From early 2004 to the end of 2014, I had my own door key. That’s Jamaican parlance meaning that I had my own place. For a few of those years I lived alone and for the rest of those years I lived with my ex-partner. Either way, I was the queen of my own castle. In my living situation and domestically speaking, I set the house rules and did things my own way.
From the start of 2015 until now, that has not been so. For one of the past two and a half years, I lived with a bunch of people I didn’t know in Indonesia. For a few months out of the two and a half years, I’ve breezed through a bunch of hotel rooms in various places. For a few weeks out of the two and a half years, I’ve visited with friends and family in foreign lands. And for the remainder of those years, I’ve lived in my parents’ house.
By the time I leave for Siberia in a few days, I will have been living under other people’s roofs and rules for over two and a half years. Generally speaking, that hasn’t been a problem for me. I’m a pretty easy person to live with because I respect people’s home spaces. But God knows there are some things I’ve missed about living under my own roof, most of which have not been a problem these past two and a half years, but have begun presenting themselves the closer the time comes for me to be on my own again.
They’re nothing huge, really. In fact, it’s mostly small things. Like not washing every dish as soon as it hits the kitchen sink. Ah cyaan wait fi mi firs’ sink full a dirty plate! Cannot wait! I know, it sounds weird but think about it: leaving my dirty dishes to pile up in the kitchen sink is a level of relaxation that good manners just cannot allow me to have in someone else’s house. That’s something that can be too easily misinterpreted as selfishness or laziness or inconsideration or taking one’s host for granted. That’s a sticky situation that I’ve managed to avoid these past few years and I cannot wait to just let the dishes pile up a little. I mean, they won’t pile up that much because I’m not that messy when I’m on my own. But I just want the option of not having to wash every dish or fork the minute I’m done using it, you know?
Another thing that I’m looking forward to is not making my bed. I know, that probably horrifies most of you because you likely grew up with your Jamaican mother training you to make your bed the minute you rolled out of it in the morning and definitely to make the bed when you’re staying in people’s homes. My mother trained me that way too. And I discarded her training the minute I moved out of my own – the part about my own bed, not the ones in other people’s homes. Ah cyaan wait fi stop do it again. Try not to judge me too harshly. For me, it’s a matter of practicality. What’s so important about making my bed this morning when I’m going to fall into it and mess it up again tonight? It seems like a pointlessly repetitive exercise. Who does it help if I do it? Who does it hurt if I don’t? I just don’t get the pleasure that some people do from a freshly and precisely made bed every single day. I like a bed freshly made up with clean sheets as much as the next person, but I’m not putting on clean sheets every single day so my bed shall be mostly unmade, at least for a time.
The other thing that I’m really looking forward to is cooking again! I know! Finally! My hiatus is almost at an end. Ah cyaan wait! I used to really enjoy cooking for my loved ones and friends when they came to my house. But when I left said house over two and a half years ago, I decided that I wouldn’t cook until I had my own kitchen again. I just wasn’t feeling it. At all. People thought I was joking when I said that but, as the Jamaican in Jakarta found out, I was very serious about it. At first, I had zero interest in cooking anything. But since this year I’ve felt my interest begin to rekindle. To be honest, I’ve done some very basic cooking, like fixing dinner for my nephew so he wouldn’t starve (I’m not sure that cooking pre-seasoned meat counts as cooking – isn’t that like painting by numbers?), or making my home-made hummus (a tasty, healthy snack), or my heaping hot dogs (filled with goodies). Even though I haven’t prepared a proper meal for almost three years now, I’m very excited to get back into the kitchen for real. Although I’ve been on a cooking hiatus, I haven’t stopped pinning a tonne of healthy and delicious-looking recipes on Pinterest, so I’m excited to be almost at a point where I can try them out on myself, then eventually on other people.
Those are the things I’m most excited to get back to doing: not washing dishes immediately, not making my bed, and start cooking for real again. I know, they sound like no big deal and they’re really just little things. But I’ve found that it’s the little things that bring daily doses of joy so I’m ready to dive right on in. Let’s see what other little things come up that I didn’t know I was missing.