Reinventing the World Around Me and What I Think it Means

My living room: Chaos personnified. Everything in my bedroom is being changed, so every drawer has been emptied upon my floor. Laundry is piled in the corner. Painting dropcloths are everywhere. Empty bottles of Anchor Steam beer mark the landscape like roadsigns for a weary worker. Walking across the living room is impossible, but instead requires yogic contortioning to squeeze through awkward openings and a watchful eye so as not to step on anything fragile.

In short, my world has literally been turned upside down, and the remaining hours of this day are to be used to reverse that… Until I get my new bedroom furniture Tuesday and become Miss Ikea-Assembler WunderWorker, and, Friday, begin painting my hallway in a screaming crimson red. Work, work, work.


So, you have some idea of what I’m going through, and soon it’ll all come to an earth-quaking stop as I finally have about 2/3s of the painting done I’ve been wanting to do for the last couple years, and have one more four-day weekend to make sense of it all. (There’s the living and kitchen spaces I plan to paint sometime in the next three months, but girl needs a fuckin’ break, so, I’m divvying up the conquering a tad, and the rest can get done in a couple days when I wrangle friends for a painting party.)

Here’s the thing, though.

There was a time a couple years ago when I thought I could never do this mad-cap painting stunt again. I mean, I had serious whiplash twice in a year, two serious concussions, and I fucked up my right shoulder twice, also, that year. I spent the better part of the next two years getting past those injuries, but never imagined that I’d have the arm and neck strength to do work of this calibre again.

Obviously those fears died down over the last year or so, but I’m still shocked as hell that, not only can I do all this painting, but I no longer get the after-effect migraines I used to get from over-exerting my neck/shoulders.

In short, I’m bone-tired, weary as all hell, but I feel all right. I feel like I know, finally, that every injury I had is almost completely non-existent these days. There’s a mental freedom that comes with finally realizing “You know, I’m okay” that can’t be explained in words. It’s one thing to be grateful to survive an accident you should’ve died in, but it’s hard to cultivate that gratitude when you spend day after day for two years in constant pain. To finally be free of all that pain, and to finally have all the abilities back I once thought I lost… I don’t know. A wave of gratitude rushed over me last night as I felt the last of all those burdens lifting. Now I truly feel the gratitude of surviving. Now I’m excited for all that’s before me.

But another thought also occurred to me yesterday. The last time I decorated this much was right before I broke through six years of writer’s block for once and for all (I have a lot of interesting notions on writer’s block and I disagree with those who say “there’s no such thing” but agree that it’s always something that can be overcome)… and, I got to thinking about what this colour-splurge might mean to me.

And I can’t help but think it’ll mean splendid things for my writing. I know I can write. I know I can write really, really well sometimes. Most of the time, though, my writing’s pretty run-of-the-mill, because, for the longest time, I’ve been bored to tears. Bored, bored, bored. Bored with my life, bored with my home, bored with myself. Bored.

Pushing the envelope with some painting around the house doesn’t seem like a radical move, but it really is. By consciously choosing to live with big colours and drastically reinventing my home, I’m creating a major new creative environment. I’m consciously telling the world that a) things need to change, and b) I deserve better, more, anything I want. That I’m still organizing more as I go not only means I’m culling the chaos in my world, but I’m forcing myself to confront memories of my past that I may have wanted to ignore a while longer… something every writer should be forced to do, especially if writing really is the perennial quest for truth.

It’s a huge self-defining endeavour I’m in the midst of here, and while my writing might be somewhat boring “Oh, she’s painting again” right now, I guarantee you, I’m on the verge of a creative goldmine here. I know I am. I know what’s happening inside of me, the percolating bursts of creativity, the wanting to have more to say, the wondering of where and how to seed those notions and make them grow.

You can’t physically change your world and your surroundings to the degree I am, and not have that somehow redefine who you are.

I guess all I’m saying is, I know I’m a somewhat redundant blogger right now, and that’s just weariness and too-much-work-no-play resulting in the obvious, but, I’m telling you, people, you just wait. Things will get much better around here very, very soon. I’m painting the boring out of my life, and everything else will follow. I don’t know much about the world but I know a lot about myself, and I’m tellin’ ya. Creatively, I know I’m about fit to burst. Should be a very fun spring for my freshly-sprung mind.

Thanks for your patience. Now, back to Labour Steff and her Domestic Endeavours.

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