I assume that it’s the haze of still-moving-into-the-new-house at work, but I feel like I don’t really live anywhere right now. I don’t feel like I’ve lost my old house, and I don’t quite feel like this new one is mine just yet. There have been stories forming here from day one, simply as a result of how much time, effort and unavoidable drama goes into anything involving people performing a large task together, and I really like the feeling of being bouyed up by this rich narrative loam. I feel rejuvenated as the process continues, and find myself growing anxious as I feel it winding down, and old patterns and responsibilities re-emerging from the temporary storage space I’d stashed them in order to focus on getting the job of home-migration done, beginning to reassert their old positions of privilege over my focus. I don’t really want them back at all. I like this newness. And while it can’t last forever, there’s a lot here that I could very well get used to.
The biggest thing for me now, in this moment, sitting at my desk that overlooks the street and watching cars drive between two rows of modern two-storey homes on a highway as the sun sets just beyond the corner of my window, is finding out what kind of stories I’ll be driven to tell from here. I think place matters a lot when it comes to any affective labour, from thinking about what you’ll have for dinner to remembering a long-past friendship. This new place is waiting for me to put a stamp on it, and I wonder what kind of stamp I want to put on it. I haven’t really felt this place out yet for its own sake, but at the same time you can’t help but feel a place out when you move your entire life into it over the course of a week. It’s only been five days, but we’re still not quite done yet. This is like the prologue I guess, the scene-setting that doesn’t quite impact the story significantly but still takes up space within the narrative. But I do have one projection: I’m going to like it here. And that’s simply because I already do like it here.
Which suggests to me that the stories I’ll come up with here I will also like. I’ve taken them all with me as well, and perhaps in part because I haven’t worked on any of them since the moving process began, they feel incredibly unaffected. It’s good in the sense that they have strong identities that do not buckle and sway just because I changed my address, but I wonder how much of it is because they, too, are in storage, and I haven’t brought them back out yet. I wonder how much of their permanence is due to my not giving them the chance to be a part of this move. I can’t anyway. It’s too much effort, and I have other things to do. But what I now realise, writing this, is that the only way I can avoid the post-move slump that feels inevitable is to go to the storage space and open it myself, rather than just letting things spill out of it while I neglect it.
Maybe because of that, I’ve started to realise how used I’ve gotten to letting things slip out of storage, and how accustomed I am to putting and leaving things there to begin with, giving them far too generous a number of chances to catch me off-guard instead of taking control of them and owning those parts of my life. It actually ends up feeling like living out a prologue, where things are happening but it doesn’t feel like anything’s getting done. So I think it’s time to turn this prologue into a first chapter. Life may not be a story, but stories can sometimes be life.
So I’m going to look up articles about Shailene Woodley’s statements on feminism and draft an outline for one of four final essays for a while, and then I’m going to get started on the final batch of character-maps for Tallulah. I do think that’s the first story that needs to come out of storage, and it’s definitely earned that recognition from me. It keeps on giving the more time I spend with it. We can definitely wrap things up between us before I worry too much about what other stories I’m going to tell.