Everyone Needs a Room to Rest
A place you can reflect, wash off worries, and flush anything that no longer serves you.
We all have a unique room where we can rest from the world. We turn off, unplug, disengage for a minute, and come back as a better version of ourselves.
My solace is in an unusual space.
It is the one place I can have absolute peace, quiet, and privacy.
Where I can leave the expectations of the world at the door and lock myself away for a moment.
Where I can reflect on myself, wash off the worries, and flush anything that no longer serves me.
Yes, my Sanctuary is my Bathroom.
It may sound like an odd place for comfort. The novelty of the bathroom is based on function. Its purpose is to serve as a place of basic human needs, not deep inner reflection.
We go to great lengths to preserve the sanctity and avoid the unspeakable notion of using the bathroom.
We give it charming names like the powder room, water closet, ladies room, and the loo. Phrases like “please excuse me” or “pardon me”, always precede our exits to relieve ourselves.
For some reason, we find shame or use humor to muddle out the awkwardness.
A Room to Rest
Whatever you choose to call it, my restroom is just that. A rest-room, a room to rest and pause from the world.
It’s the one room when you close the door, nobody interrupts you or questions your privacy.
It’s too shameful and awkward for both parties.
Despite attempts to make my home a shrine to self-help, complete with plush pillows and blankets, candles, a garden of thriving plants, and a library of personal growth books, the place I find a moment of inner peace is within the confines of the restroom.
It is challenging to find those moments to escape, regroup, and return to ourselves and quarantine has only made personal space more limited.
And living in a major metropolitan city, especially one encompassed by chaos, being alone in your apartment doesn’t guarantee calm.
There are noise assaults from the outside world that permeate through the walls and windows. Constant streams of sirens, people on the streets, even the upstairs neighbor who lacks self-awareness.
Disrupting your peace. Reminding you, you’re never truly alone.
But in the bathroom, there is peace.
The Connection Started as a Child
As a child, I was chronically sick with chest colds that left me unable to sleep or breathe. My mother would gather me in her arms, and we would sit on the cold-tiled bathroom floor as the steam from the hot shower filled the room.
She would sing to me as the fumes of Vick’s would enter my body and force life back into me.
These are the vivid memories that formed my bond with this room.
The Only Safe Place
When I moved to New York City, I found myself living in a suffocating 450sqft studio apartment with an eccentric aunt.
The constant chatter from street noise and my aunt's incessant need to perform left me in desperate search of a place of rescue.
I would spend hours in the bathroom. Reading, writing, processing why I had uprooted my life while pretending to have eaten something that had made me sick.
In a city where personal space doesn’t exist, I found this was the only place, where no one could question my need to be alone.
Eventually, I escaped the hustle of a big city and followed my dreams to a small midwest town. My life and my living arrangements changed.
From tiny closet-like shared rooms with multiple people/personalities to a spacious multi-room apartment, all to myself.
Despite this, I soon realized I was completely isolated and alone. Being an East Coast girl, always living in big cities, I just didn’t seem to fit in.
I struggled. It felt like no one understood or wanted an outsider like myself around. Combined with months of negative temperatures and multiple feet of snow, I felt as hopeless as the little girl whose cough wouldn’t let her sleep.
I began to question if the world needed me here.
Alone in my dream apartment, again I retreated to my bathroom.
Laying there, against the cold, hard truth of the world, I let the floor take the weight of the world off my shoulders for a couple of minutes.
A familiar comfort, I remembered how my mother held me in her arms years ago and ever since. Softly whispering, I was going to be ok.
It forced me back into reality. I found strength and empowerment to pick myself back up and know life was worth continuing.
It reminded me, I was not alone.
Reflection Gives Direction
Today, in a spacious city apartment where I reside alone, I still retreat to my rest-room.
I go in one person: tired, hopeless, defeated, and transform into the cleansed and made up into the person I want to be in the world.
Whenever I feel stuck, I simply return to the place where I can look myself face to face and say, “You got this.”.