Thank you, Virginia, for that most valuable of advice.
When I was younger her quote didn’t make much sense – weren’t women independent now, didn’t we have the vote, weren’t we emancipated and equal and couldn’t we Have It All?
A room? Goddam it Virginia, I’m a modern woman. I can buy myself a whole house if I like. Don’t need a man for that. Don’t need permission. Money? I can earn my own!
Foolishly, I thought that being a child of a new generation meant that Ms Woolf’s wisdom didn’t apply to me. But it is so much more relevant than I had realised. Being part of the generation of ‘We Can Have It All’ means that most of us don’t have the time or the energy for that room, and all our money is allocated to mortgages and other grown-up responsibilities. Dreams are relegated to the dusty recesses of our minds, or that mythical ‘one day…’ place.
But I was pondering this morning the healing value of having a corner of life just for yourself and your own interests. A little time for which you didn’t need to account to anyone, and a little cash for the requisites to fill that corner. Same same, as they say in Thailand. Virginia, you really were onto something!
My corner is a movable place, populated by my Macbook (which I purchased just so I could use the Scrivener program), some notebooks, a pencil case, index cards and pocket money for lattes, snacks and photocopying.
I might lie in bed and write, or duck out to the local coffee shop. I have written on trains, planes, verandas, decks of boats, under trees, hotel rooms, in my car, and many other locations – which is why my ‘corner’ is portable.
I also have a Tibetan Prayer Bowl, a journal, some crystals, a deck of Tarot cards and a few other bits and pieces for my Spiritual Grab Bag. Same same, only different to my Mac Bag. See what I mean?
We don’t need grand gestures to get started on what’s important to us. We can have our ‘room’ by creating little windows of time, a small basket of tools or accessories, accompanied by the jingle of just a little loose change in our pockets.
So what’s your thing? What gives your life meaning and pleasure? What fills you up?
We all need a room of our own, a few dollars to be spent as we so choose, and the emotional luxury and freedom that this affords us.
2013 is almost upon us. I’m gently encouraging you to create a small corner in life just for you and your dreams. One you can visit often, even if only for the briefest of times from week to week.
Wonderful new directions, satisfactions and accomplishment can be had by giving yourself a little breathing space.
Go on. I dare you!