A Room of One’s Own is an extended essay written by Virginia Woolf as part of her lecture series in numerous universities. It discusses the stark difference between women in fiction and women in real life. In one of her lectures, she pointed out how male writers would highly praise their female leads in their works and treat women in real life otherwise. She then provides a solution to this irony and that is, in order for women to write fiction, she must have money and a room of her own. She pointed out that literacy and monetary comfort had a huge impact on women who wrote. This is because when one has both, she can afford to have her imagination run wild in the comforts of her own room as opposed to living in a quarter full of people.
This title has created such a huge impact on me simply because privacy is an inherent part of every human being. It is so important because usually, major decisions and ideas are born within the company of one’s self. It is that window of time in a day where a person is free to do or think whatever he or she wants to without the fear of being judged. It is that fleeting moment where one can just disconnect from the world and be surrounded by his or her own bubble. People of common parlance call it, “me-time.”
What’s interesting about “me-time” is that it comes in many time lengths and forms. Some people need as much as three days to be alone while others need only a few minutes just to keep their sanity intact. As a student, I am exposed to a fast-paced and stressful environment. It’s so fast that it doesn’t grant time to nurse one’s bruised ego and feelings when he or she has a bad recitation that day. You are just forced to move on, otherwise your other subjects will be affected. It just doesn’t give you that luxury of time to reflect because the next set of readings come like a continuous tidal wave and they are all due within the next hours or days.
So where does my “me-time” come in?
It comes in 4 four in the morning when everyone is still asleep, when I take that three-minute bathroom break, when I eat lunch alone, or when I pray that I pass my finals in the chapel. Sometimes, I get a little adventurous. A little drive to the museum or a restaurant does the trick. Sometimes, it’s the gym where no one really cares if you had a bad recitation day or if you failed an exam.
I value my time alone not only because I am psychologically categorized as an introvert, but also because I need my own space simply to be. To have “me-time” gives me the space to reflect and assess certain experiences and decisions in my life with a free and uninfluenced conscience. I need this time alone to recharge myself for the next set of challenges my academic subjects can bring.
I value it because in today’s day and age, people can get caught up with so many things in their lives without them realizing that, as they go through each event, as they get more and more invested with others, they slowly lose a part of themselves. Having a space of one’s own reminds us of who we are as individuals and what we are capable of doing.
I value it because it’s in moments when I spend time alone that I find that strength to continue with my studies, to defy failure, and to prove myself wrong with how I see myself in times of weakness and defeat. Sometimes, the words of others aren’t enough to motivate you to do better. Sometimes, you just have to listen to yourself and believe that you can.
Having time alone can be of benefit to anyone. It helps one to recharge, to disconnect, and to discover one’s self. When things get tough and most often they do, a little break from your daily routine is just what you’ll need to get back on your feet. You need not go to far places to disconnect. Just find a nice spot wherever you are, sit down, and be still.