Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Architecture and Artifacts

Sometimes the intangibility of my life is driven home to me. It's not just that I'm a daydreamer; there's a good role for the imagination in creating a better reality. (And it's not that my vocation is words, either - words are real things, palpable objects.) It's that I've lived in my head, clung to mindless routines, and insisted that I was happy in order to escape a reality that I found very confusing and frightening.

I'm a more real person now, trying to live a more real life. Last summer I got rid of over half my belongings (clothes, books, furniture) in order to be ready to move on to whatever was next. Now, my possessions barely fill up a quarter of my massive bedroom. To me it stands for the fact that I've started over, but also the truth that up till now I never thought it was okay to fully invest in my own life.

I want to build something. I lie in my bed and stare at the windows, framed by gorgeous curtains, a tiny picture frame on the windowsill and a half-burnt votive candle. Through the glass I see the sky and trees and the top of a lamppost. This summer I've been thinking about goals, refining old ones and polishing off rough new ones. I imagine myself as the architect of my life. Today I'm just framing it; one day it will be rich and solid.

The only way I know of to counteract a feeling I sometimes have that life isn't real (when it happens all the pictures in my head become instantly two-dimensional) is to have a life I can touch. I'm going to decorate my room with things that are meaningful to me, keep pushing toward an editing career, plan adventures, be with my friends. One day I'll look around and my life will be built with tangible objects. I won't be able to doubt it then.

No comments: