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Sick words

The view from inside my bathroom. Charming, isn't it?

I went home sick from work today. It wasn’t the morning I planned, but I logged off my computer around 10:32am. I remember because I usually take my break at 10:30am.

Today I was going to get an all-day break. But I was torn on whether I even really wanted it. Sick didn’t sound like a fun day-off activity. I walked toward the door as conversations of costumes and catered bagels grew faint at my back.

At home, it was straight to bed — weighted blanket included. I woke up to the same room my eyes closed to. Bright light and white walls and brown boxes, lots of em. I’ve lived in this place for almost a month, yet the unpacking thing has been slow-going. This past weekend I tackled the living space. There are empty spots where art is to be hung and miscellaneous furniture items are to stand. But for the most part, the decorating can be called done. My room, though, very not done.

I was in the bathroom when I saw that the view out the half-open door looked oddly endearing. There were four pairs of shoes toppled over at the foot of my bed and a pile of clothes to the knees on one side. The boxes were random and disorganized and everywhere, but I thought the light hitting them was winsome. It made what was unfinished and a little embarrassing feel graceful.

I moved more clothes piles to get to the closet door and opened it to reach for my camera case. The Nikon bag was on its side beneath extra dining room chair parts and had a misplaced shirt stuffed inside. I went back into the bathroom to try and get the shot I saw when I first looked out.

I adjusted my settings. Three clicks. Then seven more. Then I lost count. I stretched out across the floor. (Out of the bathroom at this point, I’d like to mention.) I’m no photographer, but in this moment I didn’t think anyone would be able to tell. I was working the angles.

What started in my room moved to the dining area before becoming a full-fledged interior shoot, styled and directed by yours truly. So here I was, sick in my quiet house, outfitted in grey sweats and a white T, snap snap snapping the space that is far from complete, yet worth photographing anyway. I want to remember the way I lived in the beginning, mess and awkward emptiness included.

Later, I put a bagel in my tiny toaster — it barely fit. Only one minute passed before the fire alarm went off and the bagel was burned. I waved a towel around to end the noise. Then my photographer ego kicked in again. I was doing so well up until this point. I thought maybe I could get some cool photos of the bagel smoke moving in the light.

And that, my friends, is where my photography binge ended. Do not ask how those pictures turned out. They didn’t.

There is no particular point to this story. And there is a good chance that nobody cares about this day I’m spending at home. But it feels good to write words, no matter how big or small, short or long.

I’m sorting out my time these days, like an elementary schooler with colored M&Ms. I’m noticing how I have more time for some things, and less time for others. More security in some areas, and less security in others. I’m trying to squeeze in extra minutes and guarantees here and there. But I only have so many M&Ms. And I can’t turn the yellow ones green.

I love the structure and routine of full-time work. But I’m still learning to love the way I have to strategize how I can see all my people, run all my errands and accomplish all my dreams during my hours off.

Today though, on these sick hours off, its bedrest for me. My picture-taking spree tired me out. The jumping and towel-waving to quiet the fire alarm did, too.

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