After the most hectic week of hunting down furniture, picking colour schemes, battling Sydney’s traffic, budgeting, building flat pack furniture, sleeping on the floor and forcing ourselves to remember to eat, we have finally settled into our new apartment and first home together. It’s been an uphill battle at times, especially when we were doing it pretty much by ourselves, but we have finally made it and I couldn’t be happier.
One of the best things about the apartment we are renting is that it has a second bedroom that came with a desk. As I will be staying at home to write, at least for the first month or so, we have decided to turn it into an office space for me. I picked a few little bits to make it look cute, but really I couldn’t care less what was in it – I was getting my own writing room!
As I look at the space I am going to call my own where my imagination can wander totally uninterrupted, I can’t help but think of how having space for ourselves really does matter. Just the thought of sitting at that desk, completely alone, excites me. The thought of the different ideas that might come to my mind and the time I can spend perfecting the craft I enjoy so much is something I can’t stop smiling about. With that in mind, I have come to the conclusion that having a bit of ‘me space’ as well as ‘me time’ really does make all the difference.
Growing up, I shared my bedroom with my younger sister. At times we loved it, even pushing our beds together to make one big bed to share and staying up all night to speak, but often our biggest arguments came down to the fact that we felt we were in each other’s space. She would touch things that were mine, I didn’t like the things she chose to decorate the room with, when one of our friends came over the other had to leave the room but then they had nowhere else to go that had their things in… the list was endless. We used to argue endlessly, so much so that my mum even suggested putting a curtain down the middle of the room to separate it just to stop us constantly getting at one another. It all came down to the fact that there wasn’t a place that we could call our own because the other had invaded it simply because they had to.
When my brother moved out and I finally got my own room, my relationship with my sister improved massively. We just weren’t in each other’s way anymore and it made so much difference. Personally it was a big thing to have a place of my own too. Just being able to say ‘I’m going to my room’ and it actually be my room was a huge deal. If I wanted to stay up to watch a film, cry in peace or nap without someone pestering me then I could. It brought me a sense of peace like no other.
As a society, we talk about self care and how we should be putting ourselves first, and we are right. One of the ways in which this can be done is by having a space that is just for you to use. You can personalise it how you like, keep it as organised as you wish, use it for hobbies that are your own and no one else’s… the freedom is yours because the space is totally yours. It doesn’t matter if it’s a whole room, a corner of a garage, a cupboard in your kitchen or a shed in the garden – the point is that it is a place for you and no one else. That’s the beauty of having a ‘me space’ – it is somewhere that is totally your own. In an overcrowded, over populated world, that corner is yours to claim.
Sometimes we don’t feel like we have control over many things in our lives. We can’t guarantee that we will be rich, that we will be able to go on two holidays a year, that we will always be in love with this person, that we will have friends, that we will be lucky enough to have a roof over our heads forever, but having a ‘me space’ changes that. In a world of uncertainty, that place is your haven. It’s where you can retreat to when things are tough. Everything in it is familiar and chosen by you to fulfil a purpose that you want it to. Having a space of your own is like having an anchor. It grounds you and centres you in a space that you are in control of. There are no filters, no outside expectations, no rules other than the ones you set yourself. There is nothing but peace and the chance to create what you want and be who you want to be. If that’s not happiness, then I’m really not sure what is.
“No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.” Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own