“So what are you up to this weekend?”
I was on my friend Keena’s rooftop, hanging out with my friends for the first time in three weeks. Her pops was in town, and like the hardcore Sicilian Keena’s dad is, we were enjoying a feast.
I turned to Herald, “MMmm, probably work on my apartment.”
This comment was received with unanimous disbelief from my friends: “You’re still working on your apartment!? Didn’t you move in like three weeks ago!?? How can you still be working on it??”
Because I make things wayyyyy harder than they have to be, I thought.
Do not underestimate my ability to overcomplicate things.
If you’re a fellow neurotic, I’m sure you’ll understand the following scenario. I am perfectly incapable of doing things the easy way. For instance, could I just move into my new apartment and put things away like a normal person? No. That would be way too logical of an approach.
Instead, I chose to paint an entire apartment with twelve-foot ceilings by myself. Then, I hated the color so I chose to re-paint a supposed-to-be-gray-but-turned-out-periwinkle living room.
Side bar: Do you know Home Depot won’t let you return paint? If your response is “Yes, duh,” know this: I have watched people return dead plants to Target. With this new information, I ask you again: How can someone return an organism they killed themselves, but I can’t return an unopened paint can?
Anyway. After my painting fiasco (and tracking paint over every square foot of my apartment) I decided to tackle furniture. Did I buy new furniture? No. Did I buy used furniture that would match the look I was aiming for? Nope. Instead, I decided to buy the two most heaven-forsaken ugly chairs I could find off Craigslist and decide to reupholster them. I have never reupholstered anything in my life, nor do I own a staple gun. After that, I plan on buying the most hideous dining room table in our nation’s capitol and refinishing that too.
So there you have it. That’s why my apartment isn’t finished.
Returning to the original intention of the project.
My incredible talent for overcomplicating things became quite apparent when I started my new job. My boss paired me with the best project manager in the agency (recently promoted to director of operations) to help me, well, project manage. This girl is incredible at her job. She is the single-most logical, organized, articulate, and systematic person I’ve ever met and therefore I am her worst nightmare.
For the record, we get along great. Promise.
While going through our annual strategic plan, I kept taking each task and breaking them down into twenty subtasks. Then I took those subtasks and broke them down into fourteen sub-subtasks. And when I attempted to break the sub-subtasks into sub-sub-subtasks she took the paper from me and said, “LOOK. These three bullets are the tasks for this project. If these three things are done, then the project is finished.”
Mind. Fucking. Blown.
That sentence rattled my existence. Never did I consider that something could just be done. To me, exhausting every possible option is the only solution. You don’t just move on from a project when the original tasks are checked off—you drain the life out of every possible scenario, and when you’re completely fed-up you bury it. Isn’t that what most people do?
So, if I’m to take my project manager’s advice, I need to go back to the original objectives. When I moved into my place, I said I wanted to:
- Paint the walls
- Get a dining room table, and
- Find a storage solution for my very dysfunctional kitchen.
Those are my three bullet points (I guess I have to add a fourth now that I have those two hideous chairs in my living room). When those three things are checked off, the project of moving into my apartment will be finished.