The Benefits of an Elusive Office Chair
Finding and office chair should be simple, right? Well, no, actually. I was so proud of myself for knowing I needed an office chair and not getting bogged down in all my usual, overly detailed research. I ordered one that looked good and I excitedly awaited its arrival.
Unfortunately, once it arrived and we had it assembled I soon discovered that it was not the chair for me. Now, I knew this almost right away, but this is when my practical nature set in. I spent nearly the whole next day trying to make it work. The lumbar support was all wrong, there was more lumbar support than I had anticipated based on the photos, the seat was too deep for my petite frame. I just didn't fit this chair. But I suffered through the next morning, hoping that somehow, something would work.
This isn't an uncommon occurrence for me. I get something and it's not quite right, but I keep it anyways. That is the practical way. What can you do to make it work? Whatever that is, you do that and move on with life. None of this sending something back because one small detail is off.
The other side of this has been others talking me into something I'm not completely sure about. It's happened so often throughout my life that I've apparently taken to doing it to myself. I'm not proud of it but now that I'm seeing this, I'm working on it...
I am proud to say that at about noon the day after the chair arrived I decided that it wasn't working. Thankfully, my husband was also in need of a new office chair, he had commented after he finished the new assembly that he really liked the new one. This was the out, I could give the chair to him and not feel guilty.
Almost, anyways. I still felt a bit guilty. I kept checking in with the husband, making sure that the chair was faring better with him. Further, I felt like a failure. I had wanted, no, needed, a new chair. My current situation was shoddy at best. But I had failed in my first attempt. Obviously this meant I had completely failed! At least, that was the story my brain was feeding me.
Telling the truth from the lies of shame my brain tells me has been an ongoing process. I win some, I lose some. Biggest advantage I've found is saying it, putting language to the weird, prickly, and uncomfortable feelings/stories in my head. That way I know what I am dealing with. As my therapist quoted: if you can name it, you can tame it. It's been the secret weapon of my journey.
I waded through thoughts and feelings surrounding my office chair search and headed to the stores to find a chair that actually fit me and my needs. I was overwhelmed trying to articulate what it was I needed and, though I was hesitant to venture forth into the public, I knew it was necessary to try out chairs in person.
Four stores and too many chairs later, I ended up finding the one. It wasn't what I had set out to find, exactly, but it was the one I spent the most time in, confirming that it would be comfortable.
What this whole situation made me realize is the growth I've had mentally and emotionally. There was a time that I'd have felt I needed to keep the chair, force it to work somehow. I don't always feel like I deserve to have things that work for me. Also, the risk of making a decision, any decision causes me large quantities of stress because I'm stuck trying to find the "right" answer. Now that I've been keeping an eye on these stories in my head I've been able to move past them. I've realized that it's OK to make decisions where you don't have all the facts. Life is risk. If you spend all your time worried about making the perfect or "right" decision you'll often not make the good decision for you.
I've been finding that I've been so worried about what others think or what perfect decisions look like that I've completely lost track of what I want and need. Thankfully, doing the work, going on my journey and being open, honest, and kind to myself has brought joy that I thought I'd lost. I'm back to gaming and finding joy in a lot of the things I once did. For years I've been hovering, barely really living. Probably depressed. As I've talked about, my creativity had nearly died. But it's blossoming again. And maybe I'm even ready to create visual art again. Maybe I'm finally, really, happy again.
Follow your feelings, thoughts and gut to the truth. Sit with it, even when it's uncomfortable and hurts. It cannot truly defeat you if you name it. It won't be fixed overnight, but you can find your way. Maybe an elusive office chair will show you the way?
—A Recovering Design Imposter