I finally bought my very own Macbook Pro yesterday, and it felt so great that I even shed tears when I realized that I had already achieved this goal.
Because, you see, buying the Mac was never about buying a Mac. Anyone who knows me well knows that I may be generous when it comes to others, but am absolutely stingy when it comes to myself.
Believe it or not, this was actually the first time in my entire life that I had bought myself my very own computer. It really seems absurd, now that I think about it, for a writer to have survived over a decade writing pieces out of other people’s (or companies’) computers–but that’s what I did.
In the early days of freelance writing, I was typing out of a desktop computer that my dad bought for me. When that conked out, I was lucky enough that my then-boyfriend (now-husband) had a spare laptop that he allowed me to take over. Then, for the past three-and-a-half years, I’ve been using laptops borrowed from the office.
I never really thought of buying one for myself (yet) because there was always something to use–and because there were so much more important things to spend on–such as my household, my family, and my (essential, life-changing) travels.
But, again, it did seem absurd. For around a decade, I was like a soldier without his own gun, like a chef without her own stove, like a painter without his own brushes. And it might seem trivial to some, but after a while this fact did take its toll on me. I was a creator without any space of my own for my creations! Add to that the fact that I work from a tiny condo unit (without a desk or proper shelves for my books), shuttle between a couple of offices, and wear multiple hats. The shuttling and squatting (laptops included) started to get overwhelming and unbearable, and it began to affect my mental, emotional, and even physical health.
Because the bottomline, I realized, was not just about “not having a computer.” It was about not having a space–even just a virtual one–that I could really claim as my own.
And THIS, I feel, is the central theme of my unresolved issues. Space. Boundaries. Sanctuary. Claiming something–anything–for myself.
I have also always been outward-oriented. My money was always, always used for other people, so this is the very first time that I am buying myself anything of real value. All the jewelry that I wear, all the art that I own, even all the stuff in my house and the car in our parking slot–all of these were either gifts or happy hand-me-downs. I’ve never really complained about that fact because I don’t consider myself too attached to material things, but after a while you do want something to show for all your hard work. Especially something that represents your achievements and your pride in your craft.
So there. I finally bought myself my own computer, I finally bought myself something valuable, and it happens to be a Mac. This, to me, isn’t just a laptop. It represents how much I value myself and my work, and it shows that I am now ready to claim my own space, my own corner in the Universe–even if it’s just 13 inches.