Sunday, May 29, 2011

New Skin

I'm done thinking about it.  I've sat and stared long enough at these walls of mine, trying to figure out what to do next, how to change things up.  Taking a deep breath, I slowly tear down my "wall of achievement".  I'm very proud of this wall-it's taken a while to build.  Tons of "student of the month" 8x11 certificates get crammed into a yellow filing folder.  Next to them, the "star reader" awards are tucked away.  Finally, my "letter" (the ones that are supposed to go on Letterman's jackets) and National Honor Society papers are stowed.  Looking at the barren wall, I can't help but feeling like I have just put a piece of myself in storage.  It's funny how quickly twelve years of academic labor can be so easily erased. After labeling the folder I organize it in my mini filing cabinet and move on to the next wall. 

A simple ninety degree turn brings me from academic achievement to artistic creativity.  Over the years I've collected bunches of calendar pictures, mostly of fairies and cats.  There're two collages: one of fairies and one of cats.  At the time, it seemed like a good idea to make the collages.  I love the whole Renaissance/magic theme and my favorite animals are felines.  Looking at it now, all I can see is a cheap, tawdry attempt at expressing myself.  But that's the whole point of having your own room, right?  To have a place of your own, where you can wholly be and express yourself.  This is who I am, or at least, who I was.  Chuckling inwardly, I snatch the papers from the wall and quickly wad them up in the trash bag.  If I think about it too long, I might be tempted to save them.

The next wall is painful for me.  Looking up, all I can see are pictures of me and my best friend.  Well, technically, ex-best friend.  Part of me is still holding out hope that we'll reconcile, but the other half knows the reality of the situation.  People change, especially young ones like myself.  Did I honestly think that we'd be friends forever?  Yes, comes the painful response.  We'd both been through tough times together, being each other's rock and consoling shoulder.  I just didn't see this particular storm brewing, and surely wasn't ready for when it came.  I start taking down the prom pictures, gently putting them in large shoe box on the bed.  Next go the little knick knacks we had traded back and forth.  A necklace, a pen, a little piggy bank.  Lastly, I gently put the hundreds of little notes on top of the pile.  The notes that had been written during study hall or during work.  Notes that reflected the funny moments of our friendship.  Notes that held the sorrows of our hearts.  Notes that kept safe our secret crushes.  I shut the lid of the shoe box and walk over to my drawers.  I open the bottom drawer and softly put down the box.  I can't bring myself to throw everything away.  It doesn't seem right, and I'm not ready to let it go.  I'm not sure if I ever want to let it go.

My walls are now completely blank, except for some important things that will never change.  I'll slowly start to fill them back up again, expressing myself in different ways.  I'm like a bug who's shed its old skin, so the new one can start growing.  The inside of the bug doesn't change-it's still the same bug, but it's growing and changing, like me.  Another few years and it'll be time to shed the skin again.

1 comment:

  1. I am kind of in a similar place in life right now, I had just recently torn down a bunch of walls. It feels scary and liberating at the same time as you described but I like your metaphor of walls of achievements.