After a wonderful mini-break at my parent’s in CT for the holiday, complete with post-Christmas hike and obligatory “look at me doing yoga outside” Instagramming, I made it up my stairs on Saturday afternoon to find that little miss had somehow gotten hold of one of the roses I’d left on my windowsill and that I had a package from my partner-in-crime R. After vacuuming up the aggressively shredded rose petals and scolding the cat gently, I grabbed a knife and tore into the box. I had an inkling it was the formal request to join her as a bridesmaid when she and her Scot H are married next year, but it was so much more than the goofy card I’d imagined. Inside was a beautiful card and a delicate silver necklace with a needle charm. Immediately donning the necklace and fighting back tears at the personal words she’d included, I took a look at the card, which started with the following phrase: A happy life is not built upon the goal of perfection, but balance.
Those words have been rattling around in my head this week, while I’ve been enjoying a few days off from the office to paint two rooms in my apartment and prep for new furniture arriving next month. Unsurprisingly, none of this redecorating process has been in any realm of perfection, let alone any semblance of balanced: the grand idea of painting stripes along my bedroom wall was nearly ruined when I accidentally lost track of stripes and started painting the wrong one, I bought the wrong type of paint for the kitchen, and I didn’t buy nearly enough. Also, I still haven’t unpacked from my days in CT, living out of my suitcase for no reason other than sheer laziness. And outside of redecorating, even though I’ll be enjoying a great night planned by H to ring in the New Year tomorrow, I’m semi-wallowing in the fact that despite all the new tattoos, the new job, the redecorated apartment and all the lessons learned, I feel like I’m in the exact same place I was this time last year. It seems reading those words about balance on the card from R has put a lot of tiny things into a very large perspective.
Balance is not something that comes naturally to me. I mean that in a few different ways, like how I fall down pretty much all the time or how this morning I though chocolate was a healthy start to the day. But outside of those little things, I’ve quickly learned in this year plus of being single, that it’s really difficult to balance all the important parts of my life: work, yoga, blog, personal whatever. As I’ve recently learned, it’s even worse when those parts of me collide, leaving me somewhere on a spectrum of terrified, to elated, to sitting on my couch on a weeknight after eating half a salad, three drinks in, asking myself how the fuck I managed to tip the scale in the wrong direction yet again. It’s like sitting on the bottom of a see-saw alone, wishing it would bounce up and down despite no one counterbalancing you on the other side. It hurts in a very resolute yet resigned place, stuck teetering to one side, never experiencing the upswing or the joy of a well-balanced anything.
When I finally finished painting the bedroom, I started to pull the tape off the wall, hoping that if nothing else, the stripes weren’t a complete disaster, mostly because I didn’t have a plan B if they were, I’m so freaking sick of paint fumes and I can’t keep telling little miss that no, none of this is food so please stop sticking your face in the paint cans. And honestly, the walls are FAR from perfect, despite obsessive measuring with a level and a lot of hard work. But after I managed to rearrange the furniture back to it’s new normal, and got my shit together enough to put away clothes I’d packed a week ago, I took a step back and realized it actually looks pretty good. Maybe even close to the image I’d had in my head. I twirled the beautiful necklace that hasn’t left my neck since Saturday and smiled down at little miss, who was happily crunching on a stray piece of tape. None of this is perfect, and none of the problems I keep playing over and over in my head are going away any time soon. But maybe it’s okay that I haven’t found that balance yet, or maybe I never will. Either way, I’ll have these beautifully wonky walls, a tiny silver needle and the hope that balance is out there somewhere to keep me going for now.