It’s strange coming home after spending a long time away. Even though it’s only been a few months since I was last here, many things have changed. Mostly me. Coming back to all the things in my room that I have hoarded over the years, I’ve realised just how much of it I no longer want or need. Old clothes at the back of the cupboard, books from my childhood, about ten teddy bears, broken folders, artwork I did in school… The list goes on. The thing is, everything I need and use, I took to university with me. Therefore, all this stuff in my room is, I am sad to say, junk. I started clearing out bits and pieces when I first got home, but I’ve barely scratched the surface, and it’s tiring as well as demotivating to keep putting things in bags and still have clutter all over the place. I think over the next couple of weeks I shall have to do a major clear out.
It’s just so funny how physical objects, things scattered in a person’s bedroom, reflects their personality so much. So now, after coming back to this old room, I have realised I haven’t truly lived here since 2014, it’s starting to show me just how much I’ve changed. I no longer have the sentimental attachment to many of the things in my room, they are no longer important to me. Which is both sad, and I think quite good, because it means I’m growing. I mean I’ll never throw away my beloved Andrew Teddy, or my favourite book from my childhood (The Glass Heart: A Tale of Three Princesses by Sally Gardner), but the things I’ve held on to for years, I now can’t remember why I kept them. It is possibly due to laziness, but largely due to pure sentimentality, or the silly idea I might need some of these random things again one day.
Albert Einstein said “Insanity [is] doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I come back to this room year after year. I’m getting older year after year, and I expecting things to be different. I expect things to change at home. Yet they don’t. Okay, we may have gotten a new kettle, and yeah there’s a new rug in the living room, but it’s still the same. The same life, the same walls, and as much as I love them, the same parents who have already done (most of) their growing up. They expect me to be different, to have matured while away, grown wiser, and I like to think I have. They don’t quite see it yet though. My hair might have grown and changed colour (only a little), and I may be a bit more ready to speak back to them when we disagree, but they just don’t quite see their almost twenty year old daughter. They see the seventeen year old girl who used to occupy this yellow walled room, frantically trying to finish her homework on time (okay, so not much has changed there), who would ask permission to go out to see her friends, and had to be home by 8pm absolute latest. It’s frustrating, but it’s okay, because they haven’t seen some of my most crucial growing up moments. They haven’t seen me fending for myself (I may be making university sound like the wild jungle of the Amazon, but trust me, sometimes it feels like it), they haven’t seen me making important decisions for myself, and they haven’t seen me become a young woman. I just turned up and expected them to see that I’m not so little anymore. I think that’s why I am so determined to clear out my room (I mean I still have the same desk from when I was six), so they can see what I surround myself with is no longer the objects of a seventeen year old, but that of an almost twenty year old. Maybe there isn’t that much of a difference really, but maybe they might just see that I’ve grown up quite a bit over the past few years.
I have to be patient though. It’s hard for parents. We are growing up, yes, but they are getting older, too. They want us to live better lives than they did, and they fuss, and they worry, and they nag and nag, but they just want the best for us. We have to remember they’re just about as clueless as we are sometimes. They may have more experience, but this getting older thing is just as new to them as it is to us. They’re adjusting, too. I do think we forget that sometimes, I know I do. It can’t be easy watching your child grow up and not need you as much as they used to. Though I know I still need my parents sometimes, for support, just to know they are there and love me. They know they’re not perfect (well, my mum might disagree), and I’m certainly not, but we support each other, and that’s what is important really.
So, I’ll clear out my room. I get a new desk soon (finally), and I can chuck out all the rubbish, and take a ton of stuff to the charity shop, and after a few weeks maybe my room will start to look a little more like me. Then maybe my parents might see it, too. They might see that I’m a little more grown up.