Thursday January 15, 2004

In My Room

Think about all the rooms in all the houses you have lived in. Describe them in your journal and reflect upon whether where you have lived may have affected how you felt at different times in your life.

From Writer's Digest via Spark (11 January 2004)

My parents bought the house I grew up in a few months before I was born; I loved there for over 21 years, until I went away to Grad School in another state. My parents continued to live in that house for another 5 or 10 years.

It was a fairly large (3-story) duplex; my parents owned both sides. Initially, one side was ours (2 stories plus half a basement); the "other side of the house" was rented out as apartments - a "railroad flat" on each of the first and second floors, and the entire third floor "suite". Our side was big enough that my sister and I each had our own rooms.

When my sister was born, I moved from the center bedroom to the back corner bedroom (two windows). Before I moved into it, my parents painted that room - three walls in pink; the fourth wall in vertical candy stripes (dark pink and white, 12-inches wide). That was my room for the next 18 years.

I loved my room. I loved looking out the back window at the yard and the lilac trees. I loved the breeze in the summer (when there was any) and the rain during thunderstorms. I loved having my Christmas tree in front of the window. When I was in Junior High, we redecorated. My Dad moved the closet to the other side of the room. We installed a window seat under the back window and a counter, with shelves above and cabinets below, along the wall opposite the other window. I painted the room myself, light green with dark green for the wood. Through High School and College, that made a perfect study area.

When I was in the third grade, the city gave my Dad a choice - install a fire escape or stop renting the third floor. He stopped renting and we moved into that part of the house. My Dad had an office up there; my Mom had a sewing area; my sister and I got a room that we shared as a "playroom" and a place for one or the other of us to sleep when our grandmother visited. Most of the time, that was me; I enjoyed sleeping on the third floor! It was special.

Some number of years later (I can't exactly remember when but I know it was prior to 7th grade), my folks decided to stop renting the first floor on the "other side" as well. My Dad re-did the front room as his new (and far more spacious and nicely appointed) office. Mom got the back room for crafts and projects. The bedroom (with en suite shower) became our guest room (wow! a real guest room!). Now when our grandmother visited, neither my sister nor I needed to vacate our bedrooms. But wait! There's more.

Our previously shared 3rd-floor room became my sister's, all her own, and I got the front room on the third floor! It became my second bedroom (with a bed in an alcove under the eves), my office, my workshop, my laboratory. We added shelves and a table to hold my projects; I did much of my school work there. I think I loved that room even more than my bedroom.

When I was in College (living at home and walking to campus) friends would occasionally say, "you live at home?!". I'd say "Yes. My mother is a good cook, we have a 13-room house and two of those rooms are mine, all my very own, shared with no one else. Either one of them is bigger than the dorm room you share with a roommate! Why wouldn't I live at home?!

How did those rooms in that house affect my life? I'm used to having my own space. When I first went to Grad School, my apartment was a flat, the second floor of a house much like the one I grew up in! I had a flat mate, but I had my own room (and I chose the one in the back corner of the house, with two windows, one overlooking the back yard). In my (second) attempt at Grad School, I had a one-bedroom apartment to myself (no roommate).

After I met Richard, I knew we were meant for each other when he offered me my own office space. Neither of us thinks twice about each of us having a separate office, a room of our own. It's important to both of us. It give us some privacy (although the other is always welcome), a place to work, and a place to keep things out of the way of the common areas of the house.

A room of my own. I've had one (or two :) since I was four years old. I think a lot of who I am has been shaped by those rooms, then and now.

In My Room ( in category Memes & Prompts ) - posted at Thu, 15 Jan, 09:00 Pacific | «e»