I'm staying at home this weekend 'cos of Thanksgiving, and I'm realizing that my room no longer really feels like my room. Everything in the room, with the exception of a floppy red hat that I picked up this summer, is exactly as it was when I left a little over three years ago. Thanks to the ruthless forces of natural selection, everything I really care about has moved with me to my apartment, and everything else (a lot of plastic dinosaurs, for example) is stuff I simply don't need. I suppose you could say that my stuff has evolved.
After a series of ruthless throwings-away, just about everything is gone. Just like with archaeology, the only bits that are left from the 12-year or so span are the ones that happened to land or get stuck in favorable spots. Here's a jigsaw puzzle that's a National Geographic cover; we thought it looked neat so we framed it. I used to do huge jigsaw puzzles all the time with my mom, I wonder when that tradition died out. I kind of miss that.
Next to it is a set of collapsible shelves. I was never content with just having ordinary shelves, so I put them together in some weird way, with varying heights. The whole thing is kind of rickety since it was never supposed to work this way, but I kind of like it. I think it looks better this way, really - it's a pretty nondescript piece of white plastic furniture. There's a brown plastic Tyrannosaurus on the shelf. I've had it for as long as I can remember.
I should mention that all the posters on the wall are tilted by about 10-15 degrees. During some nonconformist phase (back in middle school, I think?) I went and made everything off-center, because I liked the way it looked. I probably would have done the furniture that way too, if it'd been feasible. They're all basically as they were when I left; the only poster I really cared to bring with me to college was a six- or seven-foot-tall picture of a Shuttle launch (it is pretty awesome).
Something that I'm realizing as I look around. The summer after eighth grade is when I got my own computer, and it's also when I really stopped caring what my room looked like, since I was spending a lot more time online and a lot less time in my room. There's almost nothing in here that reflects me after I started high school. Maybe that's part of the reason the room feels so alien to me now - it's largely still my room from eighth grade. That's kind of a depressing thing to realize. :/
At some point (probably next May) I'm going to have to move out of this room properly. I'll take down all the posters, clean out all the drawers, throw out whatever I don't want to bring with me, and officially return the room to its status as a guest bedroom. After that, I'll come back and visit this house, but I'm never going to live here again. That's another depressing thing to realize, but one that I'm going to try to come to terms with before it becomes painfully relevant in about six months. I've already started to refer to my apartment as home; I think that's a good first step.