A House of One’s Own
Almost a century ago, Virginia Woolf pointed out that for a woman to write, and write well, she needs a steady income, time on her hands and a room of her own. One might argue that Sweden of 2011 is a quite different world than London of 1928, yet there are parallells to be drawn. As a creative person, I feel limited in my ability to express myself in my everyday life, and it’s wearing on me. I love my family, have a good job, but there isn’t room for much else, and as my son grows older, the need gets stronger to re-create a space that is all mine. Call it a hobby, but it’s more than that, it’s part of who I am.
Being a mother means being constantly interrupted. Interruptions aren’t great when you rely on your ability to keep complex thoughts in your head in order to weave good stories. Or just to work out where you’re heading and feel that your mind is in sync with your body, necessary for an INTP like me.
The solution, then? I don’t have a room that is only mine in our house, one of the few drawbacks of moving to a smaller place. And even if I did, that wouldn’t keep me uninterrupted. Plus it’s hard not to feel the needs from the rest of the family when you close the door to do your creative work. So I’m taking it one step further than Mrs Woolf. Instead of a room, I’ve decided to get a house of my own.
Right now I am on the train on my way to Flen, where I’m going to the realtor’s to pay for and get the keys to a small house on the outskirts of Hälleforsnäs, an old ironworks town with a declining population but with a creative spirit (or so I think and hope). At the old works several outlet stores have opened, the old coal house is turned into a theatre, etc. The surroundings are beautiful: undulating meadows, woods, old oak trees, big boulders, blue waters. Serenity.
I know that it is a luxury to have a house that you only visit every now and then. Hopefully I’ll be able to go there on some weekends and perhaps the odd work Wednesday (I work from home on most Wednesdays). And I won’t keep it completely to myself either, of course visitors are welcome, including my family. :-)