When I went off to college, I didn't go through the normal routine. I went to a conservatory, where one is expected to put in 16 hour days (sometimes more), six days a week. I was one of the youngest in the class, with most ranging between 25 and 30. I lived in a house with roommates instead of a dorm, was required to cook and clean and split bills. It was all very...adult (or as close to being an adult as I have ever experienced). Whereas I tend to think of university as an extension of high school with dorms, cliques, and not a whole lot of responsibility.
So, after living more or less as an adult for three years, I had to return home. My father has a fatal disease, and my mother is not coping well. We weren't doing well financially. So, after three years, here I am, in my old bedroom of my childhood home. I moved back home in June of 2009.
I started unpacking today.
I never unpacked because I thought maybe there was a way to leave quickly. I worked long hours for three months, so long that I was never home, and then left on a road trip for another two. Five months of trying not to live here.
Today I threw out three bags of stuff that had been lying around. Things from when I was a kid, things from the road trip, just things in general. I started with one section. One section that, after today, feels a little more like myself. Feels a little more like if I were to bring a girlfriend home to see it, she would get a glimpse of me- of what is important to me. I finished my bookshelf today, and that is a huge start.
I think part of the reason that I haven't felt like an adult, haven't felt capable of dating, is that being in this room again makes me feel like a child. The angel figurines, the stuffed animals, the collector barbies-they all shrink me down until I'm no more than a small girl.
It's time to give those away, to pass them on. Not to get rid of them, but to take back this space as my own; to make this room grow up with me, so that I no longer shrink under its gaze. A place to play guitar, read a novel, finish my psychology homework, a place where I can lock the door and feel sexy (because I'll be damned if a woman doesn't need to feel sexy in her own bed once in a while).
Today I took a step toward that, and feel a little more comfortable inside my own house.