A Bedroom of One's Own | Teen Ink

A Bedroom of One's Own

June 15, 2011
By chikaboom SILVER, Stony Brook, New York
chikaboom SILVER, Stony Brook, New York
8 articles 7 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
Failure is always an option

Naturally, the parent must have expectations for the child, else the child run amok in the world without direction or purpose. But what, you may ask, has that got to do with a bedroom of one’s own? Stuck in thought on this subject, I sat quietly in the family car, on the way to my weekly supplement classes and wondered on the meaning of children and expectations. Of course, a positive correlation could be garnered and elaborated through explanations on the importance of the child’s motivation and the parents’ support through expectations. I could explain that expectations allow the child to pursue success and eventually be able to attach some sort of digested meaning to his life. The title children and expectations could also turn to a morbid direction to mean that the child risks being engulfed in the parent’s expectations, therefore causing the child to live what can only be another attempt for the parent to achieve a previously failed or unsatisfying dream. But when I began to consider the subject in either of these two ways, I realized a gloom setback: any conclusion I may draw on the topic will never be agreeable as my conclusion may as well be a circular shaped block trying to fit into millions of different oblong holes. If I somehow come to the understanding that parents’ expectations are utterly unreasonable and should be wholly changed to serve the child’s happiness, I would ignorantly be neglecting a considerable portion of parents who carry moderate to little expectations in the first place. The same applies to any conclusion serving an opinion on the contrary. Therefore, all I can ever do is to offer an enlightenment on a minor point: a parent must allow the child to have a bedroom of his own if he is to coexist successfully with the expectations set for him. I refuse to arrive at any conclusion that will urge changes in the parent’s expectations itself, leaving the topic of children and expectations to be an unfinished and unresolved problem to be challenged by some other thinker. In the meantime, I will try my best to reiterate my train of thought that led to my decided upon argument.

It is not hard to imagine me sitting in a car as I’m sure many of us have had the pleasure of doing the same at some point in our lives. I cannot, however, describe the weather outside my window as this particular car ride, taking place at approximately five o’ clock each week to attend my weekly supplement classes, is one in dozens, spanning throughout one year and experiencing each season as it came and went. If you must, imagine it was a fine October weather, thereby providing me in this situation the finest scenery of greens and browns and oranges outside as I ponder the subject of children and expectations. Despite the speed that the car travelled along the highway, the monotony of the setting outside proved to be a surprise, considering how much the car has passed. However, in this case, monotony outside the mind was good since it produced little distractions from my thoughts.

The time it took to get from point A to point B—the actual names of the places matter very little—usually lasted forty-five minutes, though depending on the mood of the various vehicles on the road at the moment, all together known as traffic. The tutor teaching my supplement classes was only available on weekdays; therefore I was tired from having just finished a full day of school. However, if it weren’t for the monotony of the scenery outside and the weariness of my mind, I doubt the subject of children and expectations would have been noteworthy enough for me to think about.

A quiet vibrato of hums outside my car audibly informed me of the existence of other cars, other spheres of isolation incased in metal. On the lengthy strip of road, these spheres existed together but apart in the sense of the drivers’ ignorance of each other as they happily went about reaching their destination, finding this gathering not to be any sort of opportunity to communicate. The only form of recognition applied to the drivers’ passengers. In this confined space, isolated from the world outside, there only existed the child, who was I, and my parent. And regardless of the previously understood sense of expectation that my parent had established for me, in this space, there was little I could actually do to excel my progress to fulfilling those expectations. There was nothing I could read or study for; I could not write a paper or complete exercise problems. It is this moment, when, due to these limitations, both I the child and the parent find little purpose for the existence of expectation in this small space. And therefore, it is these car rides, when nothing in the temporary shrunken world inside the space expects anything of me, that are the most liberating moment of my day.

Liberation of the mind, I should explain, is crucial for the child. Liberation allows the child to understand what is to be expected of him and determine for himself the role they will play in his life. A filter is then provided, which processes external influences as well as the child’s own aspirations to achieve a moderation of the two. Of course, the most obvious means to liberate the child is most likely the complete dissolution of any expectations. This way, the child is free to develop his own desire and motivation, without any burden to please the parent. However, individualism has the properties of fire, carrying both advantageous and devastating consequences. Few children without the expectations of their parents find success, as naiveté and inexperience lead them to irreversible mistakes and unhappiness. Therefore, having established the necessity for the existence of expectations, the only way to obtain liberation of the mind is by providing the child with a bedroom of his own.

Hours passed and I was back home, having eaten a brief dinner and retired to my bedroom. It was here that I had my revelation regarding the necessity of a bedroom for a child, because between the walls of a bedroom, the isolated space is similar to that in the car, in the sense that the world had shrunk to only include those presently in the room and I was only faintly aware of the activity outside.
Unlike the confines of the car, however, the child is to read and study in his bedroom because he cannot survive simply in these walls and must step outside, where the child must present the result of whatever knowledge or assignment he has churned out to those expecting. Even so, the separation between the child and the parent find comfortable distance so that the child can satisfy expectations in a way he deems reasonable and self-fulfilling. This separation and personal usurping of a determined space by the child also provides liberation as the child is allowed room and time for reflection on the expectations of others and his own. In the child’s bedroom, he is free to find liberation in sleep without speculation. And it is in dreams where the child’s mind is truly of its own, closed to all external burdens.
And it is with this musing over dreams that I similarly fell into slumber. Even the movements outside became quiet, all settling down to find freedom in dreams. Only the night crawlers went about their business, which, I suspect, really had very little expected of them by other night crawlers. Otherwise, I’m sure, they too would escape into a little space of their own and contemplate about what to do with those expectations before quickly falling asleep.

The author's comments:
This was written for my English assignment "Writting Like Virginia Woolf." It is not hard to recognize the play on words on the title of Woolf's A Room of One's Own and the dashing similarities of my first paragraph with that of Woolf's. However, I hoped to have deviated from her own piece to develop an argument and voice of my own.

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