As a few of my friends know, I’ve kept two bedrooms in my parents’ house for about four years. Added to the room I mostly use in my apartment, that makes three bedrooms I can claim… if I wanted to, which I do. I come from a long line of sentimental pack racks. If asked, I couldn’t explain why I need an old train ticket from Toronto, but I’d still remain adamant that it will remain in my possession. My father collects shirts like cups, thinking that he’d need more of something so useful and easy to put away. His wardrobe takes up every closet in his house.
I think, worst of all, we’re organized pack rats. I’m typing on top of a chest filled with every paper momento imaginable. We’re good at hiding away what we deem special.
So, scanning my eyes across what I refer to as my younger bedroom, the bright blue slaps me in the face with my pure, unaffected optimism of childhood. The walls were littered with manga posters, crappy self portraits, a couple of my sister’s abstract artwork from classes in high school, and lastly the brat pack poster that exemplifies teenage years so profoundly and simply.
When I left this room, the room that I’m working hard to clean out and wipe away its hold on me, I left everything that used to make me happy and couldn’t anymore. I ruined its walls with tape, and those spongy strips of adhesive that let you hang just about everything—before I discovered Command strips, so they rip away the wall with their removal.
I miss what this room meant to me. How is it possible to be so attached to such physical, material things? Inevitably, with a sort of satisfying rage of nostalgia, I tore down all of those posters and pictures. The emptiness is hard to describe. How in the hell did I like this bright blue, like a clear morning sky?
Substitutions, those are all that happen. Now, I prefer watching the sunrise and birds at the feeder, tweeting and chattering about their days. My younger bedroom fed off of chaos, hailing originality and worshipping livelihood. It, like me, had energy to waste.
Saying goodbye to my childhood bedroom is saying goodbye to that part of me: cataloging its remains, the memories, and throwing away the things I never needed in the first place. I’ll never truly forget the most important things, though. I’ll never forget who I used to be, and how happy she always was being herself.
Here’s to a new year, everyone. Here’s to another year of change. It strikes me, that a year somehow accommodates the perfect timing of seasons and change—that it always manages to pack away a small part of our life, an organization of our experiences and the memories to accompany them.