Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sugar, Spice...Everything Nice

I’ll be honest, I have a stubborn streak. I know this may come as a surprise to you, dear reader; what – with my gung-ho progressive causes and my work right in the ground zero of womanism. I get how it could be difficult to view me as someone who gets stuck in her own frame of mind. You don’t understand. Even my online friends acknowledge this stubborn streak. Just the other morning, I polled my twitter friends on how long they thought it would be before I got sick of my curly hair flopping in my face. I usually pin it back but I felt pretty good about the style I had going on. Anyway, one tweeter had an entire method to her prediction: she bet that I would be tired of it later in the day, because if people were better against me, I’d try that much harder to win the bet. Clever.

I thought about my stubborn streak just the other night, actually. I thought about my home-life and what makes a “home” versus a “place I live.” It sounds silly. Nit-picky, even. I moved right back to the lovely comforts of my home town in the South, and yet it was only until last night when I unpacked my groceries that the place where I live began feeling like my “home”. The trick? Apparently the trick was finally getting around to buying real spices for my spice cabinet.

I cook often, and I’m damn good at it, thanks; but I’ve maintained a very limited collection of spices and I have a theory as to why: to make myself feel like I’m not “stuck” here. Committed and all. I know that might not make sense but I’ve done this with a number of things: lease signing, long-termany relationships, new friendships and socializing, becoming connected to my new-old place of residence. I mean, honestly, my full-time job is the absolute only absolute with my current place.

I wonder, though; if I decided to really grow to love the place where I live – to find other square pegs to not fit-in with – will the new-old place where I live begin feeling more like home?

Call it an challenge to grow masked as an exercise only for the sake of my sanity, but I’ve had thoughts about feeling wanted, needed, valued, or even at the bare minimum liked. I’d like to make more connections to people I genuinely like and have things in common with, and I’ve recently made progress. In the bigger scheme of things, and to be painfully cliché, I’m looking or the spice of (my) life.

I thought it would be really neat, though, if I began making my actual physical address a bit more like my home. Sure, I live here. And I’ll give it to ya, it’s got style. But I want to make it mine. It’s so standard and typical right now and it doesn’t really fit my personality. It’s like the straight-haired version of me; people loved my straight hair. I waltzed into my workplace like a blast from the past as a result of pure spontaneity and I received so many compliments on my hair. I even liked it a little bit, but it wasn’t me. One coworker talked about how gorgeous and lengthy my hair was, but told me that it was so plane and tame for me. She felt like I’m not me unless I put time and effort into creating a chaotic twist to my style all for the sake of fashion. That’s fair. And very much how I view my home. I have a cute and conservative den and photos of my family about. I have my record player and piano, and a nice vintage kitchen, complete with a stove that dates to the 50s. My bedroom is quite bland. Even my bathroom, though tiny, is very put together and neat. And it all isn’t rockin’ enough for me to call it my own.

As such, I’m coming back to life and illustrating more of me in every aspect of my 2011-life. Does that make sense, or does it just seem plum frivolous? I say, you’ve got to start somewhere and making my home a little more artsy and fitting of who I am is the first step.

I'm going to take a step back from the being stubborn, simply to enjoy my life where I am. They're only things; and if being comfortable means feeling "stuck", there's something else I need to work on: a little thing called perception.

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