taking up space


My daughters and I are hooked on the show "Grace and Frankie".  There is a 2nd season out and of course we have spent a lot of time this week glued to that screen- binge watching the half hour episodes whenever we have the chance.  

One of the major questions of the 2nd season is: how do women (older women at that) take up space?  In what ways are we/they marginalized and ignored?  In what ways do we need to take a stand and take up the space we need/deserve? 

This resonated for me on so many levels- I am shy and introverted, and not given to taking up space in the world.  I am a woman, and I work in a field that is often considered to be less important than those building-related fields dominated by men (architecture, engineering, building).  On top of all of this I came into design through the 'back door'- I did not go to design school, did not set out to have a design business- so I am late coming to think of my design work as having value.

As is so often the case for my clients- my inner world is reflected in my outer world--  and despite the fact that I have been working with clients for nearly 20 years I have only recently had real physical space in our shop for the design business.  Always in the past the design 'stuff' went in some file drawers in the back;  my design work (the computer research and painting of color samples and drafting of furniture plans) happened at the shop counter in between customer visits; and I just simply made do.

These days I am taking up all kinds of space.  I have a big, beautiful, sunny studio with storage for all my samples, and enough surface to spread out the architectural plans and inhabit those spaces as I work on them.  There are now multiple work spaces in the studio so that everybody who works here has a spot on the days that we are all here together.  With this space my job has become infinitely easier and I am infinitely grateful. 

Taking up space is not easy for any of us.  Thinking about the myriad ways I have folded myself into some back corner- it has taken me a long time to think I deserve the space I need. 

Thanks Grace and Frankie!