If you don’t follow me on twitter or facebook, you don’t know that my condo has been up for sell for just a week. Therefore, strangers with their agents/realtors have been strolling through and viewing.
Firstly, a photographer came in to photograph each room before the listing could go up. Typically their time is booked a 1/2 hour out, just so they can stage the place better before shooting. I knew that wouldn’t be necessary, and it wasn’t. I’m not only a minimalist clean-freak, but the 5 second rule applies to my kitchen floors at least once a week. Nothing had to be moved, other than pulling some electronic cords out of walls.
Within 36 hours, boom, back-to-back foot-traffic. I’ve been in a new routine of sweeping and vacuuming every evening. Thank Jeezus the condo has been sold within less than a week, because 1) I want to be here if strangers are in my space, even if I have to go on a walk, 2) F’n inconvenient to my schedule having people stop by to view without an agent, because I want to let them in, not let them access the lockbox and stroll through my space unattended.
The larger point I’m making: what specifically do we deem private? I don’t know how others see me or hear the sound of my voice. I can’t control this perspective. But I can sorta manipulate how my appearance is perceived, whether by my dress/style or my interior space. And while my space may appear emotionless, void of personal family pictures or casual items loosely thrown about, or possibly appear more museum stoic verses lived-in, I find the cleanliness and open space very comforting and freeing of excessive mental energy. The trick to having a clean home is staying clean, efficiency. Less to do when it’s just maintaining.
As far as privacy goes, what is really private? Because honestly, if the strangest of strangers opened any drawer or read my journal, I still frankly believe it wouldn’t be terribly discomforting or odd or unusual. There are billions of people on the planet and whatever you think is kinky or quirky or embarrassing is ABSOLUTELY being lived out by another human being too; the numbers are there. Without any thought, I am naturally transparent. So in very comfortable relations, I am who I am absolutely. But having strangers in my space had me asking myself how strange I really am. Not at all. Even if I deem something embarrassing, it is survivable.
Different, yes. Extremely different, absolutely. “We don’t have anything in common and couldn’t possibly be friends”, yep, that too. Most of the time, I’m sure. But that’s the nature of being human in a world of 7 billion+ other humans. Variations, differences.
Just be. We really never know how anyone sees us. And what may be an anomaly is only tied to our equally human desire for privacy. We need our own private places for mental health.
The unusual has become usual. -Brocka
Side-note: Stop wearing outside shoes in your home space! EEW. Nasty. As soon as I walk in my back door, I kick off my shoes. I have house shoes (thin leather slippers) by my backdoor which never go outside, and I have -cotton during the summer, or -wool during the winter slippers. This makes sense to most cultures that walk more than drive. And New Yorkers. At least New Yorkers know to kick off their shoes before or upon entrance. Manhattan is a filthy stroll.
Side-note, Part II: last time I was in Amsterdam, I was there for about a month during the International Film Festival and I stayed with a friend in their flat. At the top of the stairs was a tiny entrance space to remove coats and shoes before entering the living space. Coming from the American south, we call this a saddle room. It was winter, so laden with coats and boots smelling of pure leather. From where I come from, it is a literal saddle room. You store your horse’s saddle in a side barn before entering the main qaurters of the home. This Amsterdam coatroom had the exact same smell of my youth. It had the mixture of a sweaty summer ride and the freshly polished, newly conditioned saddle. I couldnt inhale it deeply enough. It brought back my happiest moments.
The saddle room, or shoe closet is a metaphorical idea for sectioning off our outside selves from our interior selves too. Regardless of how much we may relate to another, it is most healthy to maintain personal space. It has nothing to do with feeling exposed but everything to do with maintaining wholeness.
I was also just reminded of my love for Supertramp. Here is one of their best songs. It has all the feels, such a great song! ‘Some they do and some they don’t; some you just can’t tell…you can laugh at my behavior, that’ll never bother me.’