A Room of One’s Own

A floating shelf in my new room

What a difference a few days make. I’m writing this today from my new room in my new home, back in the town that I grew up in. Yes, I walk familiar blocks to get coffee in the morning, streets so familiar that I could traverse them with my eyes closed, but I now also inhabit a brand-new space to call my own. A tiny space, but a space that is all mine. A space that is full of my things and mine alone, a space that is new but already feels like home.

I have been wary of placing too much significance in material things, in seeking joy from stuff, but this week I acquiesced to the desire to nest. After living in a kind of limbo for the past few weeks, grateful for a roof over my head but without a room of my own, I found that I needed to do more than just move my stuff into a room. I needed to settle into an environment that feels good, that looks how I want it to look, that reminds me of who I am via material things. And what’s wrong with that?

There’s nothing wrong with taking pride in your space, in finding joy in duvet covers and floating shelves, soft sheets and mirrored jewelry boxes. It’s like the saying, “When you look good, you feel good.” When your room looks good, you feel better. I feel at peace in my new room because I am in an environment of my own making. Everything that surrounds me is mine, both new and old, items carefully selected because they make me smile. Not everything in my new room has a purpose, but everything I see makes me happy.

I’m happy when I look at my old dresser from a million years ago because it is now spruced up with new gold-and-glass knobs. I’m happy when I look at my bed because it is an inviting oasis of calm colors and soft sheets, graced with pillows that would have been deemed “unnecessary” in my previous life. There’s a gold elephant on the table for no other reason than that I like elephants and I love gold. I’m happy when I look around this new room of mine because I am no longer compromising my vision and my taste to suit that of another person. I’m free to be as “eccentric” or “bohemian” as I like. I’m free.

My new surroundings are a comfort to me because I now have a little sanctuary. With all of the curveballs life has been throwing my way, at least now I have a room of my own where everything will be just as I left it. I can find everything with ease and it all makes sense. The world may not make sense, but my little room does. The light streams in from the window just so, the bed is softer than any other mattress I’ve had before, the books are plentiful, and, for the first time, I feel like my room decor has a theme. My friend said it is very zen. I like that.

My room does not offer much space, but I don’t need more than what I have. I have space to lay my head down, to read, to write, to get ready for the day or to unwind. I have space for my books and my trinkets, for many items of meaningless beauty. Where before I tried to curb the so-called clutter, I am now free to adorn windowsills and shelves with articles that give me joy simply by being nice to look at, by being pretty. I’ve realized that I have really missed the freedom to ornament my space as I see fit.

As I have discovered the joy in augmenting my space to suit my personality, I see that our rooms, rooms of our own, spaces both physical and unseen, are opportunities to express ourselves. My room is a reflection of myself, and the joy I have found in designing my space is an extension of the joy I have discovered in expressing who I am. I now have the freedom to be me, all of me, both internally and externally. I can be myself, who I truly am. I can be who I was always meant to be. I’m ready.

I wish you a wild, free life.

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