The Bookshelf

A few months ago, we put an order in on the Ikea website. A few months later, the pieces arrives. Two cowhide rugs, a few bookcases for our daughter’s room and a bookshelf for my office. For the last few weeks, the bookshelf had been in my office, in it’s box, leaned up against the window sill. Every time I walked in and saw it, I felt a sense of shame.

Hear me out.

I hadn’t attempted to build the bookshelf. It just sat there, waiting for the day my husband would assemble it. The thought had crossed my mind that maybe I should assemble it, but I ignored that thought. I had tried to put together a bookshelf a few years ago. My husband and I had purchased his and hers matching bookshelves from Target to put into our bedroom. We decided to have a competition to see who could assemble theirs faster. I thought I would actually win. Except I didn’t. In the time it took him to assemble the whole bookshelf, I had assembled nothing. Not a piece. It’s embarrassing to admit but my ego was bruised. I labeled myself as someone who couldn’t assemble furniture. I promised myself I would never feel that embarrassment again.

For years, I didn’t assemble a thing. If a screwdriver was required, I was out. I know it frustrated my husband – he singlehandedly assembled our entire home when we moved.

And so this bookshelf sat in my office. And one day, I decided that I was going to get over my fear and put the damn shelf together on my own. I realized that I avoided doing things that I might fail at and this was one of them.

The hardest part was just opening the box. Opening the box meant I was committing myself to either assemble the bookshelf or attempt to and admit failure.

Building the actual bookshelf was not difficult. I had the instructions, I had the screwdriver and I had the pieces. I had my own motivation to assemble it and I did it.

I was proud as hell of myself. It may be just a simple bookshelf to some, but in my office, it’s a reminder that I can fail and then succeed. Now the only issue is that it’s a mounted bookshelf. I’ll leave that part to my husband.

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