Thursday, 2 July 2015

Thoughts on Making a Room a Home

I moved in to a shared flat on the 1st of December 2013. I had a decent sized empty room that had a small built in wardrobe and a chest of drawers left by the previous tenant. I bought myself a queen sized bed from the local Salvation Army Store and some nice bedding to make it my own. At this point I felt my room had enough things in it. Though the wardrobe was small it was more than adequate for my meagre possessions. For decoration I pinned an annotated map of New Zealand to the pin board on the wall. This map had travelled with me from Australia and the annotations were places to go and things to do as suggested by friends who had all spent years travelling in NZ and knew me well enough to give good suggestions. This was to be my reminder in the coming months as to why I was staying out and being normal. It was my reminder that this was a temporary situation. It was all the decoration I needed.

Of course once I had place of my own things started to accumulate. So when a friend decided to leave the country and offered me a table and iPod docking station/radio I said yes please. Then my flatmate offered me some shelves. I said no initially but after a few weeks of them sitting outside my room I decided I might just be able to make use of them after all. Since I was in one place my family and friends sent me clothes and things and the wardrobe and drawers started filling up.
At the same time my pin board was filing up with tickets from films and concerts and other events attended with friends. Beside it there was a growing collection of cards from friends and family abroad. Finally I took a 5 week photocourse where the importance of printing your work was discussed and so I printed off a large selection of my favourite photos, thinned them down and stuck them on my wall.

This is how in March 2015 almost six years after I lost the person who was my home I found myself in a different kind of home. I had never intended to hold myself back from my flatmates. Years of travel has taught me that some people are always worth getting to know whether you are spending a week a month or a year with them. However places are different, so never intended to make my room my home yet without meaning to I slowly made this space my own. It reflects who I am and all that is important to me. Photos of friends are on my wall next to my bungy and skydive photos surrounding a tile with my favourite quote on it. Every card from back home is on that wall reminding me that though I am far away I am loved and missed. The map has a few more scribbled on it. It is no longer just a reminder of the places yet to be visited and adventure still to come but also a reminder of those already taken. The mementos surrounding the map remind me that overall life in one place has been a good experience.

I never meant to make myself at home here but I did and I am glad I did. I love my room. I love that it is uniquely mine and very me. It’s messy and disorganised but somehow it all works. Will I miss it? Maybe a little but mostly not. It will become a happy memory and one day no doubt it to will appear as a photo itself on another wall in another time as a happy memory the next time I accidently make myself a home.

My Memory Wall: June 2015 just before I moved out

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