November 12, 2011
Hello, everyone. My name is Kim, and I have a messy little secret.
On September 2,with a heart full of hope, I moved into a two-bedroom townhouse. Excited about owning my first home, I picked out my furnishings carefully. I wanted my surroundings to reflect who I was and what I was interested in. I planned to open my home to family and friends.
I especially had big plans for the smaller upstairs bedroom which I envisioned as a teacher’s haven. A place to compose inspiring lesson plans. A refuge for sipping coffee while grading stacks of essays. Ideas firmly in place, I drove to Rooms-to-Go where I picked out livingroom, kitchen,and bedroom sets and was almost out the door when I spied it –a big-honkin’ cherry computer armoire with drawers, shelves, and nooks galore. It was tall enough to pierce the heavens. Shoot, that bad-boy even had a whiteboard on the inside of one door and a bulletin board on the other. As I gazed at it, I salivated, imagining the heavy-duty computing I would accomplish.
“Fix me up with that, too,” I told the salesman, noticing dollar-signs in his pupils and his tongue hanging out.
Having picked out my furniture, I needed a place for books — text and otherwise, so I moved in a wobbly metal bookshelf from my parents’ home. I finally had everything I needed, right?
Whoa! Not so fast. Planning lessons and grading papers require caffeine. Lots of it. So, to Target I trotted to purchase a mini-fridge for diet Cokes and a coffeemaker. After all, why interrupt those spurts of creative genius by trudging all the way downstairs to the kitchen of my 889- square-foot home?
Then, one more detail began to haunt me. What if company came? Where would I bed everyone down? Grabbing purse and keys, I hightailed it to a bedroom shop and purchased a futon. After all, I could always use it for a daybed. After all, doesn’t sleep induce creativity?
Now, I was really on a roll, snatching up two second-hand filing cabinets from an office-supply store that threw itself into my path, one day, when I was en route to Staples for office supplies for my computer cabinet.
Soon, my dreams of a cozy teaching and writing retreat met their Waterloo.
You see, filing cabinets are for storing documents. I had planned to store personal files in one and school and writing documents in the other. But pack-rat that I am, I was afraid of shredding files — even those of my parents’ from the 1990’s. What if I were to need them?
Well, you know where I’m going with this, right? Yes, once I moved it all — the computer-cabinet, recliner, bookshelf, mini-fridge and coffeemaker, filing cabinets, and futon, I had barely room to turn around, much less sit.
No longer able to walk into the room, I turned it into a storage space — a burial ground for mail, dead laptops, cast-off high-tech gizmos, shattered dreams.
Now, here I am, facing all of you today. It’s taken me five years to gather the strength to admit my weakness. With time and your support, one day I’ll be able to be you for someone else. Someone with a messy little secret just like mine.