Friday, July 2, 2010

My Own Room

Any time someone mentions the necessity of having "a room of one's own," I envision Virginia Woolf tucked away in a corner, writing furiously. I imagine she went through scores of pencils and ink in a race to drench the paper with her thoughts, and for some reason, I imagine she bore down hard as she wrote. Light or effortless haven't a place in her style. Read her. You won't even have to finish and you'll agree with me.

But, as many disagreements as Ms. Woolf and I might have had, I do relish the experience of having my own space. As a live-in nanny, I have the above-the-garage apartment to myself. I love it. My walls were already purple and grey--a perfect canvas. Bit by bit, I've added personalized touches--sepia toned travel snapshots, framed postcards, familiar faces. Sitting from my papasan chair, I realize my little room feels like home. And I was so worried it would retain a generic, hotel feel as a bonus room in someone else's house. Not with this family. (We've mutually adopted one another, you see.)

Decorating your own space is the grown-up version of naming your best dolls. You're deciding you own them, they're important to you, and you're willing to take time to find a suitable name. You can't name a room without raised eyebrows, really, so you decorate it to lend it personality. Spritzed about my space are bits of my tastes and quirks, including a prominent collection of books and tea apparatuses. A copy of Virginia Woolf sits coolly on my shelf, not at all approving of the "frothiness" and general merriment imbued by my personal stamp. You just stare, Virginia. I can be a conifdent and intellectual and cheerful simultaneously. After all, who's afraid of you?

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