May 15, 2014
I couldn't bear to take my stuff off the walls until the last minute. I took a billion pictures of every single thing on my wall and it was never enough. I took down a couple of posters and the empty space glared at me. Couldn't do it. Couldn't do it.
Now all that's left on my walls are the glow-in-the-dark stars and lanterns, because I can't reach them. I went to sleep in what felt like a blank foreign liminal space and it made me afraid.
As long as my guitar's still here.
For the longest time I haven't been ready to tear down my room, my favourite place in the world & my refuge. Now that it's almost completely depersonalised I don't feel like staying in it anymore. But I'm ready for a new room. No more old photos on the walls; I bought a book that transcribed Neil Gaiman's Make Good Art speech and I plan to tear out the pages and put them up. Also, no more bed next to the window. It's going to be really different.
I'm going to be really different. For a long time I wasn't ready for juniors. This year passed really quickly and there wasn't time to breathe and reflect. But I'm ready now. I'm ready to close the year and go for a fantastic summer trip to the States and take time to be with myself, and come back a completely different person. Come back refreshed and new. Hang out with new people. Let no one make any assumptions from before.
For the first time in my life, though, I'm ready to be a year older. 21's a big number, and it sounds like independence, like knowing what to do and having certain set worldviews that emerge from your wealth of youth experience. I've never felt ready for any of my birthdays, because I never felt big enough for the number. But now I realise that you don't need to be anything, and you definitely cannot expect yourself to have anything set in stone; all that's important is that you've grown. And I've definitely grown and gained tremendously this academic year. My thought processes have been challenged and shaped right to the core, and I'm a very different person now from when before I started school. My opinions have become more nuanced and I'm far more aware that there is so much I cannot be certain about. And I also realise that what I think I believe is not necessarily what I really believe. Our declared values might just be what we forcefeed ourselves, a defence mechanism because we've gotten hurt, as a result of actually very different fundamental expectations. You say you don't expect anything from anyone, but maybe it's just a mantra you repeat because you've gotten hurt too many times when people didn't do what ought to be. And you realise why you still get hurt despite what you think you believe.
Anyway, I have learnt a lot about myself this year - in fact, it's been more of a deconstruction than a building-up. And I know that my worldviews will continue to change, and I'm excited for that. To constantly empty the furniture in my mind, to renovate and fill again, not necessarily with entirely different designs, but definitely more refined. And that's why I'm ready to be 21. I accept that I have come a long way this year, and that there is no end to reach.