07 December 2010
Day 255: Drowned Sorrow
Here's something I can agree with:
[Kenny] believed that a house revealed a lot about one's personality.
Unfortunately it continues into something I am less inclined to agree with:
People who wanted to live in a place like this [small and cozy] were usually introverted and looking for protection, but the ones who chose a spacious house were balanced and open.
Uh... This makes Kenny sound like an asshole. Which I don't think he really is. He's obviously a very driven person, having given up most of his life to achieve his dream of being the best surgeon in the country/world/whatever only to find that he has cancer and will soon die before ever achieving that goal. But anyway, back to the house thing.
There are some people out there who are perfectly happy living in smaller homes than they need to, not because they are introverted and looking for protection, but because they are comfortable with themselves and the people they share their space with. If you think about it, it's much easier to get away from yourself mentally when you're in a big open space than if you feel crowded and cramped by your surroundings. I think this is why people enjoy being out in nature so much: they can lose themselves in the wilderness. If you're stuck inside your house, you find yourself reflected back 100 times over. It's easier to escape if "you" are more spread out through an entire house.
You know what else a big house says? It says you have something to prove to the world. I think if I was a world class surgeon I would have already proved that and wouldn't need a huge house. Someone in a big house is saying, "I've achieved and I need you to know that." I see that as being uncomfortable that no one will know about it, instead of feeling that the achievement is worth it in and of itself.
I don't feel the need to have a large house or a brand new car every three years or less. I would rather have that money for emergencies or traveling to gain new experiences, to have smaller comforts rather than an extravagant space. I don't plan on having a house full of kids or pets; I'll be happy with the same 900 square feet I had as a graduate student (although I'd take an extra 300 for a workspace/guest room).
My review can be found on Goodreads.