“space” – noun, a continuous area or expanse which is free, available, or unoccupied.
Space…the final frontier – I’m kidding, sorry.
I work in hospitality – a profession in which I am always surrounded by people. The people I work with and the people for whom I work. Every day is a draining experience for me, not a natural “people person”, and I often feel myself tipping during some of the longer days and wanting to simply sit down and cry. It doesn’t help that this isn’t the job I want, it isn’t the profession I enjoy and it isn’t a position I’m going to be able to maintain for much longer.
Among the many problems of dealing with people all day is that people take up a lot of space, something which I like and need. In recent years, as I’ve drawn in on myself more, I have wanted to take up as little space as possible. I’ve tried to become smaller, quieter, less obtrusive until I can fade into a wisp of smoke to slip between the cracks in the floorboards.
I have placed myself in a profession though, in which taking up space and being visible is almost a requirement. And dealing with other people taking up space is a constant responsibility. This means, that by the time I get home, I’m often freaking out with the lack of space I seem to feel.
This afternoon was one such situation, after a week of long shifts and difficult guests, I needed lots of space and I wasn’t finding it in my disorganised, crap-filled bedroom and so began the Great Empty of 2017. I have had several Great Empties in the past and the Empty of 2014 will always be the day on which I lost half of my possessions – I still don’t know where several pairs of shoes, sets of earphones and books are…
Essentially, over the past few days, I have slowly been organising my various storage units in my bedroom. My bookshelf and half of my drawers were done yesterday and today was supposed to mark the completion of my drawers and the beginning of my wardrobe, instead, I emptied my room. Most of the pictures, cards, letters and memories on my walls have been moved into a shoe box, any items left on surfaces or piled in corners have been boxed and moved into the guest room for later sorting and my room looks barren to me.
I have never been more comfortable in it.
Looking around the room I finally feel calmer. For the past two weeks, I’ve felt like there’s something wrong with me. Like I was removed from my body and then put back in not quite right, like my skin doesn’t fit and my limbs are in the wrong place. While this is a feeling I often experience, it has never lasted quite this long and persistently.
Though I am not back to feeling entirely comfortable in my skin, it’s starting to feel like a size too large rather than a pair of trousers on my arms and some socks for pants. This has come as a revelation to me, already I’ve spent an extra half an hour today glancing around my room, picking out furniture I can get rid of, making lists of drawers and boxes to empty and donate. I finally feel like there is an immediate plan in my head and it’s made me feel like I’m moving forward.
These small things aren’t going to change my life or fix my head, but they’re going to make it easier to start doing so. I will find my space to work in and exist in where I can breathe and see and feel like someone who is almost me and once I have managed that, progress can be made.
Lovely days to you lovely people