During my chat with Dr. Tsang, we discussed the topic of space. Finally, I accepted this lifelong yearning for my own little closet. I feel sad and relieved.
When I was in primary school, I would think about the perfect school desk. It was more like a capsule. The typical school table, the one that had a wooden surface, metal body, and a drawer, would sit in the middle of this closet. There was a small table lamp on the lefthand side of the table. On the right was a wall where I could post things and write on. To participate in class, I could open the front of the closet, like a convertible car. I could just listen to the class if I preferred. I would lay my my head and arms on the table and fall asleep. In fact, at night, I would think about this table in detail and fall asleep.
During another tough period of my life, every night I would think about this battle I needed to be on. I was a pilot of this special machine. It was a amphibian machine that could fly and swim. It could only take one person, the driver. It had no windows and it used cameras to produce a 360 degree of the view around it. The seat inside it laid flat, with buttons, controls, and pedals all situated perfectly around my limbs. My mission would always involve a long stake out, where I would need to wait at the bottom of the ocean. The machine could convert water into oxygen. It even had an elaborated system to allow me to poop and pee. So I could just wait inside it, at the bottom of the ocean, safely, forever. I would always dose off. I never got to go onto the mission.
Lastly, I think about my perfect work space a lot. The difference between my imaginary work space versus the amphibian machine and the school table was I actually had multiple opportunities to turn my vision into reality.
I once forced four of my peer managers into an open workspace, where the four of us would sit in the corners of a large rectangular cubicle. In the middle sat a large table, where we would have our meetings. They hated it, because there was no privacy. I am still unsure why I would want such an open space. Perhaps I felt strongly to have us together to be a team.
When I had my own office, I would situate my table at the corner, so I could stare into the corner and work. I had a standing desk and a bar stool (This was back in 2009/2010 and only weird people would have standing desks). The rest of the room was empty, and if people wanted to chat with me they would all need to stand.
When I was working in the Apple store, I would go in very early in the morning, so I could have one of those large tables inside the store all to myself.
It was the same when I moved up to the corporate office. I would get in as early as 6am, just to give myself a few hours with my favorite space.
These days, I have started imagining my favorite space again. I don’t have a fixed space. I work in coffee shops. However, I never accepted that I have been struggling with this setup. I never admitted that, throughout my life, I yearned for my own space, my own safe space. I did not like that about myself, because I did not like the inflexibility that came with the need of a space. I should be more adaptable, I said to myself. Tough it up, be mobile.