How to land without settling, be settled without being grounded, ground yourself without being in the ground…? The fear of settling – akin to being interred in more ways than the diction alone – has been behind most of my bad (and some of my good) decisions over the past two decades. This could be linked to my issues with FOMO, but I think more accurately it reflects a fear of settling for something; clearly suggestive of the fact that one is settling “down,” literally and metaphorically.
Still – I think there is only so long one can remain in suspended animation… a floaty stasis, as it were. This after all, has always been one of my issues surrounding the expat life. Lacking foundation or grounding. But, there I was searching that exact condition out.
Regardless of the labels I stick all over my life, the fact remains, it keeps on changing, sometimes gently, sometimes abruptly… always dynamically. Since April 30, 2010, I have been living in temporary circumstances, out of an interesting variety of suitcases, in three different countries, eight different cities and countless unique sleeping arrangements (consider planes, pick up trucks, couches, sofa beds, trundle beds, loft beds, hotel beds, cots, and sleeping bags…) It has been challenging and manic and rewarding. But now, I seem to have landed.
I got my place a month ago (nearly) but still – the vibe was temporary. Heaps of stuff that I had not seen in more than five years formed a forest of cairns, requiring not only careful navigation, but an acceptance of indefatigable dust, permanently wrinkled clothes and a kind of creepy living time capsule. The more I tried to put things away, the more seemed to crop up. It was like living in a never-ending game of Whack-a-mole.
And then I found myself in the Seventh Circle of Hell Ikea. Suddenly, I was buying furniture again. I thought back to my last treatise on furniture and the irony that I was back in Ikea was not lost on me. One of the guys working there even looked like Tyler Durden. I did what I had to do while I was there and lo! I had furniture.
Settled? Perhaps. Grounded? Maybe. Furnished? Definitely.
Suddenly what was a house…
…seems to be a home.