It’s raining. Which I love. It rained all night and even thundered a bit now and then. So I’m sitting at my new desk with the window open listening to the rain and trying to sort through all the things I want to say. Also, I have coffee. That’s important.
Before we move forward, I think it’s important that you know about my desk.
In the past few months, I’ve been privileged to have a number of people in my life asking me this mentally and emotionally exhausting question: What do you need?
Not in a let-me-get-you-something-how-can-I-help kind of way (although there has been a lot of that, too), but in a what-kind-of-life-do-you-want-and-what-are-you-doing-to-take-care-of-yourself kind of way.
My first answer is a panicked “I DON’T KNOW.”
But, as it turns out, that isn’t completely true.
This question is a hard one for me, not only because I’m not always sure what I need, but also because I’m just now learning how to own that question and acknowledge that I need things and that’s okay. (Having needs is actually totally normal. Who knew?)
It’s humbling to look at my life and realize I don’t fully know what I need in the grand scheme of things. God does and I can trust Him to help me figure it out.
But then there are the “small” things, like how am I going to spend my time from day to day and what kind of people do I want in my life and what do I want my life to look like. (My life is essentially a series of run-on questions right now.)
For a long time, I only thought about what I needed in the context of what other people gave me (that’s what codependence looks like in a nutshell). In my limited experience, trying to get what you need from other people does two things: 1.) It magnifies your needs, making them feel unmanageable and taking up too much of your time and energy, and 2.) It leaves you feeling needy, clingy, desperate, frustrated, and unsure of who you are or what you want.
Coming out of codependence can also leave you feeling like needs are not okay, which as we’ve already established, isn’t true. Humans need things. That’s normal. It’s how we go about meeting those needs that determines what kind of life we lead.
Now that I’m in a healthy place, I know that I am not only responsible for my own needs, but also fully capable of meeting them.
Is this still about the desk?
Yes, I have a point. I promise.
Months ago, before I moved, I determined that I needed a place to write in my new apartment. I thought that maybe having a place dedicated to writing would help me set aside time and give myself permission to let out all the words I’ve been holding in.
The time came to move and it didn’t feel like there was room for a desk. Life was taking a lot out of me and I didn’t have the energy to make it happen. But, as with most things that are important, the idea didn’t go away. In fact, it kept coming up in all kinds of conversations.
So I did some rearranging, went on Craigslist, called up a dear friend with a truck, and got my desk. So easy.
I set it up yesterday in front of a big window and am celebrating. I’ve just followed through on a promise to myself–a promise to take my writing seriously and give myself permission to devote time and energy to it.
Today, I can say that life feels more stable and safe than it has in years. Oh, that word–SAFE–means so much to me. Because I feel safe, I’ve been able to keep promises to myself. Promises like getting a desk so I have place to write. Promises like building a life that puts my and Myla’s wellbeing at the forefront. Promises like being present in every moment and spending more quality time with Myla. I’m really good at apologizing and shelving the things I love, so my goal in this season is to get good at unapologetically and intentionally living my life.
It’s just a desk, yeah. But it’s also a promise I made to take care of myself and honor my values, a promise I kept.
So, now that I’ve made a huge deal out a piece of furniture (and you read the whole thing?!), we can move forward.
And every time I post, you can envision me hunched over this desk keeping promises to myself and learning every day that I am actually stronger and more capable than I dared to imagine.
And the most beautiful thing, dear friend? You are, too.