In My Happy Place (Writing 101, Day 6)

When it’s time to write, I like to be alone.  Crowded locations, even trendy coffee shops, are a definite no.  I used to bury myself in the basement of my university’s library.  Something about being surrounded by books helped me find my words.

These days, writing usually happens in my bedroom.  This summer, I got rid of the tiny desk that served me throughout childhood and upgraded to something I can actually USE.  I’m sitting here now, actually.  See the white chair in the photo below?  Picture me there, typing away on my laptop.

My bedroom is my happy place.  It’s the only place I can truly be alone.  I can hear noises from other parts of the house, but they can’t reach me here.  Not in my happy place.

I’m the type of person who likes to be cozy.  Part of this means lots of bookshelves, warm sweaters, and patterned socks.  Part of this also means surrounding myself with objects laden with memories.  Almost everything in the photo of my desk has meaning.  The bulletin board is covered with postcards, photos, and notes, each bearing its own story.  If you were here, I could tell you each one.  The wire hanging spelling my name was a gift from a co-worker during my camp counseling days.  Even the tiny objects bring back memories–rubber ducks given to me by a favorite roommate, a carved elephant a friend brought back from Africa, a plaque with a Bible verse given to me when I graduated high school.

When I’m cozy, I’m comfortable.  When I’m comfortable, words flow.

 This post is inspired by an assignment for the Blogging University class Writing 101: Finding Everyday Inspiration.

P.S. Part of today’s assignment included generating polls/contact forms to generate ideas for future posts.  I opted for the contact form.  If you have a topic or area you’d like to see me write about, you can find the new “Contact Me” page under my “About” heading.  Or you can email me at keepyourfeetblog@gmail.com.  OR you can do things the simple way and leave a comment.  Cheers!

Super singles and trips to the cities

Super singles are beautiful creations that introverts long for, but never imagine actually having.  Why?  They’re expensive and hard to come by.

The other day, after explaining the stresses of my sudden mid-week relocation to a classmate, she eyed me enviously.  “You’ve got a super single?  In Spooner?  Oh, you’re so lucky!  That’s everyone’s dream!”

My classmate’s comment is on-point.  To say I haven’t been dreaming of this scenario since freshman year would be a total lie.  Over the past four years, I have analyzed all the different possibilities of what my room would look like if I had no roommate.  Where would I put the furniture?  What cozy corners would I create?

Now, it’s important to note that I’m not railing against roommates.  Roommates are great.  I’m introverted, but I go absolutely crazy if left in my head for too long.  I love having people close by to pull me out of my mind when I get stuck there.  Even though I’ve moved, I’m still friends with my old roommates and enjoy spending time with them.

Still, it’s wonderful to have my own space to come home to.  You would think that after the insane week I’ve had, I would lie low and regain my energy.  Hahahaha…. nope.

Yesterday afternoon, my car was packed and I was on the road the second my library shift ended.  Although I was tired and definitely had second-thoughts about making a trip to the cities, I’m glad I made the trip.

You may be wondering where was I headed in such a rush.  Let me explain.  Over the past few years, nearly all my best friends here in Morris have graduated.  Now, they all seem to be branching out and moving far away.  In a couple of months, my dear friend Jenny is leaving for a two-year teaching job in Japan.  I want to seize every opportunity to bask in her presence.  So making the trek from the prairie to the cities was well worth it for a night of well-needed conversation and silliness.

Since I was in the area, after departing Jenny’s house this morning, I met up with my older brother for coffee.  We hung out in Caribou for hours, sipping mochas and gushing about superheroes movies and the cultural impact of the internet, then hit up some local shops.  (My spoils include mechanical pencils, a lamp, and a digital clock.)

I also took advantage of the fact that Chipotle exists in the cities and grabbed a burrito on my way back to Morris.  That was over five hours ago and I’m still full.  (God bless Chipotle).

I’m back in Morris now, even more tired than I was at the beginning of my adventure.  I’ve managed to put a tiny dent in my homework, but will still be spending a bunch of time in the library tomorrow.

Now, though, I’m going to curl up in one of the cozy corners I’ve finally gotten to create and catch up on my superhero t.v. shows.  It’s been a long week and I think I deserve a night off.

The authenticity of being home

There’s something sacred about being home.  Yes, I’ve only been back in school for two weeks.  But I find myself gravitating back to the place I spent so many years.  I can’t seem to stay away.

Time passes differently here.

At school, the days are organized and structured.  Two hours of class.  An hour of work.  Twenty minutes between lectures.  Two hours until my roommate comes back.  An hour and a half to squeeze in a workout.  Three hours of homework time.  If I’m organized, productive, and lucky enough, I can spend an evening in my pajamas lying around doing nothing.  But, even then, time remains rigid in my mind.  How many episodes of this t.v. show do I have time to watch?  What time do I need to go to bed to get my full eight hours?  When do I need to wake up in the morning in order to increase productivity?  The things my brain does to get me through the day is exhausting.

When I’m home, time is elusive.  I pass from one task to another.  I get lost amid my homework and glance up to find an hour has already passed.  I strap on snowshoes like the hardy Minnesotan that I am and plow through the orchard.  I return to the house, rosy-cheeked and breathing heavily to find I was only gone for half an hour.  I sit at the counter, listening to Mom and Dad make plans to travel somewhere warm and laughing at my brother, and the minutes slide by so quickly I cannot even keep track of them.

My life in Morris feels artificial.  I’m trying to enjoy it for its merits, but really, it all feels like one giant chore.  Plow through another day.  Complete another set of readings.  Endure the tiny apartment.  Smile and be pleasant.  All the while, all I want is to spend my time doing something actually meaningful.  And I long for the comforts and familiarity of home.

It’s a good thing I’ve got so much homework this semester.  When the weekend is over and I have to go back, I’m going to be so busy trying to keep my academic head afloat that time is going to absolutely fly.

Then I can return home one final time and figure out what’s next.

I can’t wait.