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Nearly 5 years ago, I moved into a “temporary” living situation: a 574-square foot studio apartment (not even in NYC!) above a family member’s garage. I was an unemployed, in-debt, post-grad graduate and it was a more-than-reasonable solution to my situation.

That was 5 years ago.

I always pictured the Apartment as being a temporary thing. That when I was gainfully employed (now for nearly 4.5 years!), I would move to a real living situation (and ditch the starter pots and plates from college).

In fact, it was hard to explain to others what joy I had when I acquired my first actual pieces of my own furniture last fall (the Lady Chair and the bench).

And don’t get me wrong; I’ve entertained the idea of buying a house and I’ve “shopped” the market. But I’m still here, in my temporary space. As ClassyLady has pointed out: I haven’t moved into my “adult space” yet. sigh

But recent conversations with WineMan have revealed, I am not alone in this temporary living. Having downsized to apartment-living from an adult-sized house 2+ years ago, WineMan still has some of his most treasured possessions in storage (not unlike yours truly). This discussion actually made me start to wonder: when beloved things are in storage for prolonged periods of time, when is it no longer temporary?

I know what my excuse sounds like: I did the education thing… I’m starting the career thing… the next obvious one is marriage, so why buy a house if I *might* be getting married in the next 2-5 years? (Yeah, I know: it was a hypothetical conversation with myself.) We’re at 5 years and not a day closer to getting married. And my clothes are still fighting for space in the 65″-wide, single-rack closet.

So when does temporary become permanent? And how do we know that when our circumstances change, the things we haul out of storage will be what we want? Will it have been worth it to store these items for so long? Or, should I simply simplify and cleanse the storage unit? Or, should I take more steps to make the current space more permanent? Maybe paint a wall or something.

I realize that this piece has been pondered because of the tangible things…the stuff in storage forms the bounds of this meditation. Because, really, would the temporary-come-permanent situation be an issue if there wasn’t something waiting in the wings for the next space?

~M

Retro re-post of the day: The Man in the Moon (sort of, but not really)

Retro re-post bonus: Meditations in Brief

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2 thoughts on “Stuck in Temporary (or, When Permanent Sets In)

  1. Permanent is scary, which is why I can’t even commit to a hair color for more than two months. The fact that I own a house is something quite contradictory to that statement, but I took the leap a couple years ago and despite the issues associated with it, love it. Once you get past the “holy crap I have a mortgage” stage, it’s nice to know you have something solid to call your own.

    I don’t have a lot of “things,” but what I do have is not hidden in storage but out to enjoy. When I moved, I only brought what I wanted and needed right then. Why have these things if all you do is store them, my dear? But I understand where you’re coming from completely and agree that more and more people are opting for temporary living situations, as there are so many unknown opportunities out there that may present themselves.

    I say ignore what everyone else is doing or telling you you should do and simply do what brings you peace right now. If you’re looking to create a sense of home, a safe “base” to return to day in and day out, you can create that anywhere. The cool thing is that you can also change your mind no matter what and honestly, nothing is “permanent.”

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