“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”Maya Angelou
I was largely a loner growing up. Sitting in my room, playing video games or reading A Series Of Unfortunate Events. My room became the place to restore my energy after a long day of learning and having to deal with the local doofuses.
Even since then it’s largely served the same purpose. I find that I long for the nourishing solitude as I did when I was a kid. I’ve always been super introverted, but I think there’s something to be said about what having a space can mean for you.
Not Always A Place
I put forth that home is wherever we feel safe, a place we recharge, a place we can be genuine, and a place we have regular access to. Unfortunately for some, “home” never feels like it should. My parents are loving people and I have no right to have a qualm with them, but I admit that I’d love to have a place of my own so I can truly let my surroundings express who I am. That’s the one key piece missing from the place I call home.
I’ve also found these qualities in individuals I’ve hung out with. They’ve made me feel safe, they don’t feel like they drain my energy, and they’re fine with hanging out a lot. I’m always grateful for friends like these. We’re all human, so no one can be home 100% of the time, but they’re reliable a majority amount of the time.
There’s a lot of mockery going on in today’s society. South Park took a stab at safe spaces a while back. People on fox are calling others snowflakes. “You think your life is bad? What about ______.” With so much belittling of our problems, it can feel like kindness is being replaced with judgment. Softness and accommodation is ridiculed as weak and submissive. There is something to be said about developing fortitude to withstand criticism, that’s certainly a good thing, but trying to ridicule someone into becoming tougher isn’t helping, it’s being an asshole.
So yes, home should be a safe space. Preference for safety from criticism and adverse thoughts isn’t inherently weak or wrong. It’s exhausting to live in such negative environments. Home is place to escape from that for a while, so you can brace yourself to weather the storm again. Not because you don’t have the ability to, but because we all need a break now and again.
The Case For Minimalism
Personally, I collect so much junk for my “hobbies” that they end up taking a lot of space in my room. Once in a while I have to clear it out, stuff a fair amount of it in the closet, and just start from scratch. I find that having empty space feels much more freeing when I’m relaxing in my room. You don’t have to go out and get rid of all your worldly possessions, but maybe the things that are just gathering dust. The stuff you don’t really care to see anymore and you don’t really plan on using.
Cleanliness goes a long way too. There’s something to be said about being in a room where there’s no need to do any chores. It gives you permission to do whatever you want without having that thought in the back of your mind that there’s tidying up to do.
Find the place you feel you belong and make it yours. Decorate it with your favorite things, play sounds in it that you relate to, explore your mind, advance your hobbies, share it with those you love.
My Ideal Room
I can picture it in my head. I’d have a glossy black wooden floor with a puffy white and black carpet, a relaxing white sofa with a line of bookshelves against the back wall. There’d be two sizable impressive office desks with plenty of space for me and whoever might be visiting me. There would be a giant window overlooking a forested area or a bustling city, something to gaze out of as the steam from my morning coffee mixes with the peppermint incense smoke that rises towards the ceiling fan running on the lowest setting. I’d always want my room to feel slightly cold so I’d have an excuse to be bundled up in my favorite hoodie. The walls would be lined with art and posters of my favorite things.
What about you? Do you have a special place to relax in? What’s your ideal room look like in your head?
~It took the absence of home for Dorthy to conclude that there’s no place like it~