I got the news last week that my funding for a residential college placement, starting in September of this year, has just been approved. Whilst this is excellent news, and a massive relief, I couldn’t’ help but think of what i’ll be leaving behind, and the one thing that sprung to mind was my room. That thought prompted me to write this.
It’s strange, how much you’ve changed. Well, I suppose you haven’t – that’s just it; it’s me who’s changed, not you. You’re exactly the same as you were last year, and the year before that, and three years prior to then. Sure, there have been some redesigns – me and my ideas, eh? But you’re the same as you were: wallpaper still torn in that one spot on the far wall; blinds still hanging, just, however much I neglect to use them routinely; curtain-rail clinging on for dear life, burdened by the coats and jumpers (and an assortment of other items of clothing) which I insist upon hanging there, despite the obvious consequences.
I don’t know what changed, to be honest. You’ve always been so good at adapting – I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult that is, especially with someone like me, who changes not just from one day to the next, but multiple times in the space of a matter of hours. The wallpaper went from ‘cool’ to ‘childish’, and then to ‘nostalgic’, and yet it never changed a bit. The chair, which seemed so new and, frankly, unwelcome just three of four years ago, now holds so many memories – hushed midnight phone calls, uncontrollable laughter, uncontrollable tears. They’re all in that chair – your chair –; it gives it character, somewhat.
You’ve seen a lot, dear bedroom. I wonder what you think. Did you prefer me then, small, innocent, and careless, at just 6-years-old? Did you prefer the boy who liked Bob the builder, and was heartbroken when time caught up with him, and his Bob the Builder workstation, complete with flimsy plastic tools, was boxed up and sent to a better, more suitable home? Did you prefer the boy who would wake up every morning at 5:55, and sneak downstairs to catch the opening credits of whatever children’s show was on that morning, desperate not to wake the rest of the household?
Did you prefer 10-year-old me, with my nothing short of embarrassing music taste, and my obsession with fluffy jumpers? Was I better then, when I stuck firmly by every rule in the book, because my worst nightmare was being told off, to the point where my primary school gave me a detention just so I would know what it was like? I’m sure you still remember all those pairs of shoes, sat in orderly couples in the wardrobe, never worn – not even on non-school uniform days –, because I was scared to wear anything but my school shoes to school. Ever.
Or how about 12-year-old me – what did you think then? Big-headed, know-it-all me, because I’m in big-school now, and the world is easily within my grasp. Still, under it all, I still harboured the crazy music taste, the undeniable attachment to certain book characters, and a craving for ‘drama’ which, in reality, just turned out to be painful and depressing.
I wonder what you think now? You’re so much wiser than me: what you think now will probably match my own thoughts in who-knows-how-many years time. Describing myself is something I’ve never been any good at: I can point out my flaws, sure, but I know – thankfully – that there is more to me than my downfalls. I guess I’m the confused teen at the moment, trying to make decisions that I just can’t comprehend, trying to understand myself. Maybe it’s like a jigsaw puzzle, with missing pieces: how can I form the whole picture when half the jigsaw is still being crafted?
Still, the music taste has changed – finally. No, changed is the rong word: grown. I’m sorry, bedroom, that not only are you forced to listen (AND ENJOY) music from the likes of Taylor Swift (Our Great Leader) and Lorde, but now also songs from Eurovision and from French pop charts. It definitely could have gone worse for you though, bedroom – I tried to adopt the full-on emo life last year, but the music just wasn’t for me. Regardless, I like the clothing-style, so there’s that.
Oh, and how much you must have overheard! I suppose, in truth, you know all of my secrets; still, I trust you, bedroom. You’ve heard it all: the crazy conversations at 1am, when we were high on the adrenalin of forbidding our parents’ wishes, and staying up well beyond our bedtimes. Of course we regretted it in the morning, but this is growing up, having fun and doing stupid things. You heard the uncontrollable laughter of pre-teen gossip, the tears of love-life drama, the mumblings of a teenager doing last-minute homework at 3:30am; you’ve heard the inner workings of my brain, when I share it with trusted friends at antisocial hours, and the stuff I choose to share in the daytime. I wonder if you still remember the bizarre made-up games of 8-year-old Kel, which at the time were deadly serious, and today are nothing more than nostalgic giggles.
We’ve had our times, bedroom: our ups and downs. Sometimes, you’re a safe-haven for me, sometimes you’re a punishment for bad behaviour. My view of you changes all the time, but you’re stable – a constant, which I appreciate beyond all else.
Thank you, bedroom.