Space- Privilege, Politics & Possibilities.

1 Little Revolution
4 min readMar 14, 2020

# Growthdiaries #onelitterevolution

I have been thinking about SPACES and our relation to them for quite some time.

What does it mean to take up space? Or be comfortable in one’s own space?

Imagine you are at home for a month without any work. You can do anything watch films, read books (if it is your work then NOPE!), sleep, just relax and ‘be’. The clause is you can’t do any ‘work work’. You can’t clean the kitchen, you can’t schedule your coming months, and you can’t organize your shoe rack or your book shelf. You can’t organize a party and call your friends over.

You are only allowed to simply “chill”. Whatever ‘chill’ means to you without adding work in it.

Can you draw a step by step for me?

Mine looks something like this.

My sense of self, I figured over the years being in therapy and work on self, was and still is heavily dependent on what I ‘do’ and by extension of it ‘have’ with me . If I have a good job, a good paycheck, I also do something for the ‘society’, I am a good partner, I am a great friend and all my friends go all ga ga over me, if I look fit and fine then my NET WORTH in my own eyes is astoundingly high.

If any of these things don’t work out, if I haven’t worked hard enough through the day and earned it like a Bourneville needs to be then I AM NOT WORTH anything on my own.

A complex relationship to be in, isn’t it? Yes it is.

So who am I when I do nothing and have nothing? And who are you when you do nothing? What becomes of us?

As I was growing up to become an adult, I figured it was becoming difficult for me to take up space in my home. It felt, to me, in each conflict situation, that I had to make my space somewhere else. That something was consistently telling me that my home wasn’t mine unless i proved myself outside somewhere in a distant place — in a job or something to actually mark my territory within the home. It took me some time, some coming and going, breaking and building within to ask — why can’t I feel at home in my own house?

Our homes — the one we live in and the world at large — both tend to feed us with an understanding since our childhood that ‘if one conquers the outer world, and if one consistently keeps proving oneself within too, then and only then is one ‘worthy’ of resting at home on a porch and having a cup of hot tea (drink of one’s choice). Meaning there has to be a sense of accomplishment without which ‘resting’ will be lazy, useless and therefore a person would become bad.

I wonder why this is so. The nature in all its complexities knows when to work and when to rest. The trees know when to flower and when to not, the rivers know where to flow through and where to turn, even a farmer (learnt from stories about my grandfather) knows when to sow and how long to wait for the harvest.

One could go back to the past and gain an understanding of our present. One could reason that we (humans) were hunters and gatherers, therefore always on the vigil and didn’t learn to ‘be’ without doing. Industrial revolution and the dawn of the internet era have definitely added to our being hyperactive. The reasons can be many and they are important to trace to understand our own complexities with ‘being’ and why it is easy or difficult.

Exploration of concepts such as ‘work’, ‘being productive’, ‘being idle’, ‘being useful’, ‘self –worth’ are important to navigate the world in a more conscious manner. I have seen privilege playing a huge role in developing one’s understanding of spaces. I used to feel that men are more privileged with having a relaxed sense of ‘owning a space’ because they can go to work, come home and not do anything. But as I look deeper into the relationships, I can see the cracks. Men are as much bound by the concept of being a ‘useful’ part of the society and have to prove their worth in different ways as much as women. I wonder, if this is the case with the heterosexual, physically and mentally able men and women who are accepted as ‘normal’ by the world then what is the sense of space for people who have ‘different’ sexual orientations, who are physically or mentally challenged, who are have different life choices etc. What would mean for them to feel that they ‘belong’ in their homes for ‘being themselves’?

In the last two years and 3 months now, beginning to own my space inside my home has been liberating to say the least. I can’t say I am there yet. I can’t ‘be’ myself completely. I have to do something to feel good, to know I am worth it. As I build my relationship with myself, slowly and steadily, I can see the restlessness inside me is calming down bit by bit.

The monkey within wants to be validated it will do anything to feel validated externally and yet it finds difficult to valid its own self –just for being this mad mad monkey and nothing else.

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1 Little Revolution

This is an attempt to understand the various ways the threads of life touch us & we as humans touch it back.