This summer has been all about pushing it.
I need more sleep – but I push through it. I need more money – but I push through it. I need to spend more time on myself – but I push through it. I’m not having fun at my internship – but I push through it. I want to take a break – but I push through it.
So every morning, I wake up, force my heavy eyelids open, and think the exact same, overwhelming thought: god damn it, something has got to give.
When you’ve committed yourself to things you can’t back out of, the solution isn’t in giving up or throwing in the towel prematurely – the only thing I can do for myself is to really perfect life where it counts. Things that CAN get better NEED to be the best they can.
Which brings me to our apartment. Moving into our apartment (after squatting in the empty apartment next door quasi-illegally for 3 weeks in a hot and sweaty pig sty) was a hap-hazard, frantic process. We felt a desperate need to be settled in, so we settled as quickly as possible. And in true Erin and Liz fashion, that meant painting the walls, color-styling our rooms and even making the trek to IKEA before the previous inhabitants were even out of their rooms (poor girls didn’t know what hit ’em). We get a little excited. But, again, in true Lerin fashion, we may have thrown paint on the walls a little too quickly.
Some people can live with a half-assed decorating job, or a failed paint job, or a room that is only near completion. Design-minded folk like Erin and Liz cannot.
So I’ve realized that of all the overpowering pulls on my life right now, the one thing that really has to give is that our apartment needs to feel like home – it needs to be an escape from the summer of pushing it, the only place where I don’t need to push through anything.
For the past month, Erin and I have been pushing through it – and finally last night we admitted to ourselves and to each other that the living room has been sucking the happiness out of us. The thing about us is that we try really hard to be happy, and most of the time, we really really are. We try not to recognize inconvenient truths, whether it’s a schism in our social group or a cloud over our moods, in an effort to maintain our happy lifestyles. I think we learned our lesson last night though. We’d been trying to ignore how much we hated the living room for weeks. But once it was out in the open, that stupid wall color had NO CHANCE again the combined spontaneous energy of Erin and Liz. Once a problem is recognized, we are very productive individuals. We go through our four step process, and suddenly, at 2:30 am as usual, we are well on our way to perfecting our haven.
1. Recognize problem.
2. Fight about it.
3. Have epiphany, love each other again.
4. Take action, and don’t stop til it’s finished.
The point of the story is that our apartment is now well on it’s way to being something we’re both proud of, and we were silly to ever think that that didn’t matter – more than anything.