I don’t know about you, but I’m a little territorial. Let me explain: it all started when I was a little kid. Yes, I know this isn’t a therapy session, but most of our adult habits are an outcome of our growing years! Basically, from age 5-18, I moved around a lot. I also shared a room with my little sister until I was probably like 12 or 13, honestly can’t remember. So I’ve always been a big fan of metaphorically sticking my name on things – MY blanket, MY mug, MY seat on the sofa. I think once I moved away from my hometown and went on to college, this habit stayed with me. At first, I didn’t even realize this was weird or even a habit, especially because I was lucky enough to have a single dorm as a freshman, which immediately meant everything in my jail cell, I mean dormitory, was mine! No sharing with anyone else. It was kind of glorious.
My sophomore year I moved into a disgustingly kept four-bedroom apartment with Lisa and two other friends. This is when I first noticed this weird thing about myself, which at the time I thought I was totally justified in doing. (Still kind of feel that way sometimes…) I’d come home from a long day of school, and would want nothing more than to have a refreshing, icy drink out of my extra tall grey cup. Except… it was nowhere to be found. This got me curious. I started trying to locate all my belongings that I was sharing with my apartment-mates. Some in the sink, some drying from a recent wash, but then I started to noticed that one or two items weren’t around. Where was my sparkly Disney cup (that one got lost forever) or my shitty, plastic black bowl? Why were they suddenly not at my disposal, I mean they were MINE after all!
Seeing as we were all sharing our mismatched kitchenware, the roommates were simply eating or drinking out of whatever was available and then either taking it on the go, or leaving it in their rooms. Totally normal, I mean we ALL DO THIS. I hardly think about what specific vessel to use for drinking water or having lunch these days. But that is because I am a mostly grown human adult now, and I really can’t be bothered. Especially if it’s not for any special occasion! Half the time I’m working while I’m eating, so who cares what plate I use! I was so weird back then.
Now, all these paragraphs were written just to explain how that habit transcended into my feelings about spaces. I am not an apartment person. I like having a driveway, a living room, a yard, a full kitchen; I like having space. I like having enough space to dedicate different parts of my house to different things. Oh, what a simple human being I am, putting information into boxes of categories. You see, my habit of deeming trivial, random things as my own was a way of categorizing. Object A is for Purpose A. Disney cup is only to be drunk out of by me. A house, to me, is MY own special little dwelling. It’s mine, all mine, and even when I have to share it with a housemate or if I’m renting, when you walk in, there’s no doubt that this is my space.
I love decorating, but more than anything I love arranging. Oh god, I sound like a freak. I just love planning where things will go, making the best use out of all the spaces, and ultimately finding the best set up for work, leisure, eating, and fun. I work from home a lot, so this is so important to me! I need to be able to focus and feel comfortable. I rely on scents a lot. Every room in my house has some sort of aromatic. I like when things smell warm, clean, cozy and delicious. I even bought one of those weird cinnamon brooms I used to always make fun of. It dwells in my living room, making it the first whiff you get as you walk in to the house.
Lighting is another big one for me. Nothing makes me feel cozier and homey than fairy lights. It’s the best feeling in the evenings when the house is dark but there are still tiny lights seemingly floating around. During the daytime, however, I LOVE when the shades are drawn and the full force of sunlight is soaking into my house. Something about it being extremely bright gets me in the best mood and makes me ultra productive.
I’ve made my little rickety house my own in a number of ways. From plants on the kitchen windowsill and candles in every room, to Polaroids stuck on the wall and the perfect temperature setting all throughout. It’s making me a little sad to think that soon this little house won’t be mine anymore. Let’s face it, it never was, but I borrowed it with vigor. However, that tiny sadness is shadowed by the excitement I have for finding a new place. I feel happy and exhilarated that soon I’ll have a new place to make my own… our own. I’m already planning in my head what our studio will look like, where the books will go, and how I want to feel when I walk in. It’s going to smell amazing, we’ll have lots of plants, and so much space to work on different projects. Obviously, I will keep you guys updated when that happens, but it will be many months from now. For now, I’ll keep making little changes in this house to make it the ultimate home.