#23 Lofty Aspirations

For some strange reason, I’ve developed a penchant for pictures of interior design and pretty homes. I found myself eagerly awaiting the arrival of Ikea catalogues every August over recent years. Apart from admiring the aesthetic quality of Ikea designs, yes there was that mental visualisation of my future home, mixed with daydreams of living in a Ikea-esque home. Random trips were made to Ikea for no particular reason {well, apart from having a go at their infamous Swedish meatballs}; if anything, just to take in the awesome furniture designs and equally awesome interior mock-ups. I remember ever since I was a kid, my favourite was the ‘Bedroom’ department and it still remains so today. I love how Ikea beds don’t have the “Do Not Sit” signs, almost as if inviting people to sit on, lie down and roll around on the beds. I also remember that on each trip there, I never fail to turn to my parents or mentally think to myself: “When I have my own house, I want {insert curtain pattern}, {insert random kitchenware}, {insert colourful bed linen}”. The list goes on. That, I suppose, encapsulates the excitement of trips to Ikea. Love it. On a side note, I find it quite odd that England, being in Europe – the home continent of Ikea, does not have an Ikea outlet. Maybe there are but not that I’m aware of.
Lofts are amazing I think. Just as I’ve always admired attics for their mysterious, almost eerie quality, I now admire lofts for their space and the flexibility in their purpose. I guess the common thing between lofts and attics is that they’re both tucked up above everything else in the house. I can imagine myself being holed up in one of these lofts reading a book, enjoying ‘me-time’ or just turning it into my bedroom. That would be pure bliss with lots of sunlight streaming into the loft, oversized cushions thrown in and with a wooden interior design – painted or unpainted, it doesn’t matter.
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Apart from daydreaming about the kind of house I’d love to have one day, I think I’ve also sobered up my rather idealistic residential aspirations. I realise now, with sadness I must add, that having a big house to move into straight after moving out from my parents’ home or even after marriage is being too idealistic. Blame it on the movies maybe, as they often portray young people moving into swanky modern apartments and penthouse suites when they get jobs in the city as the norm. Glamourised independence is embodied in such places. It has been said that houses, like children, are often extensions of our egos. It’s true perhaps, but for many people like me, I suppose the excitement comes from being able to design and decorate homes to their own taste, as expressions of their personality and lifestyles.
The realisation process has been sobering, making me wonder what is really important and realistic in life. Putting aside the notion of marrying someone rich, the only way to moving into one’s ‘dream home’ is to work hard for it and be patient. A response of dismay to this seemingly overused cliche is pointless, it still remains a fact and a truth that we have to accept. Mom affirmed it when I brought up the subject in our conversation a few days ago, saying that it’s only when you really work hard for something that you will truly appreciate. True that.
Despite having been living abroad for six months, I think I’m only just beginning to grasp the value of working hard for what I want and the value of money. In a manner that is all too familiar to those who were brought up in a sheltered and comfortable environment, I have taken for granted that money isn’t easy to come by. It isn’t as simple as asking parents for it or for what I want. Living in the so-called “forefront” of the global world and being at the in-between of adulthood and teen hood, it’s hard not to feel daunted by the realisation that one’s future is becoming so real and near. At childhood, the future seemed so far away and therefore, there was no need to really think about it then. Now, on the cusp of adulthood, the future is already beginning to unfold; it really is what you make of it. It makes me nervous that the decisions I make today and the principles and values I choose to uphold (or not) is going to determine the path ahead. Well somewhat because ultimately, God is the one who determines the future.
Come to think of it now, the house that I want to call “home” someday seems less important than my academic career. Or at least, it should be. It’s hard to look beyond the humdrum of assignments and exams to see what really is important in the big picture. I suppose there is little point in worrying about how I will live next time when there are more pressing matters at hand. More importantly I think, God will take care of it. As I’m writing this, these verses comes to mind: “
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 6:25-27, 33-34
There’s nothing wrong with daydreaming about such things or having material aspirations, as long as they know their place and are put into the correct perspective. To be honest, I just can’t get enough of appreciating interior design at the moment. I guess I just need to keep making sure I keep myself in check. My heart goes out to all who are similarly inclined (; Or maybe it’s just me.
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