Three of the walls a creamy white, one a deep pink. A school blazer, a giant stuffed Tigger and an umbrella hang on the back of the door, which is propped open with a Union Jack patterned dog. On the floor lies a Winnie the Pooh rug, the white outline faded to a dull grey. On the walls above the desk, a silver painted ring of cardboard is in use a a noticeboard, and a mini banner photo from a birthday party with the caption “I’m a teenager, get over it”. There is also a mint green chalkboard calendar with pictures of vintage-style ice creams, a circular sign with the words “Be Awesome Today!” written in pink, below six small spotty ceramic bunting flags strung along a lime green cord. Further along the wall, a wall decal made up of pinky-purpley-orangey flowers, circles and swirls, a London 2012 Olympics poster, a photo montage of a black Labrador dog, another banner photo (this time a photo collage of girls in various school situations), a cork noticeboard covered in quirky badges, tickets to football matches and West End theatres, and a photo of the same black Labrador. Either side of the sticker-covered wooden bed, two bookshelves-the left one filled with books of many varieties, from young adult novels to dog-eared childrens books, the right filled with craft supplies, games, ornaments, school books and miscellaneous items. Next to the right bookshelf, a cluttered purple kidney shaped desk, covered in pen pots, IKEA cardboard shelving units, several photo frames and a mish-mash of stationary and school books.
Next to the door is a decopaged giraffe, covered in blue, green and pink scarves. Along from the giraffe is a white chest of drawers, on top of which is a wooden shelving unit filled with makeup, jewellery and hairbands. Hanging over the makeshift dressing table, on a white bracket coming out of the wardrobe is a lopsided wooden boat, which bobs up and down on a string when pulled. On the wall next to the wardrobe is a Keep Calm and Carry On poster with the background of a Union Jack. Along the far wall is a large window, decorated with translucent coloured bird decals. Fairy lights with a plastic picture of a ballerina-style fairy over the light on the adjacent wall trace a rectangular shape around a ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ lyric canvas and a handmade garland of hearts, stamped out from many different varieties of patterned paper. Next to the window is a string of more photos and postcards, and in front of the window a delicate-looking glass effect mobile of cherubs swirling on green cord is pinned to the ceiling. A little along from the cherub mobile, three beaded strings with pink and purple butterflies clipped onto them are also pinned to the ceiling. On the far side of the window, an Extreme Meerkats 2014 calendar is turned to April, and a shoulder height white paper IKEA lamp sits on the floor. In the little alcove the window creates, a large and squashy-looking lime green beanbag sits, forlorn and abandoned, folding in on itself as if it wishes it could sink through the floor. A wooden framed full-length mirror is propped precariously against the wall, a string of dragonflies hanging down beside it. An ottoman covered in flowery material and decorated with a pillow in a yellow striped case sits against the wall, trapping the strand of fairy lights between the ottoman and the wall. Covering the bed is pink and purple duvet cover with a pattern of butterflies made up of flowers, and a cuddly giraffe is propped up between the corner where the bed and bedside table meet. A large toffee-coloured bear, a light brown bear with ‘Bearamy’ written on its paw and a nearly threadbare, aging teddy all lie on the honey-coloured carpet.
The inhabitant of this room likes words, judging from the quotes pegged onto the photo line and the abundance of books,both on the bookshelf and on the floor. They are a teenager, but they aren’t quite ready for their teddy bears to say goodbye just yet. Deep pinks, purples and occasionally blues are a recurring theme throughout the room-in not only the wall colour and desk, but in smaller details like a photo frame to-do list on the desk, in the scarves over the papier mache giraffe, in the pink craft shelves perpendicular to the desk, in the duvet cover, and in the open, elephant-printed pencil case on the desk. There are several patterned boxes and storage jars, and two small and brightly coloured buckets are among those in use as pen pots. Maybe she has recently lost a beloved pet, given the recurrence of the black dog in the photo montages and frames around the room. A laptop charger lead plugged in, dusty CD player and an iPod dock on the bedside table indicate a regular user and lover of technology, as well as the open laptop on the desk. Several windows are open on the laptop screen-iTunes, email, ‘My Documents’ and the internet. Within Google Chrome there are several tabs open-school intranets, an internet radio service, BBC Radio 1, the Amazon page for a Bastille EP, and, perhaps most significantly, a WordPress blog.
Because this is my bedroom. Where I think, work, sleep, revise, stress, read, procrastinate. Where music is almost always playiing, either through my laptop or my iPod dock and radio, a much-used Christmas present. Where the floor is rarely clear, and my parents always complain of permanent trip hazards.
Where I’m me, and where nobody can touch that.
And this teenager is in a transition phase. Where she suddenly feels like she just can’t be bothered to revise for any exams, where she obsessively relives her past mistakes. Where she wants to move her room around and make it her own, bt can’t quite bear the thought of losing her favourite cuddly toys, of throwing out old games and of passing on old books to the charity shop. Where she wants to be in the present, but can’t quite learn to let go the past. Where she wants to grow up, but also wants to be a little kid again, full of uncomplicated emotions and a whole life stretching ahead of her.
Now she still has a whole life stretching ahead of her, but sometimes just wants to stay in the past. In a way, the fairy lights trapped between the ottoman and the wall are a good analogy-stranded between the comforting, floral recesses of the fabric covering the ottoman are like the past you sometimes wish you could escape back into and the blank white wall of the future, a scary and unknown yet exciting canvas, just inviting me to start painting my own story into it.
Oh, the joy of being a teenager, being pulled in two conflicting directions, wishing my life could just stay the same forever…yet looking eagerly to the future, and to an as yet unpainted picture, just waiting for me to carve my own imprint into it, and to put my stamp and personality into it. Change is part of life, and life is part of us.
What do you think your bedroom or special place says about you?
An Overthinking Teenager
Inspired by January 13: Clean Slate writing prompt, from free WordPress eBook 365 Days of Writing Prompts