A Space of One’s Own, Part One

Brandon and I recently moved into a new place here in Williamsburg.

The exterior of our new home. I’d show you more of the inside but we’re still getting things in place.

While our old apartment at City Lofts had an unbeatable location in terms of convenience, being about a mile from campus and within walking distance of grocery stores and restaurants, it was a little small for our needs. Also, being primarily an undergraduate-populated building, we were constantly reminded that we are definitely not at that stage in our lives anymore, between the 2 am workouts in the gym next door, the hallway meltdowns, late-night parties, and so forth. It was a good place to get our bearings, especially considering we were moving to Virginia from 2,000 miles away, but we didn’t envision it as a long-term living situation.

Our street at The Pointe, so to speak.

These days we’re out in New Town at an apartment/townhouse complex called The Pointe. It’s more expensive and a little further from campus, but we have more room, and better amenities. Brandon’s excited because now he can finally get all of his things out of storage, most of which remained boxed up due to limited space at the old apartment. The cats like living here because of all the windows they can sit at and look out of now.

As for me, I’m excited to have a personal study space for the first time in years.

Mind you, I had an office at the Roswell Museum, which is where I did 90% of my work. I rarely worked from home, because on days when I did need to work late, it was usually in the galleries themselves, whether for exhibition prep or after-hours events.

The living/bedroom at my second place in Roswell. If I needed to write, I usually worked at the table on the left.

When I was living alone and needed to do some writing, I usually worked at my dining room/art table. Once Brandon and I moved in together, however, our spaces became shared. This wasn’t a big deal in Roswell, as again, I did most of my work at the museum. The only time I worked from home consistently was when I was writing my essay for the Magical and Real catalog, and even then I only did that one a week over two months, so working on a laptop in Brandon’s study was sufficient.

I started feeling the effects of not having a workspace of my own at City Lofts, however, where I did most of my work on the living room couch. As much as I love libraries and coffee shops in theory, being a probable misophone makes it challenging to concentrate in public spaces, so home is where I do most of my work these days. In addition to learning about my work duration habits (small increments, usually timed, with short breaks in between), I realized that I focus better in a more formal workspace. Sitting on the couch is a relaxing way to work, but it’s also tempting to take a nap, watch tv, goof off online, walk to the kitchen and start snacking mindlessly, and so forth. Conversely, when you’re trying to relax and watch a movie, work keeps popping up because you’re sitting on the same couch where you were writing earlier that day. Some people are fine with blurring the distinctions between work and leisure spaces, but I personally need clearer separation between the two. Call me old-fashioned, but I like having a space designated specifically for work, particularly writing.

So when we moved into the new place, we decided to turn the second bedroom space into an office for me. That’s when things started getting interesting.

Stay tuned for Part Two.

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