Room 404

My apartment has two temperatures: tropical and subzero. When I’m hot, it’s roasting. When I’m cold, it’s frigid. Isn’t that always the way?

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I like it chilly at night, for sleeping. Otherwise, or in winter at least, I like it toasty warm. Given that it’s 3pm and I’ve just resorted to yanking the duvet off of my bed, I’d say it’s safe to say somebody missed that all-important memo.

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The comforter-as-cape thing has come about because the cable knit throw I bought a few months back isn’t very warm. Or, you know, AT ALL warm. I can practically hear my older brothers; I know just how they’d tease. Hey Han, by “textured”, did you mean full of holes?

In my defense, it looks perfectly cozy draped over the back of my couch. The handsome navy blue velvet couch, I, ah, didn’t realize would be quite so stiff. Apparently it’s more of a settee than a sofa. Anyway, the couch sits on top of a rug that can now only be described as “scratchy” and sidles up against a skinny side table I’m more than a little afraid of staining. (It’s marble, and we didn’t grow up in the type of household with coasters on every coffee table.)

All of this is to say that on the whole, my apartment sort of looks like it was wheeled straight out of the showroom at West Elm. Which was sort of the [contemporary, minimalist] look I was going for, but I’ve decided something about it isn’t very comfortable. It’s nice to look at, but it doesn’t feel like home. Not now, and not after all of these months.

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Does your apartment feel like home? Or your condo, or wherever you live?

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I wish we could break up a rainy afternoon with a cup of tea and you could teach me your ways. Is there a little bit of mess, in your house? Some sign that someone does, indeed, live there? Maybe that’s my trouble; I’m neat as a pin.

I’d still like to find a way to make this work. “This” meaning this city. With its temperamental skies and purple-haired people in the parks. With its maze of bridges and blocks of food carts and [too?] trendy coffee shops.

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I’ve always gone to great lengths to avoid having a roommate, but now I wonder if I’d be better off sharing a space with someone else.

Would I be kinder to myself if there were someone else around? Would I buy flowers for the kitchen table? Would I put Pandora on to play? (Or Spotify, or whatever the cool kids are using these days.) Would I light the balsam fir candle I’ve been saving for a year? Would I put a batch of granola in the oven to help ward off the chill (and any hunger pangs this week)?

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Would I make myself cheese and crackers; would I laugh over a joke. Would I abandon my book; would I watch a movie. Would I stay up late; would I feel normal. Would I forget? Would I manage to really and truly, forget?

On a different note, for fun: a post from another apartment.

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“Don’t seek, don’t search, don’t ask, don’t knock, don’t demand — relax.” -Osho

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“What people are craving isn’t perfection. People aren’t longing to be impressed; they’re longing to feel like they’re home.” -Shauna Niequist

“We need others physically, emotionally, intellectually; we need them if we are to know anything, even ourselves.” -C.S. Lewis

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“Love is the place where the wounded started calling the wounds on their knees strawberries.” -Andrea Gibson

“I would argue that caring for your body in traditional ways — like eating a healthy diet, exercising, and taking your vitamins — may be the least important part of your health. (I know! Radical idea coming from a doctor!) This may sound shocking to you. I’m not suggesting that those aren’t great health-inducing behaviors. What I’m saying is that it doesn’t matter how great your diet is if your body is flooded with stress hormones. No amount of kale is going to counterbalance the toxic effects of high levels of cortisol and epinephrine on your body. So what’s the most important part of your health? The nature of your thoughts, beliefs, and feelings. When your thoughts, beliefs, and feelings are positive, relaxation responses are activated, healing hormones like oxytocin, dopamine, nitric oxide, and endorphins are released, and the body’s natural self-repair mechanisms are activated, allowing the body to do what it does best — heal itself.” -Lissa Rankin, M.D

“Intuitive — or ‘normal’ — eating is flexible. It varies in response to your hunger, your schedule, your proximity to food, and your feelings. And while it takes up some of your time and attention, it keeps its place as only one important area of your life.” -Ellyn Satter

“The only thing we can depend on in life is that everything changes. The seasons, our partners, what we want and need. We scrape ice off our cars and feel like winter will never end, and it does. Change is the only constant. Your ability to navigate and tolerate change and its painful uncomfortableness directly correlates to your happiness and general well-being. ” -Amy Poehler

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“I like change, she said, as long as I remember I like change.” -Brian Andreas

{Pioneer Place rain via @andresmedina, foggy PDX via @beyondmountain, that PNW house via @spencercotton, tunnel of trees via @young.seeker, snowy pond via @maddychurm — all on Instagram.}

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