While the emerging adult grapples with career choices and wrestles with roles she ill fits into there’s another transition that seems to happen over and over again, a physical one. I was reminded of this as I rented a Uhaul last weekend, and have since seen them everywhere around the North Shore.
Many emerging adults live with roommates, a few with their parents, a few with significant others of a permanent or semi-permanent nature, and fewer still on their own. And through it all comes the stuff that one needs to make a home. The more mature I get, the more stuff I call my own, and this weekend, and last weekend, and what’s sure to be the next dozen weekends will be making trips to yard sales and thrift stores in wealthier neighborhoods than where I reside (read: Marblehead, Hamilton, Wenham) in order to try and acquire more stuff.
I’m making relationships with this stuff, and quite a bit of it is statistically likely to be with me longer than the next job I have. Not only that, but according to George Simmel (and probably a great deal of others), my possessions are my attempts to reflect myself, to extend my boundaries. It’s different than having money, it’s a signature “I know what I like” stamp. There’s a choice being made, however trivial.
So, I’ve been acquiring possessions, and storing them up. A rug. A couch. A coffee maker. A toaster oven. Trivets. A pyrex set of 4 Amish Butterprint mixing bowls I’m very proud of spotting for $15 dollars at a yardsale in Marblehead.
An antique chest I’ll try my hand at restoring.
All of these things are for a house, a home, as it were. Something I’ve never had before, despite having roommates, and an apartment. For four years I managed to live in furnished apartments or had housing provided for me. I called these places my home, just like I called my parent’s house my home for my first 18 years. I called college my home while I was there.
However, now I have things that anchor me to a dwelling. I never picked up a “Home and Garden” magazine (or anything similar to it) prior to a month ago. I never read a decorating book in my life, and now I’ve goggled through three.
I couldn’t understand people who drove down to IKEA. Now I do. Not completely, of course, but moving in to a place which was little more than walls and floors, has caused me to look further into the dynamics of homes, ownership, and transitions just a little bit more carefully, and to begin to explore more than the clothing racks in the local thrift stores, like Beverly Bootstraps.