What the paint doesn’t cover

The house is coming along pretty well, all in all. We had a couple of slammin’ days on the weekend, and we may actually have everything done before we move in on Saturday.

Everything’s felt like a blur of late… school, work, relationships, life, and the move have all kind of run together. I can’t remember the last time I woke up really refreshed. Late nights, early mornings, and restless thoughts that have dogged me for some time. Why am I here, now, doing all this?

I ended a relationship a few weeks back. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, to admit that I didn’t feel the same way as I once did.  I didn’t want to hurt her. But the logical, rational part of me knew that if I didn’t hurt her now, it would hurt more later. And that I was hurting both of us if I was dishonest about where I was at.

That analysis, oddly, was little comfort.

I’m at the house almost every day… it’s weird referring to it that way, knowing that it will be my place of living as of five days from now. Dad and Mom and myself and Dennis have put so much work into it the last month and a while, and it’s showing dividends. I’m excited, but also weary. It’s been great to put the work in, but also exhausting. Probably doesn’t help that I’m writing blog posts at two in the morning, but such is inspiration.

This last while, in a lot of ways, is the (im)perfect storm of circumstance, finding myself at a crossroads on so many levels. Work and life, career and relationship… take your pick, it applies. You ask me what I’ll be doing five years from now, where I’ll be, I don’t know. And that frightens me, more than I’ll admit.

Putting in the work at the house helped, especially with my relationship having ended. It helps having something to do, something to occupy my mind. Painting was that for me, once we got there.

Last Tuesday I was up at the house by myself, painting the living room. We’d decided to go with a red, and do it all one colour. This was tricky, since the prior owners had done some of the wall dark, and some of it light. It was far and away the largest room, so I’d resolved to do an entire coat before the day was out, and get us started on what was one of our more daunting tasks to complete.

One observation we’ve made repeatedly over the course of doing our work at the house was how much better things look with a fresh coat of paint. And having painted before as a job, and again now for the new house, I definitely agree. It livens things up, makes it look new and good and vibrant.

It’s been interesting to see the entire process here. Dad painstakingly went over all the walls and found the cracks and holes, filling them out, and then priming over them. We’d also sand and smooth down the wall to make a nice even surface before painting. And when you take the time to do all that before you put that fresh coat of paint on, the end result is fantastic.  But if we’d just painted over those holes and cracks, it wouldn’t look as good. I remembered that much from my painting experience a couple of summers back, when Andrew and I occasionally painted boards and siding that were rotting, or needed to be replaced.

I laid the dropsheets, turned on my IPod, and got going, letting the music and the work distract me for a while. I noticed quickly that the particular colour we’d chosen- “ripe currant”, out of a thousand shades of red- wasn’t coating well on the light wall- especially the spots we’d crack filled and primed. I was perturbed, and stepped back. Repeated rollings didn’t seem to help, so I moved on. It was the same with the dark wall- though because it was closer to the colour we’d chosen, that wasn’t as dire.

Jared called me out of the blue that day, and brought over lunch, something I don’t believe I thanked him sufficiently for (to say nothing of him leaving the leftovers). It was a welcome respite from a day spent mostly with my own thoughts, talking about the house and living and whatever came to mind. After eating, and various conversations, it was with some reluctance that I bid him farewell and got back to painting the red that wouldn’t coat.

I spend too much time reflecting and analyzing things, and being at several metaphorical crossroads hasn’t helped that much.  Being busy, being with people, working on the house, has helped some. My friends and family inspire me and energize me, provide fuel for a mischievous wit a mile wide. It’s when I’m alone, when I have time to think and reflect, that the doubts and feelings crowd. That a restless mind seeks out solace, wondering if I’m filling cracks in myself in the wake of a broken relationship or just throwing up a coat of paint and hoping it sticks.

Looking at that living room, I think the red is starting to coat better now.


One thought on “What the paint doesn’t cover

  1. Colette

    This is the best blog post I’ve read in a good long while.

    Do I ever know how you feel about the breaking up thing. Everyone always seems to empathize more with the person who gets broken up with, and I guess rightly so, but it’s very hard to be the one ending the relationship, too. So hard.

    Still, I’m glad you’ve had the house to work on to help you get through some of it. It’s going to look so, so awesome once it’s done and we’re all moved in. Thanks for your guys’ decision to make a big effort, sanding and painting instead of doing a lame patch job. I say it speaks to your character!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s