My New Studio, Part 1: Sometimes transitions to good things are still tricky transitions.

I intend to create wonderful things in this space. Even if doing so is harder than I'd imagined.

There's a little studio in Greensboro with my name on it.** Soon, I will be creating magnificent things there - words, images, websites, collages, visual journals - who knows what all, really? But today I was surprised and alarmed to discover that I'm in a wonky, not-altogether-welcome space of un-centered personal transition. Always the transitions that get me.

I've been holding out on you. I got a studio. And I've been working to get it set up so I can do magnificent work there, when I feel the need to work outside my home.

For the amount of space it is - an itty-bitty room, some might even call it - I've bought and applied (with the help of some kind and generous friends, oh how I thank them,) a small fortune in paint. And then I moved some furniture in, also not without the help of others. In the room now resides:

  • A comfy, cozy, possibly-too-big-for-the-space-but-did-I-mention-how-comfy-it-is? chair.
  • A drop-leaf table for a desk and general workspace. (This style of table is great for accommodating a variety of spacial needs.)
  • Some new (and soon to be stained,) wooden, stackable crates that will make committing to a single shelving configuration unnecessary.
  • A comfy, leather desk chair.
  • Another little wooden chair.
  • Some fabric that will one day be made into a pair of drapes.
  • A floor lamp.
  • A remnant of unused carpet.
  • I'm hoping, too, that there will be room for my ficus tree. Which I had left in yet another friend's care for far too long and which is lush and wonderful and awfully big for a tiny studio. But maybe... Because growing things are very good to have around.

This morning I stopped by my storage unit to grab some tools on my way there. Only to find I'd left that set of keys in the jacket pocket I wore there yesterday. So there would be no straight edged razor for scraping the bits of excess paint and tape from the windows. (Have I mentioned I'm a messy painter?) Soon enough...

Back behind the steering wheel, I left there and drove on, confident that still I would make this place my own, today.

Everything lugged inside, freshly-brewed cup of coffee at my side, mounds of work awaiting me, I sat and worked. And faltered. And worked. Something wasn't right. I got sad. The gorgeous light streaming through the still-uncurtained window made it too bright to work at my laptop, and way too hot. So I moved from the table to the comfy chair, thrilled to discover the long-forgotten reality that my comfy chair is quite firm and supportive for long stretches of work.

Still, the space was annoying. I felt claustrophobic. And lonely. (Which was a bizarre discovery to make, for one who works quite happily from home many days every week.) My boots made me feel I was suffocating. Working from home for years on end will spoil a pair of feet. Although nobody said I have to wear any footwear at all in my studio. It's mine, after all...

The whole business really freaked me out and eventually I realized I would have to try again another day. I had to come home and continue my work where I started my day. In a space that's very, very comfy.

I've always imagined having a studio for creating wonderful things. All my own - away from home, still not in an officey-office space. The studio of my fantasies would be a cozy space with endless creative inspiration, surrounded by like-minded, equally-creative people. And this is what I have now!!! So why couldn't I work there? Why am I terrified that now that I have the space I've always dreamed of, it's not going to be what it's cracked up to be? Is there something wrong with me?

Back home, this is what I tell myself, using my calmest, most gentle, nurturing inner voice:

  • It's okay to slow down. Take my time. Get used to it slowly.
  • Of course I couldn't work there; it's not finished! Who can work in chaos? Even if the chaos is a bit more creative than some chaos, and completely of your own making...
  • Breathe.
  • Just because I couldn't work there today doesn't mean it won't eventually become the glorious culmination of all my artistic fantasies... one day!
  • Sometimes you're just having a bad day. It's not the little studio's fault. Maybe I wouldn't have been able to work anywhere this morning! It certainly wouldn't be the first time.
  • Breathe some more.
  • I'm very, very lucky to have this space.
  • Which I love.
  • Are you breathing, woman?
  • I will settle into this studio in my own sweet time. There is no hurry.
  • Again. Breathe.

Meanwhile, if anybody wants to come help me make curtains, or stain crates, or keep me company while I make curtains or stain crates, I would probably not turn down the offer of your company.

Shoes are optional.

**I'll tell you more about where this studio is, soon enough. For now, just know it's in Greensboro. Where I live. Most of the time.