Finding Beauty in the Mess
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A room of ones own. It’s something that my mother instilled in me. Since I was a small child she would lay claim to a space outside her and my father’s bedroom that was hers, and hers alone. Sometimes it would be a small corner of the house, others a closet and eventually an entire room. As a child I would think this a little odd – I mean she did have a bedroom – wasn’t that enough?
In high school I was introduced to Virginia Woolf. Eventually I read her piece “A Room of One’s Own”. I thought I finally understood why my mother had insisted on having her own space.
I clung to this idea through college and into my single years. When I met my husband to be I made it clear that I would have my own space in our household.
I love my having my own space. A room which is mine to create and make and explore. My messiness permitted to be – my neat freak husband has surrendered my space to disaster. Half-done projects lay in wait of being completed. A few semi formed ideas strewn about with musings and almost completed projects. But this mess of a space is not all completely my fault. There is something that for all of Virgina’s brilliance (and madness) she never experienced, being a mother.
The truth is that when you become a mother anything with the idea of “one’s own” evaporates. While I call this space “My Studio” it’s a space that is regularly invaded by my family. My little boy will come and sit on my lap while I type emails, snitching from my snack of popcorn and drop bits on the floor. He’ll then climb down and start pulling the neatly rolled fabric from a bin saying “blanket!”. My middle child will come in and find a bracelet that I took off to type and play dress up with it, putting it in a completely different spot. My oldest will find some soft scraps of cuddle fabric from a half sewn project and play with it, sprinkling cuddle dust everywhere.. My husband will move the items I’ve piled in the chair so he can be near me as we both work late into the night.
As I tidy my space I come across bits and pieces of how full my life is. My daughter’s school papers that I need to put in her box. School pictures that need to be organized. A little love note from my husband. I wonder if Virginia had been blessed with children if she would come to the same conclusion: That being a mother means being willing to let go of space, quiet, and perfectly placed objects. That “A Room of One’s Own” doesn’t really exist for a mother of young children. I know that one day my little boy will stop insisting that he sit on my lap. Someday my little girl won’t think my bracelets are interesting enough to wear. Eventually my eldest won’t care what my latest sewing project is. My office will go back to being “my own”. But thankfully, that’s not today. Today my kids burst into my room and they are welcome to add to its beautiful mess. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Do you have a spot that’s a “Beautiful Mess”? I would love to hear about it.
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So beautiful, and so true! My space is part of the office… just as stacked with my half finished projects as dart guns, blocks and art supplies for the kids. But I love our clutter, our messes and our busy lives. #client
I loved your story about “A Space of My Own”. I too have always tried to have that “place” that is mine to do with as I want. When we moved into our current home five years I tried to do the same thing. Moved my “stuff” from place to place. But could not find a spot that worked. Two years ago our first grandchild was born and I moved things around so she would have a room at NaNa’s house. Now my granddaughter and I share the space. Most of the time it is just mine but we have fun when we share! I hope she grows to love to paint, sew, and create crafts as much as I do! We do make a mess but love doing it!
Angel’s essay inspired me to write my own. Find it, and a shout-out to Angel, on my site.
I enjoyed reading your essay and seeing your creative spaces! Thank you for sharing. 🙂
I enjoyed reading it!
I am so glad that we’ve both enjoyed having a space to create in. As i look back, its true that i was regularly invaded by my 4 little ‘satelites’. And as you all grew up my space became even more important for a place to tallk privately about the many concerns of teenagers and young adults. It has been and still is a great blessing in my life. I am so grateful now for those times. hugs, Mom
I can so relate!!