Friday, November 27, 2009

My room is not my room

In the tried and true tradition of people trying to come up with something under a deadline, I'm going to look around and write about the first thing that comes to mind.

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.


Frank Church said...

Look homeward, angel - but you can't go home again. Fittingly, I've been listening to Shostakovich (the most emo composer) and his 15th string quartet (his most emo quartet). It's in E flat minor and every movement is marked Adagio except for the funeral march which is marked Adagio molto.

So yeah, your post was a downer, but more true than I care to admit. I guess as we go forward into life we have to make our own homes, wherever they may be.

Æther said...

If it makes you feel better, my room is already a guest bedroom since my furniture was taken by my brother and replaced with nicer things. I keep losing things behind the bed, which is too heavy to move to recover them.

Next item: Does this mean you're not going to be around this summer? =(

Final item: Where are you going to be living once you move out for good?

Kiriska said...

I've not felt at home in Houston since pretty much when I graduated high school, though the house and my room still mostly familiar. I just don't necessarily feel like I belong here, and it's my greatest fear right now that I'll have to come back to live here, however briefly, when I graduate college. (Getting a job so I don't have to move back to Houston is pretty much my ownly motivation for not fucking up too bad in school right now.)

But that doesn't really have too much to do with the things in my room or the house or anything. The family's pretty much left my stuff the way it's been and no one really comes in my room when I'm gone. I never had many posters in my room because thriftiness has been worked into me from a young age and I hated (still hate) asking for things. So honestly, I didn't have much to bring with me when I graduated. This led to much rampant purchasing of useless things after I moved out since I didn't feel as guilty as long as my parents didn't know and so most of my posters and ridiculous collections of toys are with me in my apartment.

Mostly what I have in my room is a bunch of books, old school papers and things because I'm a crazy packrat, and a ton of ... stupid trinkey things whose origins elude me for the most part. And older toys and things that I will put off getting rid of for as long as possible because, like I said, packrat. Anything I keep for a significant amount of time I kind of get attached to even if it had no real emotional value to begin with (wasn't a gift or from a certain event or whatever).

Actually, this is getting into a randomly long tangent about myself because I'm a narcassist! 8D

In any case, I don't think it's necessarily bad to focus on customizing your computer and the world contained in your computer as opposed to your room. I mean. You want to be comfortable in wherever you're spending the most time and wherever you're directing the most attention. So if it's more appealing to just get a desktop image of dinosaurs rather than large posters of dinosaurs, so be it? (Cheaper this way too.)

Then again, this is coming from someone who has adopted "The Internet" as a serious answer to "Where are you from?" a la xkcd.

Houston is not my home. Savannah is not my home. Jersey is not my home. And New York is not my home. (Yet?)