Four years ago, if someone would have asked me what my life would look like today, in the year 2013, I would have probably shrugged, yet confidently guessed I’d be working full time, living on my own with three other guys (much like New Girl, which is oddly an idea I had sophomore year for a movie and even more oddly a possible version of my life), and embracing 22 years of age with travel, career and eventual true love.
Fast forward to today, March 4th, 2013, roughly around 5 p.m. at night, and I type this ponderously in my childhood bedroom, located in the house I have lived in all of my life.
There is something about this room, and I don’t think it is the pink carpeting…or pink speckled paint walls with floral trim. It’s a slight mess, a wonderful small box of a room where sketch pads, notebooks, cameras, clothes, and various odds and ends are scattered about. Nancy Drew, Lemony Snicket, American Girl, Laura Ingalls, and C.S. Lewis young adult fiction decorates my bookshelves, making friends with high school yearbooks and photo frames in bright colors. Movie posters decorate my walls, memories of my days at the first place I worked, a video rental store. Comic strips I collected from Sunday papers past are taped to the back of my door around my mirror, giving me things to laugh at and subjects to ponder while doing my make up and brushing my hair. Because I’m young and clearly am not considering my poor back, the floor in front of the closet is matted down flat, from years of doing algebraic equations on my stomach, because a desk felt too rigid (and the desk had become another shelf for miscellaneous goodies).
It is my sanctuary after a long day’s work, a place for quiet on a day off, a location for writing and thinking, a place for escaping everyone, a room for a 22 year old who hasn’t quite got everything figured out just yet.
In all honesty, it has been kind of nice living at home post graduation. I have been reconnecting with my parents and brother, people I didn’t get to see much during my college years. I am saving money, and putting my hard earned sales involving veils, tiaras, and fabric swatches towards my loans instead. At bare minimum, I have a roof over my head and kitchen with food hidden within its cabinets and pantry.
The downside to living at home is I think I’m slightly regressing.
My mom is very particular about how one does the laundry, so she just does that chore all by herself to make life easy for everyone. My dad is retired, and takes up all the cleaning, normally when my mom and I are at work, and my brother is at school. I am proud to say I am attempting to help more when it comes to dinner, but working retail I sadly can’t even do that consistently. That leaves my room, which tends to get messy because it is a small space for a lot of crap (not crap, but crap nicely sums up better than a detailed list of why my room is so crowded).
Which means, aside from the lovely degree on proud display (between my Weird Wisconsin book and Nancy Drews) a gray hair that appeared last year proving I am indeed aging, and 15 extra hours of part time a week…I am basically the equivalent to Amanda: The Teen Years.
Which doesn’t really make me all entirely…thrilled.
So I apply to full time jobs with dreams of paying off loans and moving out, and actually growing up…but then this odd little funny feeling creeps up my spine…and before you know it I’m playing Angry Birds or watching HIMYM and not doing anything productive.
The feeling I have come to realize is fear. Plain and simple. I feel safe in my pink paradise, and the thought of emptying it of its posters, books, furniture and owner, painting over the walls with white paint and creating an open space of nothingness…hurts. A weird, but-this-is-a-part-of-me, kind of hurt.
This is probably due to the fact I have never moved. I’ve lived in the same house in the same town for over 20 years, so my attachment is somewhat understandable. Healthy, no. Understandable, yes.
Even moving out for college was no big deal. I still had a room to come home to on weekends, holidays, and breaks, and it was still pink and bright and cheerful and welcoming. Facing the thought of that being gone, and the idea of coming home from a different house or apartment to a room that has been converted to my mom’s craft room or scrap booking office (hers is currently located in the basement, and somewhat cold, and my room is the warmest in the house)…well that idea is weird and scary to me.
Ideally, I would love to pick up my little pink bedroom and take it with me to wherever I move to once I land that job that allows me to get out on my own. Which, lately, getting my own place has become more and more desirable. I miss doing laundry, and not worrying about my parents’ schedule conflicting with my bizarre hours of operation. But I miss the independent feel of being in my own place, and how sub consciously I believe I am a better person when forced to survive on my own outside of the nest.
But my little pink bedroom can’t come with me. It has to stay here, at my parent’s house, and become something else. Because as much as I love it, in reality it is just a room. A room that cannot follow me as I tread further into the waters of adulthood. It just can’t happen. I don’t want to live at home for the rest of my life. Meaning I have to suck it up and say good bye.
Saying good bye though always sucks. For some it is easy, but for me I hate it. I always am awkward with good byes. I never know when to say it, or walk away, so the good bye normally gets dragged out in an uncomfortably long sort of way. Or I ruin a good good bye moment with a random kiss that missed the mark or hug that went on a second too long, or a nervous giggle and weird conversation subject change. Saying good bye to my room is like one long awkward hug.
Fortunately though, someday it will happen. The final good bye. And yes, I will miss this room. I’ve spent hours in this room writing in diaries, drawing images from my world of imagination, have gotten sick in this room, have scratched, picked my nose, and puked my guts out in this room, spent hours into the night reading in here and attempting to clean this room, played make believe with my Barbies and Beanie Babies and most recently applied to full time jobs, have written articles for my blog and the paper, and tweaked my resume-all within this room. I will leave a part of me here, but it is the part of me that will let me go on to do great things. Great grown up things. Not to say my inner child will disappear, because she won’t. But the scared little girl not wanting to part with a material possession? She will always be apart of this room, because her older self realized you can’t take it with you. Any of it.
So, as I type this away (on my stomach, naturally….and most likely wrecking my back keystroke by keystroke), I smile at the holes in the walls left from calendars of years gone by, laugh at Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan who are dancing like goofs above my desk, and lovingly remember the minutes and hours spent in here dreaming, deciding, and wondering about life.
Fortunately, those are all things that can be shared elsewhere.