My college professor once told me to surround myself with the things I love and I would be inspired. So I brought in a box of random weird crap that I had collected at home and set it up in my work space at the school. He probably meant it a little differently but never said a word. Suddenly I was spending all of my time there, creating the work I should have been all along. From then on I have found a way to justify collecting and keeping useless crap. When Dan and I moved to Chicago the living situation got smaller and smaller with each apartment we lived in. I hadn’t considered this when I made the decision that I was taking EVERYTHING with me and leaving no inspiration behind. Not to mention, I needed to think about the other person living beneath my inspiration, which was probably not very inspiring to him. I don’t think my professor meant to bury yourself alive.
Our last apartment was one you might first mistake for a hotel. Yes, this sounds amazing in the beginning. A gym, a pool, doorman, multiple elevators (not in the actual apartment of course). It was the perfect description of “a room with a view”. 550 sq. feet with windows all the way across looking south to downtown Chicago. It was great until we wanted to move around and live. I quickly realized that all of my nic-nacs, clothes, shoes, and projects would never fit. Where were we going to put Dan and his things!? And who would have thought a 4 lb dog needed so much space? We started off neatly packed in and ended up lost in a heaping pile of well….everything.
Time for a change. My inspiration was lost somewhere underneath the abundance of couch pillows and the 6 winter coats I managed to need in the last 2 days. On top of that I started missing the little things I took for granted about the country life. Like stepping out to see what the temperature is today (maybe then I wouldn’t need so many coats) and seeing the trees sway right outside your window. When your 13 floors up you can’t really smell the fresh air. You also can’t get anything done when your free time is spent organizing and playing tetris with your things just to get to the kitchen.
We have relocated down the street into a walk up apartment. The building is small, 6 units, three floors. We are on the 3rd floor which is perfect and have traded in the amenities of a high rise for much needed space, closets, and a washer and dryer! When I open the window I watch the same breeze that moves the tree tops that are almost close enough to touch, sending the smell of nature right into my apartment. We have a perfect balance of sunlight and the shadow cast by other homes coming in. Its a great mix of being in the city but still feeling connected the natural world. Best of all I have space for my things and even some left over for new things. I can move and I am inspired!