It took me 10 hours to assemble my new desk.
I could lie and say something that sounds far less pathetic like “Oh, it was only about seven and I spent three just wasting time, eating Starbursts and watching an assembly video when the wordless instructions got too frustrating.” But, 10 hours is the more accurate, albeit much more pitiful, estimation.
The execution of assembling said desk went something like this:
2 p.m. I’m superwoman! I can put this desk together! No problem!
2:02 p.m. Oh, shit, I need a flat head screwdriver. (Makes a trip to Target).
5 p.m. Assembly time! I got this.
8 p.m. (step 13 of 35) I don’t think I’m doing this right. Am I doing this step correctly? I can’t tell. These wordless instructions are a pain in my ass. Let me Google an assembly video.
8:14 p.m. Oh, great, an assembly video for the exact same desk I’m putting together! ::dougies::
8:56 p.m. I’ve watched the assembly video three consecutive times and still don’t think I’m doing this correctly. But, fuck it. Let’s continue and go on to step 14.
11:16 p.m. (Step 25 of 35) This step says I need another person to help me put the top half and bottom half of the desk together. Curse you, single life. I’m doing this solo.
12:02 a.m. (Step 30 of 35) Woohoo! Almost done!
12:03 a.m. Shit, I forgot to assemble the other drawer. Where was that step?
12:04 a.m. Realizes that step was alongside the first step to assemble the bigger drawer.
12:10 a.m. Starts cursing a lot while trying to assemble the smaller drawer, reminiscing on the memories of 5 p.m. when assembling the larger drawer seemed so easy and fun.
12:32 a.m. Realizes I’ve added the sides of the drawer inside out, thus making it impossible to insert into the desk with the wheels.
12:33 a.m. Tries to disassemble the fucked up drawer, but this screws are impossible to extract.
12:40 a.m. Rips the sides of the drawers off the screws. Takes matters into my own hands and tapes that part together, because no one will ever know about my taped small drawer except for me (and now everyone who reads Twenties Unscripted.)
1 a.m. Has to add a cabinet door to the desk. Looks easy enough. It’s not.
2 a.m. DONE. FINISHED. FINITO. VICTORY IS MINE, BITCH. (Except I still need to assemble the shelving unit that sits atop the desk, but that is definitely not happening until I get some sleep.)
Including the time it took to assemble the shelving unit, it definitely took 10 hours to put that hell of a desk together. But, I ended up with this.
It may not seem like much, but I have coveted a workspace like this for about six months. And, it’s now made even better by the fact that I assembled 2/3 of it by myself (shout out to my friend who put the bookshelf together on moving day.) I probably would not have had it for another six months to a year if it weren’t for my wonderful father saying “No money for Christmas this year, that’s too impersonal,” and thus requiring me to think outside the box and ask for a desk as a gift, as well a wireless printer from my sister. (Thanks Mommy, Daddy and Alexis!) This space is now the hallmark of my 486-square foot apartment because in all four apartments I’ve had, I have never, ever used the dining area other than to pile up boxes I never unpacked. Using the space for a mini-office seems much more logical. After all, I will easily spend more time here than anywhere else in my apartment (unless, of course, I’m entertaining a gentleman caller.)
So, writing about my mess of an experience assembling my IKEA desk with wordless instructions is an analogy for saying stick with it. See it through. When the newness of a New Year’s Resolution has worn off, when it’s July and it seems like a great time to give up, when everyone else has forgotten the goals you set for yourself–see it through. Whatever the hell “it” is. As one of my friends always reminds me, stay the course. Maybe it’s a new blog you started or a commitment to going to therapy that you just made. Maybe it’s a book you’re writing or a spinning class you’re taking. Maybe it’s money you’re saving or a credit card you’re paying off. Maybe it’s a job search you’ve undertaken or a new gig you just started. Whatever it is, have the balls to see it through. Finish what you start. No matter how long it takes. No matter how crazy you become hacking away at that drawer and eventually having to stick it together with tape (whoops, sorry, memories flooding back).
But, perhaps this is where I stick a giant asterisk on my post and say don’t see it through if it compromises your spirit, your sanity or your precious sense of self. Seeing it through sometimes means discerning your own spirit enough to know when to leave it alone, when to let it go, when to let it fold, when to say goodbye, when to take no more. Don’t see it through if it’s shit. Don’t see it through if you’re miserable or unhappy or better off elsewhere. And then when you decide to head elsewhere, make the terribly inconvenient decision to see that through too.
I could use the space here to say something cliché like winners never quit and quitters never win, but we all already saw Coach Carter so fuck it. Have the courage, the audacity, the strength, the radical and ridiculous determination needed to see it through. The world never knows an unfinished masterpiece (Or, at least you can’t put it on Instagram…can you imagine if I put half of my desk on Instagram? Zero likes.)