I approached my desk today.
Jen said I would know when it was time, and today, it was time.
I looked at my desk and felt the urge to touch it. So I touched it. I ran my fingers along the edges. I picked stuff up, and I put stuff down. I moved a few things from one side to the other. I dusted off the right front corner. I threw away an obvious piece of trash. I looked at the pile of pictures I created to put up all over it, that I never put up and instead turned into a pile. I looked at the huge pile of books I’ve stacked up for their photograph for the post about my book buying ban. I touched the books. I touched the place where my laptop used to sit. I pushed a few of the buttons on my long-neglected remote keyboard.
This desk isn’t just a desk. It’s my space. It’s the one place in the house that belongs entirely, solely, and completely to me. I can decorate it without thinking of anyone else. I can change it around. I can paint it. I can rearrange it, redecorate it. I can keep it clean or messy. I searched for two months for the perfect desk – for the one that was just the right color and the right size with the right shelving unit built in, for the one that made my heart sing when I looked at it, for the one where I would sit while I create my dreams. And this desk was perfect. I knew it the moment I saw it, before I knew anything else about it – I knew this was my desk.
And now, it’s been six months.
I haven’t sat there, at my deeply beloved desk, in six months.
The last time I sat there, I still had a uterus. I still had ovaries. I also still had prolapse. I still had rage and grief and fear of the unknown. I still had a broken heart. I was still sitting in the pool of broken dreams and crushed hopes.
It’s been six months.
After surgery, I couldn’t even bear to look at my desk for weeks. I grew to hate it. It represented all I had that I had lost. It became a symbol of who I was before prolapse destroyed me. The more I changed, the more I resented my desk. The dustier it became, more and more neglected, piles of stuff heaping up. It became a storage space. It became an oubliette – a place to put things so they could be forgotten.
My space. The one place in all the world entirely, solely, completely mine. Covered in cobwebs and unwanted things.
Telling, isn’t it?
It isn’t about my desk – it never has been. It’s about me. My desk represented who I was before I lost a part of me I treasured dearly. It represented who I was before change happened to me – before I fell victim to something I had no power to resist or prevent or fix. Before my heart was broken, before my dreams were lost.
So I grew to hate it. But really, I was hating myself. I’ve been hating myself because I couldn’t resist or prevent or fix what happened to me. I couldn’t keep myself safe. I couldn’t make it all better and mend my broken heart and repair my broken dreams.
I hated myself because I couldn’t go back to who I was when I last sat at my desk – and so I hated my desk too. Desperately.
But we can never go back. There is no back – there is only forward. There is only now, and what we make of now helps us make better use of tomorrow – but yesterday is gone. Irretrievable.
And now, I find that I don’t want to go back. The girl I was before was far less than I have become. She knew less about herself than I know about myself now. She was bright, but I am brighter still. She was strong, but I am stronger still. She was clear, but I have gained so much clarity over the past six months.
Like the lotus bud, I am pushing up through the water in search of the surface. Every inch is a struggle, but every inch brings me closer to Spirit – and closer to myself.
I approached my desk today. But really, I approached myself. I ran my fingers along my dusty edges and felt my heart open up. I cleared away those cobwebs. I started the long process of reconnecting with myself. I touched my desk, and in doing so, touched my soul a little.
It’s been six months. It’s time to come home.