It truly is an oddity. It’s become a talking point among friends. A joke at first. I can’t buy a couch. And it’s come to hold up a mirror to a few fundamental sadnesses about life.
Indeed, I’ve never owned a couch. I’ve inherited old ones when I’ve moved into the various rentals I’ve traipsed between over the years. I bought my first apartment late last year. I’ve been sitting in it… on the floor. Actually, on my yoga foam roller on a bit of old carpet a friend passed onto me. I work from this set-up. I meditate here. I eat my meals from the one – yes one – chair I have (I sit on the floor, eat from the chair). I’ve lived like this for seven months. And, yes, I know it’s sad.
I struggled to know what it is that stalls me from buying a couch. Or a dining table. Or chairs. I’ve been trying to find a sustainably made one that ticks off all My Simple Home boxes. My criteria is tight; I’m a painful perfectionist who can’t buy a pair of undies until I know the manufacturing history and carbon mileage of them and determined that they’re the best design on the market such that my rare purchase of a new pair of undies (I own eight pairs currently) is not wasted.
But that’s only part of it. It’s this too: to buy something so… committed (THERE, I SAID IT)… is a big deal. Couches are commitments. Right now, I can pack up and take off with a moment’s notice. In fact, I’m about to next week. I don’t own a fridge either (I bought a place with an inbuilt one). With a couch (and a fridge) you can’t fly. At least it feels that way.
So since it’s a Big Deal, and reflects more than just seating apparatus, the potency of my couch-buying decision is magnified. And, of course, the more potent, the more I freeze. I can’t make a decision because it’s come to matter so much.
We stall on decisions when there’s fear. Indecision flags fear for us.
And so it reared it’s head: commitment niggles me. When things niggle me, I bubble-wrap them in perfectionism. No one can accuse me of being scared of commitment when I can just turn around and and say I’m merely being a perfectionist. And so my fear can continue, unchallenged a little longer. I’m seductive like that.
And then I came across the above picture of Steve Jobs in his lounge room. A concerned friend sent it to me. It could be me. That’s my lounge below.