Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Tonight we consider the setting of my quarterlifecrisis. (I actually composed an introduction to a series of posts on this subject, while on the walk from my apartment to the El. I was wearing heels that day.)

Actually, I'm not so much concerned with the setting. I'm sure one day I'll look back at this apartment with a certain amount of nostalgia and amusement, but right now I am attached to very little. I exist in a space between my laptop, the TV, the couch, the short kitchen counter, and, at night and in the mornings, my bedroom. I lock the door as soon as I enter the apartment, and spend most of my time on the aforementioned couch, although I occassionally enter the kitchen to cook on the stovetop (no mircrowave and the oven reeks), to wash dishes, or to inspect my lack-of-options in the refrigerator.

What I'm interested in is space. I know how I fit in this apartment, where I belong. Despite the intrigue and mystery (and open invitation) of the long hallway (the apartment's only hallway) leading to my roommate's (I use this in the loosest sense of the word) bedroom, I rarely enter that space. I begin at the doorway, turn into the living room, and then pace between living room, kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom before declaring it bedtime. I know it sounds lonely, and it is, but it's also routine. I'm not happy, but I'm comfortable and accepting. Someday, sooner than later, I'll find a place that I will look back on with nostalgia and wish I could live that time again. Right now I'm surviving.

Perhaps this--the survival, the comfort, the fit--is why I don't have visitors. I mean, part of it is that I don't know very many people in this particular area of Chicago, but if I asked, I could probably get people here. But I find this rather distasteful. All of this came to a head on Saturday, when a guy in my ward showed up at my apartment to help me cook for a branch activity that night. I didn't have much for him to do--I hadn't been planning on his help (although he had given me enough of a heads up that I had "cleaned" the part of the apartment he would see)--so he sat on the couch, assembling "recipe books" for the activity. He wasn't wandering around the apartment, he wasn't asking questions, he wasn't doing much of anything except cutting out paper squares and making informal small talk. But I felt exposed and uncomfortable and completely incapable of handling myself in this space with another person. Things had shifted, and I couldn't adapt fast enough.

I will now make my way from the couch and my laptop to the kitchen, and then to the bedroom by way of the bathroom. Good night.

*To my Fobbing friends: I promise I wasn't ignoring you just to blog. I've found if I can get the window open, I can compose a blog, and then publish when I have a signal. I'll be back to Fobbing as soon as the internet lets me (or I finally get a full-time job and can afford an internet connection of my very own).


Anonymous said...
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Th. said...


I think Maria misread your post.

Lekili said...

When people ask me how you are doing-- and there are many that do ask-- I don't want to tell them you are "comfortable and accepting." Is the opening with Amanda still a possibility? There has to be a happier way to live through this two year program.

Anna B said...

hatching a plan...details to come. until then, i have some things to make you more cozy. send me your address!

Ginsberg said...

I remember feeling a little bit like that some during parts of my first year in Kansas. Sorry. Take yourself to a bookstore once or twice a week.


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