I live with my husband and four children and although the house is a decent size it’s impossible to forget the fact that I share my home with five other people. But there is a tiny room, well its more of a nook actually, that I use as my study. This area is MY sanctuary, a special place for me to write and be alone with my thoughts. I have filled it with things that make me happy, little tokens of my life and soul that have special memories attached or simply put a smile on my face.
Here I have my desk, my computer, stationary stuffs, “Stanley” my indoor plant, a wooden cube my husband made one day when he was killing time that I just love for some reason, there are photos of family & friends on the wall, twinkling star shaped fairy lights, a little jar of marbles (in case I lose mine), a magic 8 ball (decisions aren’t my strong point), a wooden block with “Writers” written on it (haha), a couple of mindfulness adult colouring books (haven’t quite gotten around to using those yet, they were gifts and the extended psych ward stay of 2015 gave me enough colouring in time to kill that desire for a few years!)
My old acoustic guitar is in here and while I can’t play to save myself it brings back happy memories of my youth and late winter nights singing by bonfires. I have storage tubs filled with (dusty) scrap booking stuff from a manic phase years ago, a box with little trinkets of happy memories such as the flashing eyeball from the ‘Dracula’s’ themed restaurant in Melbourne, the bracelet from the first Coldplay concert I went to in Sydney, shells from the beach, the hospital wrist bands from my kids when they were newborns, teeny tiny origami creatures the size of finger nails that my firstborn painstakingly folds, the aluminium love heart my hubby hand made for me from melted down soft drink cans (don’t ask).
With the possible exception of the computer, these are all things with the combined street value of $2.99 but they things that are priceless to me. They make me happy to look at, they make me feel something on those days when depression and numbness take over and my memory can’t stretch past the last few hours.
I also keep in here memories from the darker parts of my life, journal entries written from dark lonely nights in the hospital fueled by fear and psychosis, poems of sadness and depression as well as the suicide letters I had written for my loved ones. While those memories can be painful they are also a part of my history and can be important reminders of just how far I have come.
My sanctuary is an exhibition of the world I have experienced, it has darkness and light, fear and hilarity, stillness and hurry. It is a reminder of a life well lived but often forgotten, a place to reflect, absorb and a place to simply be.