Ever since I was very young, I’ve always had a “dream house” design; at this point, it has gone through three very different variations, but each has a rather specific similarity that seems to highlight my personal nature.
The first was actually inspired by a dream I had; in this dream, even though I was the same age I was at the time (something like seven or eight), I owned the house I was living in. The house’s most important feature to me was the entirely inaccessible third floor; it was visible from the outside, but unless you knew how to access a certain spiral staircase hidden in closets on all three levels, you couldn’t get there. That floor was mine; the second was additional bedrooms for if I’d had any kids, and the first was the general living area, but the third floor was essentially an entire ranch-style home of its own, where I could retreat and live for several days without any need to leave. Another very important aspect of this house was the (also hidden) tunnel access in the basement; as I was still a child, I was still on the rhythm of going to school, and this tunnel allowed hidden access to the school so I wouldn’t have to ride the bus, thus only dealing with my peers within the classroom itself. (During this era, I was also eating my lunch and taking my recess in the classroom, while everyone else was in the cafeteria and playground.)
I actually don’t remember what inspired my second design; by this point I was in middle school and rarely ever saw the same people for more than an hour at a time. While I still tended to stay away from the cafeteria for lunch, I often spent the time in the library nearby, which often still had other people in it. This new house was a single story, with a total of five “rooms” laid out like a compass with one in the middle. A hallway from the central room led to the bedroom, kitchen, entryway, and I think the bathroom. Much of the things in this house were automated or something approximating such; as I still didn’t quite understand electricity, much of this was accomplished by series of mechanical energy transfers. The bedroom, unlike in the previous incarnation, was entirely “accessible” in the sense that it wasn’t hidden; in fact, it was designed to be a sort of glass-dome-roofed observatory so I could sleep under the stars. In spite of this, there was still a hidden area - the basement, entirely buried and invisible to anyone, could only be reached by way of a spiral staircase hidden inside a column in the central room. (There were four, I think.) This basement served as something of additional living quarters if I should ever need them.
My final “dream house” design was drawn up a few years ago, when I was freshly dumped out of college for not having any money and was looking at obtaining some super-cheap land to try and build my assets. This one was much more grandiose than the other two, following a Second Empire architectural style. Unlike the other two, there were actually deliberately set-aside spaces for socialization: the grand foyer, a proper parlor room, and a much larger dining room intended for a large number of guests; there was even a ballroom in the back with a huge, two-story bay window to gaze out at the desert night sky during large social calls. The second floor was primarily living space for myself and anyone who happened to be in the area; really, the whole idea was to be able to finally provide space for my friends and family, or possibly even traveling monks who just needed a roof over their head for the night. Everything about the place was built around providing, even the basement, designed to house a server room for the inclusion of multiple racks of machines, intended for a number of new or backup web sites. There were, however, still secret places that only I could access. (I’m not going to detail them here, as this house is still something I’d one day like to construct if I ever get the resources to do so.)
As time progressed and I got to know new, different people, I started becoming less introverted and even went so far in my final dream home to include a freaking ballroom, even though I’m not a fan of dancing at all; however, no matter how comfortable I get with people, there will always be that little part of me that I keep hidden from everyone. Lately, I’m glad it has remained hidden; what with close personal friends taking direct stabs at me over things over which I had little control, I’m glad they couldn’t stab that final little part of me that makes me me. I think that’s why, no matter what happens when I do finally get a place of my very own, I will always have my own little hideaway that no one else will ever know about.