On Drop-kicking the Drop-Leaf
Today I sold something.
A lovely piece of furniture, one I thought fit so perfectly in my home it was meant to be. A gorgeous drop-leaf desk with a glass-fronted hutch, it was once the perfect transition between our kitchen cabinets and the built-ins in the family room. It fit the otherwise unused area between the two rooms: now the area wasn't just a pass-through, it anchored and tied together both rooms. I knew it was destined to become a hub; the place where bills were paid, letters were written, photo albums created. Finding that piece of furniture and settling it into our house felt like one more piece of the puzzle...everything was fitting together perfectly. It felt like a sign that my life was on the right trajectory.
That's how things were then.
We sold that house, somewhat upside down, a few years ago.
One of the things I miss most about the house we sold is the door jam in our kitchen pantry. It held the notches that noted how our children were growing. My daughter, with whom I found out I was pregnant on the first morning I woke up in the house, was gingerly propped up against it when she was barely able to stand; we laughed as we marked her "starting point." She practiced some of her Sharpie first writing skills on that door jam. My son's preschool years were noted there...and most of the way through his elementary school. Even my husband and I marked our heights there, laughing at how someday we'd watch those lines go lower as age took its toll on us.
Wasn't meant to be.
We carried this piece of furniture with us from rental to rental. It remained a hub for us. The place of homework, the place of nursing while typing one-handed, the place of discovering then abandoning then rediscovering then abandoning again (ad nauseum) Twitter, the place where my daughter learned to write her letters...and to scratch them into the desk (most notable, "Hi Mom").
But the thing is, moving that desk is a pain. Gone are the days when the purchase of a large item of furniture was not only financially easy, but also without thought to the future other than, "Oh, it'll be nice to live with this forever." Now we have to think, "Gah. Do we want to move THAT again?"
No, we don't. It's one more thing we're leaving in our wake. Bye-bye house, bye-bye door jam, bye-bye desk.
There is no trajectory. There are only decisions and consequences. And the simple fact is, sometimes things just don't go the way you thought they would.
So we shall see. The thing about not having a trajectory is that as much as it can SUCK sometimes, there is a little bit of excitement in the unknown. Maybe just around the corner there will be a pot of gold and unicorns and all manner of things wonderful.
Trajectories don't have corners.