Today I was faced with something I never thought I’d have to deal with. At least not in Scotland.
Despite having both my windows open, and my heater stone cold, today I was actually driven out of my room by the heat. Had to leave the safety of my little haven and retreat to the unknown of our living room with my laptop and multiple eBay items for listing. All in all probably not a bad thing – the living room had far more space and it was far cooler than the sauna masquerading as my bedroom, but it was a painful reminder of how set in my ways I can be.
I pretty much live in my room. When I move into a place, everything I could possibly want save for excess plumbing is available inside the box and I don’t see any reason to leave. In the past roommates and family have admitted they honestly don’t know if I’m home sometimes due to me closing the door and disappearing till morning. When you have a computer, video games, books, writing pads and every other distraction under the sun though, why would you go to the rest of your flat?
My roommates are just as bad as me – more so than any roommates I’ve had in the past. Two of them even have en-suites so they have even less reason to leave. Ironic considering that they’re also the most sociable group I’ve ever had. Which is of course the issue – living with other people should result in socialising, but I am by far the worst of us. They are quite happy to get together in the evenings at the weekends and talk and eat in the living room, while I’m only aware they’re doing it if I stumble out for nourishment.
Privacy is probably the biggest reason for wanting to remain alone. Watching videos or doing something online is something you don’t necessarily want an audience for – and university taught me that people generally dislike it when you play video games in their presence (hell even before then my parents had the games console hidden away in the rarely used ‘guest lounge’ in order to keep it away from the TV). But I’m old enough to remember the time before computers and I-gadgets, and I remember spending many an evening curled up in my room playing with toys or reading a book, rather than do it in the living room – even when the house was empty.
Perhaps it’s to do with security. Your room is a haven – it’s filled with things that are quintessentially ‘you’. Nothing in it is foreign, and anyone who enters in intruding on your land. Being in the one room of the house where someone feels obligated to knock before entering can give an unexpected amount of relief – even when you know the knock is just obligatory and they’re coming in regardless. Sometimes it actually feels awful to have someone else in my room – like someone grabbing hold of your arm and getting into your personal space without permission.
Frankly, being in a room that exudes nothing but my own personality day in and day out makes me happy, and now the temperature’s dropped, I’m back where I belong while my roommates chat in the living room. I guess at the end of the day, I value human interaction a lot less than I should, despite considering myself a very tactile person. It’s been a long time since I’ve been around people I’m fully comfortable with for long periods.