This weekend, the clocks went back in our household. Time, this mysterious force we all fear, moved for once the opposite way.
Hang on a minute, you might say, wasn’t that last weekend?And how boring an opening line is this?
Well I’m not talking about daylight saving time, this annoying procedure that shakes you out of your natural rhythm twice a year and as research suggests does not even save any energy at all. I’m talking about how I turned back time by fifteen years in just one Saturday.
I had been mulling this over in my head for a while. My partner and I live in a three bedroom house. It’s a modest size but then again, it’s only us two. The children’s bedroom was “his” pretty much from the start and he turned it into an office where he can go about his art. I took the spare bedroom and turned it into a messy wardrobe that looked like a tip at the best of times. It became a dumping ground for all sorts of household items (hover etc) with the double bed covered in clothes for ironing or washing, which were in return frequently covered in cat hair. I have two cats and I love the little bastards, but the hair on my clothes is a nightmare. Seriously. It doesn’t make a difference that fur has come back this year.
All along I was dreaming of walk in closets, endless storage, shoe racks and what have you. I was dreaming of a haven where I could retreat to and get dressed, or write, or just get some peace. A creative space for myself.
Remember the children’s room you had back in the day when you lived with your parents? Were you allowed to do with it whatever you wanted? I was, more or less, and it was fantastic. My own space. While I couldn’t go and “improve” the living room furniture with Donald Duck stickers (I tried), in my room I could do whatever I liked. My room became an image of me, reflecting me like a mirror, and while I was growing up, the room grew with me. From posters of the care bears to dedicating every centimeter of wall space to Guns n’ Roses, and later on a discrete shrine to the Lord of the Rings movies, the room changed around me with my interests and needs. I had a room like this until I was in my mid twenties; sharing a flat in college with my best friend, we were keeping the teenage vibe going. It was only when we moved in together as a couple into a one bedroom apartment in Dublin that we both decided that neither Viggo Mortensen nor Dr Strangelove posters were going to go up on our walls. All of a sudden everything was very grown up, and before I knew it, Viggo was boxed up and I was surrounded by Ikea furniture and impersonal prints of abstract flowers.
I’ve been struggling a bit lately with the whole “who am I” thing and I realised that more than a walk in wardrobe I needed a space that I could make my own. So this weekend, it happened. I needed a desk for writing and sewing, so up to Ikea and back with a lovely wooden dining room table that folds up and down as I need it. We rearranged all the furniture, I put up some prints that I actually like and I cluttered the chest of drawers with fashion books, magazines and my camera equipment. I put up a chain of lights in the wardrobe, covered the wardrobe doors in pictures of outfits, and put up silly decorations. Actually at this point I don’t think the room is quite silly enough, but I’m sure I’ll get there. Those Lord of the Rings posters must still be somewhere!
What I am saying is, it’s good for you to have a space that is all yours. A space that’s you. Because in between assignments and spreadsheets, “don’t forget the onions darling”, getting your kids from school or the cat to the vet, and doing all the ironing, you might just forget who you are. And wouldn’t that be a terrible shame.