Home Is Where The Space Is

When I was growing up my parents’ house was always full to capacity. There were always aunts, cousins, and all kinds of relations that were visiting or staying with us at any particular time. We lived in a three bedroom house. The master was my parents’ of course and in the early part of my life when my kid brothers were toddlers, the second bedroom was where everyone else slept. The third bedroom was left as a storage room. So at any given time, our bedroom would hold at least 4 of us. Later, when my brothers got older they were moved to their own room and thus the boys’ bedroom was formed. But the girls’ bedroom was always full to capacity.

I don’t know when this constant lack of space started to bother me but at some point I would spend lots of time in the bathroom just to be alone. While other girls dreamt of their crushes and whatever else girls dream about, I dreamt of having my own room that had a door that could actually lock. I was ferried to a boarding school for the first 2 years of secondary school and my home situation seemed like paradise compared to this. A group of 20 girls sharing a big room was not as bad as always having to share a shower with someone you don’t know. This time I couldn’t even escape to the toilets because they weren’t clean enough. I remember telling my mum that when I passed my Grade 12 exams, I wanted to have my own room. She smiled and mumbled something that I don’t remember.

I rent a tiny 2 bedroom flat now which I like most times. For the first time I have my own space and I’m holding on to it like crazy. But the space issue has left its mark. I can’t imagine sharing my living quarters with anyone else apart from The Hub. I figure I would feel invaded. I have a serious space issue you guys. Unexpected visitors leave me feeling resentful and a bit violated. People that call my phone in the evening when I’m at home make me cringe. My friends have to inform me a few hours before they drop by because I have to mentally prepare myself when someone is coming over.  It’s got me thinking I might be made for solitary life. I dream of living in a farmhouse in the outskirts of town one day, I hope it comes true.

After years of never having any personal space or privacy, I finally have it. It’s probably something some people have never thought about depending on how they grew up. I relish the feeling of freedom at being able to walk half naked around the house. The fact that I can leave my tub of yogurt in the fridge and find it at the end of the day. I like my house and how I feel inside it but most of all I like that its mine. I don’t know if I like my space because of the lack of it when growing up or I was born like this. But one thing I know is that I’ve always desired it ever since I can remember. They say home is where the heart is. Well my heart is in a tiny 2 bedroom flat in the middle of Lusaka City and I love it.