back garden, which is absolutely gorgeous right now. There are bluebells strewn about, and people have staked out tiny garden plots and filled them with vegetables and soon-to-be-flowering plants. There are chairs to laze around and read books in. Trees to lay under, and quiet enough to forget that I am living in the city (well, except when I am actually inside the apartment, when there is no way in hell I could ever forget that I live in the city, and more accurately, on the side of a highway). Thank god for earplugs.
So here I am – feeling pretty damn good about life in general. It’s nice to tick one thing off my life list. Having a home base that I feel excited to be in makes for a pretty contented me. I’m still on the job search, but it will come soon enough. In the meantime it’s officially dress and t-shirt weather, and the days stretch past 9:30. Hurray for Spring (and very shortly, Summer)!