When do we go astray? What makes our thinking shift?
We often fledge from our family nests into shared places - a dorm, a Greek, a shared flat or rental house.
Even after college, we begin our independent lives still rubbing shoulders with others who are at the same stage of their lives but not necessarily doing things the way our families did. And it's a very rich time. We meet others who do and think differently, and we learn and reflect on what of our childhoods we want to keep.
We made choices, but in the midst of others. Our first move into independence happened collectively.
And for some, we inhabited those shared flats in the urban centers we were so drawn to for its energy and offerings. There is such deep warmth in the memories of those beginnings.
Why then do we begin to define happiness as achieving a place "of our own" alone?
I understand how it starts: When our earning power gets to a level where we can afford a bedroom with its own bathroom, or deck, of course we gladly take it. Then we crave a living room that's ours alone, so we can watch our own choice of shows, or shut the damned thing off altogether, make a mess and not have to accommodate anyone else's sense of neat or proper. We no longer have to isolate ourselves in the only room that is solely ours - a bedroom - to follow our own mood or make personal choices.
Because it first happens as we have money, do we begin to associate earning power, and the privacy it can afford us, with being better?
Is Away really what we want however? Even in this time of Covid wariness?
As we progressed up the ladder of success, there is also a cultural expectation that we move into more and more isolated living. Less influenced by new thoughts, and others’ ideas. More alone.
How bizarre. Knowing that we've been our best and grow the most when we're with others, we’re expected to live alone. Isn't there a possibility of a hybrid that serves us better?
It may not actually be away that we want so much as more personal choice and more private elbow room.But within reach of others and their resources.
But what if the space we could retreat to was our own suite of rooms and porches? What if privacy was designed to be more than just the bit of space around our beds, and that "our space" offered a place to sit, a place to work or read or do whatever we chose. What if privacy was intentional designed into our dwellings? Even from the spouses and ones we loved?
A design room just for me. Nice.
Categories Good Collaborative Design Gifts of Living with Others ...and my Neighborhood defining HOME ADUs, In-fill dwellings Living explorations