Ben Borgers

My Office Makes Me Feel Stupid

January 26, 2022

As you may know, I rented an office near Tufts as an experiment. It’s a place for me to do work quietly and without distractions, and the half-hour walk to and from the office could also serve as nice exercise and putting myself in the right frame of mind.

But right now, it’s making me feel stupid.

I’ve gone there twice in the past week, but now I’m dreading going there again. I should go there today, since I only have one class in the afternoon. It’s a perfect morning for using it.

But still, I’m dreading it, and I don’t quite know why.

It might be that it’s pretty far — I feel like I’m trapped off campus, unable to return quickly if I want to. I have to be intentional about when I go and when I come back, which I originally saw as an upside — I’ll have to be intentional about doing work there instead of letting it just ooze into all my available time.

But now, it just feels socially isolating. (Which I knew going in! And I ignored that! You see why I’m feeling stupid?) Having that office means that I won’t be doing work with friends on campus; I’ll be doing work alone relatively far away. If I want to get lunch with friends, that involves timing the walk back correctly, and then it’s probably not worth returning to the office after lunch.

I don’t know. I was able to talk myself into it being a good idea in the beginning, and now I feel completely the opposite. In this moment, I just want to be done with it.

But here’s an extra complication: rent is due on the 1st of each month, and I have to give one month of notice to break my lease (at least it’s a month-to-month lease, not a long-term commitment).

So I have two options:

  1. Try to figure out what to do by Monday, possibly saving a month’s rent.
  2. Just pay February’s rent, and then figure it out in February.

And these two options are killing me. I can’t decide on what to do.

I want to do #1, and just be done with it — shove it into past. But #2 is more reasonable — what if I think back to this experiment, and think that I just didn’t give it enough time? I’ll have to do it all over again.

And you see that word experiment that I’m using? That’s a defense mechanism too. I don’t want to admit that a decision I made could be faulty. I fear people telling me that I made an obviously dumb decision renting that office. I fear that people will think of me as someone who makes silly decisions. Like people wouldn’t tell me that it’s silly, but they’d think it whenever I turned away.

This is where I’d try to wrap this up with a bow. But I’m not sure what the wrap-up is. I’m going to try to figure out whether I can make a decision before Monday. And in the end, maybe it’s all not such a big deal — not big enough to stress me out and accelerate the graying of my hair, at least.