“…it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.” – Tolkien
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For years I didn’t have a space that I could call my own. I shared a room with my younger brother since I was 7 years old. The day he came barreling back into my life, was a happy day, albeit tinted with bittersweet sentiments. The days of being the only child were over. What I hadn’t quite grasped yet was that I’d never have a room of my own again.
My life has been a series of changing scenery. From programs for troubled adolescents and mental hospitals to the barracks of Fort Sill, Oklahoma. When I finally found the basement apartment I would covet for years, I knew I had to make it my own.
My first and foremost thought was that this was going to be my safe space. When I was down in my room, everything else would be shut out. The fuckery of my day couldn’t touch me down there. When flashbacks of a shitty upbringing came swooping down like vultures, my room would act as a snarling guard dog, chasing them away.
I knew that books would be the key. I wanted to be surrounded. I wanted my walls to be covered from top to bottom. I wanted to cover all surfaces with book, upon book, upon book! Each precious work of art was my ticket to anywhere. I did just that, making trips to every bookstore I passed by over the years.
My bed was next on my list. I needed to be able to come home after work, undress, and sink into my comforter. Let’s not forget the 6+ pillows of varying shapes and sizes I needed to be able to cocoon myself in a fort that no bad thought would ever be able to penetrate. Yes, my bed was and is the dinghy floating adrift at sea, providing a thin barrier between myself and the sharks circling beneath.
All of this insulation from the outside world helped to keep me going. There were days where I didn’t have the strength or motivation to get out of bed. My sole comfort were the books around me, the comfy throw blanket that smelled of spearmint and eucalyptus, and my cats. I don’t know if I would have made it without the comforts of my self-made hobbit hole. It continues to be one of the few places I can allow myself to breathe.
Do you have a “safe space” you call your own? What do you do when you need time for yourself? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. I’m always looking for ways to reach that ultimate level of comfort!