Several years ago, the room where my office is was a game/tv room. It’s not a big space. It sits off the living room. A pair of double doors are present, so I can isolate myself when I’m in a deep writing mode.
Originally, we both had a desk in here. And a t.v. We would do online MMRPG gaming such as Everquest. Eventually, though, the tv moved into the living room. His desk shifted to a different room. This became my office space.
The art on the walls all has meaning to me. Some are awards, others are signed photos. A bookcase full of Star Wars figures, an antique steamer trunk, and a display cabinet built by my great-grandfather.
But it’s my space.
Growing up, we lived in a really small house. Less than 900 sq feet, and that was after we added on (I was young and barely remember this) an area that practically doubled the living room. Two bedrooms, one bath. The washing machine was in the kitchen…dryer was in my parent’s bedroom. The room I shared with my older sister was small enough that we had bunk beds because, really, that was the best way to have two beds in the room.
I didn’t have a space to discover who I was. There were built in cabinets in our bedroom that were used as storage for things like towels and sheets for the entire house. Everything in there was shared – either with my sister or my parents – and the only time we were allowed to have the door closed was if we were changing clothes. I can remember tucking baby blankets into the bottom of my sister’s bunk (she had the top) so I could close off my bed. It was an illusion of privacy, of my own space, that would last maybe a week. The someone would tell me to take them down.
When I started high school, my sister went to college. Finally, I had my own space! No more fights about what went on the walls, who had the most space on the dresser, or if it was ‘my mess’ or ‘her mess’ on the floor. It didn’t last long enough. Due to severe financial mismanagement by my mother, she had to move back home after a semester. Down came the posters I liked, my clothes got shoved back into half the space, and my brief moment of having a space of my own was gone.
Eventually, she moved out. I think it was the latter half of my senior year in high school. I went to college, shared rooms in dorms. Had apartments, usually with roommates. While I would have my own room, they weren’t permanent and I knew it. Things on the wall were limited, and I never felt like I truly was there to stay.
We’ve lived here for 19 1/2 years. The space that is mine is truly a reflection of all that inspires me, calms me, relaxes me, and gives me hope. My husband has his own office space now, to do the same as I have if he wants to.
Over the span of roughly a month, this space of mine was chaotic. We ordered a new file cabinet, I purged the old one and sold it online. New one came in, got assembled, and filled with the papers we needed to keep. I bought a new paper shredder.
Then came the real work. I had 3 18 gallon bins full of papers that either needed to be shredded or put in the recycle bin. Going through that, one piece at a time, would take the most time. Recycling is picked up every other week, and lots of other stuff gets put in it, so I had to pace myself. I couldn’t simply fill it back up the same day it got emptied.
Yesterday, after the bins were empty, I got back to work. I was down to 1 bin. I sorted through it, shredding as I went. When I was done, it got taken out. Shredding went into the yard waste bin, recycling into that bin. I emptied the normal recycle box I keep near my desk. I put the shredder aside, and took the last of the empty bins out to our shed.
One sweep with the broom to catch the stray bits of shredded paper, then I stopped and realized it was my space again.
I hate unfinished projects. I hate writing in chaos (I love making things chaotic for my characters, but not in my own life thank you very much). I hate feeling like there’s something else I should be doing instead of what I want to be doing.
That’s a whole other blog post for another day, I think.
With the bins empty and gone…the shredder put aside…the chaos was gone. I wasn’t sitting at my desk and seeing a physical reminder out of the corner of my eye of something that needed doing. I only saw the peaceful, calm space that was everything I need it to be.
Is the room 100% perfect? No. I’d love a nice floor rug and I know I’ll find one when I’m ready to add it. There’s wall space for art. I typically find that at cons, and I really want to start going to those again in 2022.
For now, though, I’ll light a candle…burn some incense…play my music…and write in the oasis my soul needs.
BB/Chan Eil Eagal Orm