Last year I bought myself a desk. I thought that at least if I had the proper tools to accomplish my daily writing and reasoning, that perhaps, some actual work might be accomplished within the walls of my home. Since then I’ve gone to such lengths as to blame the lack of natural light, the absence of fresh air, or even the sound of the neighbours below me when it came to my feeble attempts at getting work done at home. So as I sit here in the coffee shop far and away from my home, pondering the considerable funds that I’ve dispensed towards just setting up a place to work, it suddenly occurred to me that perhaps, for some of us, there will always be an incapability when it comes to getting anything done at home. Perhaps for some of us, we will never fully settle into the places that we dwell in, and we will always be looking for a better way of life, or an excuse to rationalize why we haven’t met a personal deadline, the perfect mate, or why we haven’t arrived at where we feel we should be in our lives.
It all started at an early age in my teens. My parents lived far away from the “hustle and bustle” of downtown Calgary, and for someone who developed an early addiction to the noises of street traffic and chaos, finding any sort of relaxation in my quiet little bedroom at the edge of town was impossible. Along with my entirely self-created, angst-inspired imprisonment, I was also looking for any excuse for more socializing and more caffeine. And none of this would be accomplished far and away in the suburbs; a place where I was more likely to hear the sound of a horse’s out breath, than the sparks and excitement of an impromptu street party, or the gentle words of a handsome fellow sitting beside me in a coffee shop.
So I learned over the years the skills and abilities that it took to somehow successfully get work done amongst this “hustle and bustle”, this chaos. I adapted and adjusted my headphones accordingly, and learned to be completely content for hours on end plugging away at some piece of work; a glance at a hot guy walking by, my only distraction or break. So when I inevitably tried in my mid-twenties to start trying to get things done around home, you can see that I was in for some struggle. I sat myself at that new desk of mine and within minutes found myself up and about, making tea, or out on the balcony watching the cars drive by.
So when I take all these bits of information, these repetitious patterns and I start applying them to other aspects of my life, things suddenly start to make sense to me. I look at the fact that I have lived in no less than 10 different homes and 3 different cities over the past 10 years. I see the failed relationships and the mental barriers that I’ve built: always looking out the window for something or someone who I would consider a better “catch” or a greater frontier. I see my anxiety and my lack of focus, and I wonder, for a person trained in the relaxing and fulfilling practices of yoga, meditation, and western herbalism, how truly zen I am.
So I’ve taken this weekend off. I’ve given myself the rare gift of space from the city and all of its offerings. Instead of spending my nights surrounded by bumping stereo speakers and the chaos of downtown, I’ve instead surrounded myself with the covers of my bed and the comfort of a constant stream of warm cups of tea. Perhaps once in a while for the strongest and most durable of us, it takes complete denial of the sensory overload of the city for us to realize that we are not as invincible as we would like to think. Perhaps, our weaknesses are all too easily hidden below the chaos of a hung-over mind, and the perpetual buzz of our blackberrys. Once in a while it does each and every one of us a lot of good to take a step back and look at the patterns that we continue to repeat, and the things that we deny ourselves.
So it may take a long time to completely come to terms with my short –comings. It may take me the rest of my life to settle comfortably into a home that I love or a relationship in which I feel total satisfaction. But truthfully I must allow myself to be open to the fact that I may always be looking out the window for a better home with a better man and a better future.
Last year I bought myself a desk. And although I tell myself every day that I’m going to start getting productive around home, sitting down and making things happen in the comfort of my office, that poor desk just sits there, alone, gathering the dust and clutter of my always chaotic life.
This article was originally published at Homorazzi on May 24, 2009 as Last Year I Bought Myself a Desk…
Trevor Ellestad is a writer, an herbalist, and an ex-yoga teacher who spends his days creating plant-based magic at Vega. Trevor keeps a tidy home with his partner and their as of yet un-named spider monkey of a kitty cat in Vancouver, BC. At night, Trevor likes to surround himself with plants and obsess over the seemingly simple lives of cats and robots.