When I was younger, I thought my room was the finest room I would ever have.
It had glossy light brown floorboards that my mum had sanded and waxed herself. She would later curse a party guest a week later for marring the floors with tiny pointed stiletto bullet holes littering the floor. As I grew up, I would look at those holes in my mums floorboards and wonder what it would be like to teeter around my adult life in heels. When I was 18 and going out with Katie, I would make my own little set of bullet holes in the floor, before swearing off heels altogether.
My stiletto heels walked in what I thought was a glamorous way towards my pride and joy of the room. A vanity stand that my mum had bought, sanded and painted white. She had lined the drawers with floral paper that I pretended to hate, but secretly would make sure my drawers were never full so that I could peek at it.
Beside my vanity stand, I had a fire place, which we used a couple times. One time when I was so sick from walking on the Moors in the rain, that my mum lit it for me to ensure I wouldn’t get more of a chill. My mum sanded it down and painted it white, which I loved, and lined with photos of her, me and Katie smiling sweetly at cameras.
My next room was very different, and that was exactly what I wanted. It was when I stayed in Granada, and I was so far out of my comfort zone, that I wanted nothing and everything to remind me of home. My room had cool resin floors, that were white with little chips and flakes of dark colours in. I would spend literal hours on my hands and knees sweeping that damned floor when it was raining outside. I had a little bedside table which I precariously balanced all my books on, and a tiny single bed which I would wrap myself into and sleep heavily in.
This time, my pride and joy of my room, was a tiny hook where I would precariously arrange my photos, momentos and postcards on. I loved its simplicity. In that room where nothing was the same, everything was the same, because there, I learnt I would make any room I ever touched “home”.
After I returned home, I spiced up my room with so many memories of Mum in, with so many memories of Granada Evee, who had made people laugh, who had been the centre of attention, and housed many other different qualities that shocked me.
When I came to university, everyone noted the strange shape of my room. It was like a triangle, but someone had cut two corners off. Of course, I loved it. I placed a rug over the blue carpet with weird dark blue diamonds on it, and decorated my pin board with good luck cards people sent me, hopes and dreams. My room had so many pictures of my mum, fairy lights dotted around, and a salt lamp. My pride and joy was my bed, where I enjoyed many a late night snack, fell asleep reading, and would continuously pull the blanket half way up the bed, after my mates had left butt prints in it, after sitting with me for so long.
When covid hit, I packed up as much as I could, and moved to my uncles. This was my first time having a double bed, and this is a love affair which never gets old. I cannot take for granted having so much space for me to splay out and stretch. Even though, most of the time I still wake up crammed against one side of the bed.
I would spend hours moving photos of my Mum around my room, blogging Quarantine Tips, and exercising. I enjoyed writing about how to make spaces nice, because I realize it is a passion for me. Most of all, I loved my plants, which I lined up on a cube-book case, which I had turned on its side. I would spend hours checking on my plants, sending my friends pictures of my plants, talking to my plants, and being a bit weird about my plants.
My next room was a dark room. Not just metaphorically, but because my room faced a brick wall with someone elses window staring back at me. At first I thought this was horrible, until I realised the wall before me forced me to look up and find beauty. Me and my neighbours also frequently put post it notes in our windows to make each other smile.
Again I lined my walls with a fortress of photos, happy memories, fairy lights. My much loved double bed was covered in bee pillows, pink pillows, plant themed pillows (are you even surprised at this point?). And of course, I would spend many hours pulling my blanket half way up after my friends had messed them up from sitting on there. I never minded of course. It’s nice, a little bit of mess. It shows someone is living, breathing, and sharing life with you.
And that brings me to one more room.
Perhaps this room was different because it was never mine. It was more of a vessel for me. It has taught me so much. I have become kinder and more loving, because the person who let me stay there is the kindest and most loving person you can find. Her simple act of letting me stay in her room, has made me a better human being.
This room was the room of beginnings. A place where I have learnt to meditate, stretch, breathe, even. This is the room that taught me the power of embroidery. The room that gives me a view of such fine sunsets that I feel so lucky, every day, to witness them.
I have many lessons that I want to share from this stop off at each of the rooms in my “Home”, and I want to share what the taught me.
- My childhood home: My mum was never coming back, and I could not live as she left me forever.
- My Granada home: “Evee” means joy, and is someone that can be liked.
- My Uncle’s home: I can make a home anywhere, as long as I have plants and fairylights. Your room truly has to be your haven, especially in lockdown.
- My uni house home: Do not depend on anyone for happiness, because people change. Change is good when it is growth. Sometimes having so many bee and plant oriented stuff can be confusing for real bees. (It was joyous when they came to visit me however)
- A friend’s room: Peace. Kindness. All I want to be in life is kind and loving. That is it. I have no expectations when I love. Spirituality is a huge part of me, having many hobbies is so important, and that for the first time, I truly, truly, truly embrace not fitting in. I also have adopted a very efficient “Who cares?” attitude. I hope it is here to stay, as I feel so very free.
So, who knows which rooms are in store for me next. I am excited for them. In a way, when I think of home, I think of each of these rooms that I have lived in. In turn, they layer on top of each other. It is not the settling that is important, it is that each of these have brought me something different. I am so grateful for each one.
And that brings me to Mummy. If I read this post back, I will undoubtedly be unsettled by how she loses prominence in each of my descriptions of my rooms. Yet, I must steady my heart, and I must realize: she is not losing prominence, because here she is in my writing again.
No matter how far I get from the place where she sanded down the floors, painted the walls and made memories with me, she will always be somewhere. I can hear her in my head saying “you can’t get rid of me that easily, Evee!”
You will never forget, no matter how many times you move, lose, win, smile, cry. It will always feel like you saw them yesterday, and that you have something you need to tell her when you next see her.