It’s okay.  It’s temporary.  I have so much to do – so many things to figure out – these details don’t matter.  I can make do with anything.  I don’t really want anything, so I might as well be happy with this.


A year and a half ago I moved home.  Not just to my hometown.  Home.  I live in the bedroom I grew up in.  That is my space.  I also get the nearby half bath.  The room is fairly large.  The bathroom isn’t bad.  I was (and still am) grateful for the free accommodations.  How many people have a safety net like this?


What made me stop and take a deep breath was that my mother hadn’t bothered to make space for me.  I assumed the space was there.  My parents lived alone in a four bedroom house.  The minor detail I had somehow missed on my brief weekends home was how thoroughly they had filled it.  Both closets in one of the bedrooms are filled with Christmas décor.  Boxes tower in front of a built in dresser.  The hallway is stacked with totes.  I had two days to settle in before I left for a networking trip in D.C.  I considered my options, and the fact that I had two more hours to return the U-Haul that day, and I unloaded my stuff on top of their stuff.


That was a horrible idea.  I quickly become overwhelmed by spatial chaos.  I can arrange people and projects without a blink, but a messy desk can paralyze me.


When I had my own apartment in Denver everything had a place.  I took the time to organize, settle in, and even decorate a little.  My apartment felt like home.  I enjoyed having people over.  Sitting on my couch was restful.  I could watch tv without feeling like I should be doing something else.


In retrospect, I can see which “homes” only felt temporary to me.  The messier my living space was, the less organized, the more stark, the less I felt like I would stay.  And I rarely did.  I typically moved every 6 months.  When I stayed longer I would make half-hearted attempts to make my space more functional.  But a few places, like the apartment in Denver, truly felt like me.  I spent time making them feel like a home that reflected me and provided the cozy functionality I prefer.


I have made some half-hearted attempts here.  I have gone through sections of the room – donating, trashing, shredding, organizing.  But I get bored, distracted, or put off by the temperature.  My room used to be an attic.  In the summer it is hot and humid.  In the winter it is frigid.  My closet door, closed to contain any streams of heat created by the space heater, opens just long enough for me to throw in the clothes I don’t think I’ll want for another week or two.  Any clothing used on a more consistent rotation gets strung around the room, where I can reach it without risking a toe to frostbite.  That closet could have been the inspiration for The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.  If I pushed through the clothes I’m sure I would find snow.  And even with the heater on I am rarely in the room more than 5 minutes in the winter without climbing under the blankets.


But my bigger problem is just having too much stuff.  My room holds abandoned mail, the random spices and kitchen tools I have retrieved from the basement boxes but might want to use again before I move out, my winter clothes, my summer clothes, my books, my sewing projects (including my sewing machine and containers of fabric), my photographs, my writing notes, my jewelry, my movie collection, my hiking boots and pack, the out-of-season window air conditioner, jars of hand lotion, my gym bag, my workout gear, a crate of tote bags (it’s an addiction), empty crates for future organizational projects, and a half-formed pile intended for goodwill.  The walls are bare other than a rectangular frame designed to hold my larger earrings and the sapphire blue shower curtain I strung across my window to block out extra light after a particularly bad migraine.


The bathroom is not any better.  Half of the closet is filled with sheets that don’t fit the bed I am using.  I’m not even sure the fitted sheets still have elastic, but my parents have yet to concede that any can be re-homed.  The rickety over-the-toilet shelf can’t hold more than a few magazines or a bag of cotton balls.  My own belongings dot the countertop, and a collection of wall-plaques lean against various shelves and walls, exhorting anyone in the bathroom to enjoy every minute as though it is their last.  Or something like that.


It is a cluttered disaster.  It is a warehouse.


It’s okay.  It’s temporary.  I have so much to do – so many things to figure out – these details don’t matter.  I can make do with anything.  I don’t really want anything, so I might as well be happy with this.  I repeat what I thought when I moved in.


I was not looking for a home when I moved here.  I was looking for a place to stay until I decided what will come next.  I just needed a space to store me and my things.


But as I am reconnecting with myself I am becoming aware that being here is holding me back in a way I had not foreseen.  I am not being me.  My whole journey of self-discovery is making it impossible to live this way.  I cannot sit in my room and not see the details around me, or see them and not care what they add up to.  There are things that I want, and this isn’t it.


This is a good thing.