before i got home from my first year of college in boston my parents moved. i came back that summer to a place i’d never seen before, and though my room seemed like it was mine because it had my furniture, my bright pink sheets, and my high school yearbooks it really wasn’t, and still doesn’t feel like my room- a place that was undeniably sacred to me, a place where i grew up.
with the move, my parents hastily put together a collection of the remnants of the
black hole pink hole which was my teenage room. they brought the obvious things- my doodle bear, portfolios, diaries, the sign board from my over the top and totally undeserved sweet 16, as well as some of the random trinkets they tossed in an old a&f bag, unsure of whether or not they were of any importance to me.
and while i’ve spent a good amount of time over the past three years in this room, i’ve never spent time looking at the contents, what was actually tucked and stowed away in the drawers and closets.
at first i started taking inventory. rediscovering old art projects and essays, being fascinated with a journal from 1997 in which a 4 year old me repeatedly attempted to describe my day with excerpts in which not a single word was spelled correctly and i literally had to sound out each letter to understand what i had written about (i spelled today as ‘tudae’ and mostly wrote about what i ate for dinner). the past two days have involved reminiscing back to the day in which my greatest life crisis was the fact that i owned a purple bicycle, and i thought i was growing out of purple. and frantically searching for the random objects that, through almost exclusively time and absence, suddenly became important and symbolic of my adolescent development.
why didn’t i do this any other time that i was home? the other summer, thanksgiving, winter breaks? why the sudden obsession in the past few days?
i guess i’m just looking for clues into the future. sort of in the way that we study history to repeat what we believe to be good, and ditch the bad habits of the past. at first i thought my interest was due to the fact that i’m about to be an actual adult, and that i might be simply reflecting on my childhood so that i can leave it behind. but after some greater thought i realize that i’m searching for indicators to help guide me into my next twenty years. what were my dreams for my life when i was seven? or eleven? or fifteen? how have they changed? are there parts of my dreams that reality has harshly eroded away in the past few years? do i recover them?
i’m trying to reconnect with christine, the aspiring fashion designer, the xanga layout coding guru, the second grader with a passion for rhyming poetry, with impressive collections of rocks, pencil trace drawings, junie b jones books and lip smacker chapstick. even christine, the girl who hated korean school and swimming lessons because she was always the oldest in the class, who collected stuffed animals from preteen boys like a fratstar collects notches, and doctored sixth grade report cards.
she always thought she had something profound to say. and now i just hope she was right.