Take Me to IKEA

Many years ago, a friend of mine starting dating a new guy. He’d just come out of a ten-year relationship so I immediately thought “rebound.” She said it was special and it wasn’t like that. Well, we all believed dumb things in our early twenties. But the guy – so she said – knew that he had some things to deal with after this break-up, so he was going to go to Thailand for three weeks to – quote – “find himself.”

I never got that. I never got why people go and sit on a beach to change their lives. Surely their normal lives come crowding back as soon as they get home, coupled with the reality of the nice people from MasterCard who have left little envelopes in the postbox. (He went, came back, and was still just as confused about what he wanted. Now just 20,000DKK poorer.)

We’ve all gone on holiday and tried to bring back a new way of thinking, a new way of doing. It could be trying to cook the dishes we ate, find the wine from our favourite restaurant “over there” or try to incorporate something from the culture we visited into our daily lives. But usually it goes the same way. A few weeks after being home, the holiday memories start to fade and our normal routines take over again.

Not to say anything against holidays. Sometimes getting away from it all is just what we need. But if we want to change what we go back to, running away from it isn’t the way to do it.

Which brings me to IKEA.

If you want to believe that your life can change, take a walk through IKEA one day.

There’s no place that makes it easier to believe things can be different if you just make a little effort. When I go to IKEA and dream of getting a new sofa, I know it’s not really about the sofa. It’s about wanting to change the woman who sits on the sofa: me. Something isn’t quite right, something needs to be different. Not in my living room but in my life. I know changing the sofa won’t change whatever is currently off-balance in my life. If you think it will, read Emma Bovary. She’ll set you straight.

One bookshelf can be used in six different ways. As I see the physical change in front of me, the possibilities for other changes begin to manifest. IKEA shows you how you can change your life a little bit at a time, until all the patterns are gone and you are left with something completely different than when you started.

I really need a trip to IKEA.

Plus they have glitter pens and my favourite notebooks.

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