The pandemic gave me a room of my own

Jamila Medley
6 min readApr 18, 2022
Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash (white wall, white desk, and a gray chair)

Virginia Woolf‘s enduring gift of words that a woman should have a room of her own has finally hit home for me. In particular, Woolf’s talk where she offered these words referenced the intersections between women and writing fiction. In order to do so, women need privacy, autonomy, power — a room. Many have extrapolated that statement to go beyond the need of a room for writing. I too am embarking on that extrapolation.

As a girl and an only child until I was 14, I always had my own bedroom. There I played with my dolls, read books, listened to music, and talked too late into the night on the phone with friends. I was allowed to decorate it in the way I wished. My grandmother even let me pick out a painting at a mall art store to hang in my room.

I can recall playing pretend apartment. I lived in an apartment with my mother, but pretended that my bedroom was my apartment. I would close the door and pretend to jangle keys in the non-existent key slot. I had a play kitchen for a while where I could “make” my own meals. Sometimes in these pretend games I lived with my imaginary children, but just as often I lived alone enjoying my self, my imagination, my poems and songs that I composed. My bedroom was my world.

Fast forward to becoming a mother and wife by 21 years old and a room of my own was hard to come by. I shared a bedroom…

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Jamila Medley

I write to reflect on & learn how to live more authentically, slowly, & intentionally in a culture that dares you to go against the grain.