I woke up the other morning, walked into my living room, and decided that I didn’t like the framed posters I’ve had hanging above my couch for three years. (As well as in my possession for much, much longer than that.) Suddenly they seemed too basic, too pedestrian. Here I am, a self-proclaimed die-hard diy crafty type person with expected posters on her wall? No. Unacceptable.
My lunch break turned into a Pinterest expedition to find alternative ideas… should I reuse the frames or just get canvases and make my own paintings? What would feel right in the space and still be me? Vague idea in hand, my evening schedule quickly excluded everything that wasn’t the following plan:
- Step One, home to take measurements.
- Step Two, off to Michaels (coupons in hand already, natch) for supplies.
- Step Three, back-up plan, trip to Ikea for pursuing alternate concept.
- Step Four, lock the kitten in the bedroom (with toys and treats and water and such, I’m not a monster), throw on LOTR or similar marathon (Dark Knight perhaps?) and craft my little heart away. Perhaps a glass of liquid creativity to help as well. (I think other people call it “wine”.)
- Step Five, Fix problem, sleep well.
And that’s pretty much how it went, other than the kitten I haven’t accidentally killed yet being cooperative and the movie marathon switching to a 5 hour dance party party for one. Complete success.
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I don’t know how or why this happens to me, this sudden drastic switch in something. I had hardly noticed those posters in the last several years, yet that morning they were a giant flashing terribleness in my face. So like any determined, focused individual, I spontaneously jumped on the “make new art and fix the situation” train. Totally normal.
This sudden crisis, this instantaneous wrongness was righted though my quick action.
I am ridiculous.
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In only two realms of my life does this mustchangenow trait seem to manifest: in my hair and in my home decor.
The hair thing started later in life, as up until college I pretty much did nothing other than that ill-conceived perm in 7th grade (which WAS the style at the time… kinda). That perm admittedly scared me off messing with my simple straight mop of a look until I had gotten a bit more of a grasp on both style in general and my own face.
Now it’s the ease of giving myself a trim or my fairly regular adding or adjusting of color. When I get bored with my mop, I can make some quick edits and changes and mix it up. I like not being afraid of messing with my look. After all, it is just hair. It will grow back and I can always throw a box of darker color on it if I get out of control with highlights. There is something in the inherently fluctuating nature of hair, ever growing no matter what you do, that makes it the perfect canvas for experimenting.
I like having the ability and confidence to change my hair on a whim.
But I worry that someday, in my boredom, I will give myself bangs again.
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The decor has been a life-long thing and does make more sense when you consider my chosen career.
Growing up, I was constantly rearranging my bedroom. Graph paper, scissors, and a measuring tape created a rudimentary Autocad version of my belongings and space, allowing me to pre-re-arrange everything before dragging furniture around my bedroom. Now I have a whole apartment as my canvas, actual Autocad on my computer, plus the idea-machine that is Pinterest. My work is never done. My space can always evolve and improve.
Maybe it’s the perfectionist in me, always looking for just the right layout, the right pieces, and always thinking that with just a little tweak here or there it could be better. I would like to think it’s the inherent visual designer part of my personality, but I fear it’s less benign.
Does it point to a fickle nature? Am I unable to be content? Does this need to adjust represent something else out of balance or control in my general life?
Can I continue to believe that it is an endearing manifestation of my adorable spontaneity?
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I will give myself credit in that this characteristic seems to only focus on the personal and visual. I don’t make drastic life decisions about actual concrete things. And I only ever try to change me… it’s not like I decide to cut my friend’s hair for them or start rearranging their furniture.
I do think it’s a bit about control, as pretty much everything is for me.
But it is also about beauty. Boiled down, my job is to make pretty and inspiring things in a particular medium. So I think it is natural for that trait to bubble over into the rest of my life. Creating the aesthetically pleasing is what I am driven to do at work and within my own world.
And when I’m feeling a little overwhelmed or not at the wheel of some part of my own life? What better time to grab a firm hold on the silly little visual of my self and my sanctuary and try to improve that which I have control over?
Maybe this is a (vaguely) healthy outlet for an internal control freak, after all?
Plus I kinda like my new art. Makes my apartment one step closer to perfect.