An ode to my room
If I close my door, put on headphones and throw my phone across the room, I can isolate myself for however long I want to. My room is my sanctuary, my escape from the rest of the world.
Walk in, under the poster of neon DJ kitties serenading you with spellbinding, hypothetical party music.
On the wall next to the door is a text display I made. I cut out letters from pages of a Lush catalog – they spell out “THE DANKPIT,” except the N is missing, because I stole it for a poster board.
My room might be considered small, but I see it as one of the qualities of my bedroom that adds to the homeyness of the space. It doesn’t feel cramped, it feels like a lived-in nook.
Homeyness is a concept we discussed in my marketing class, a quality that represents a space that is well-lived. Among other things, a homey space is one that feels authentic, makes you feel situated, and encourages informal interactions.
The structure and setup of the room often create layers of intimacy for its inhabitants, and contain items that represent the constructed notions of one’s self and their “world”.
When you think homey, you might think warm colors, soft fabrics, and objects that not only feel real and natural, but rustic and personally significant.
The sheer volume of THINGS on my desk reflects my hoarder nature rather well. I love things – not big things, but little things – pens, straws, flash drives, lip balms, odd coins…nail polish bottles, business cards, receipts, rubber bands and even a mortar and pestle – for the time being.
Three small notebooks lay open, with pages brimming with notes I’ve jotted down, shopping lists, ideas to write about. The wall above my desk is plastered with sticky notes, posters and photos.
“How to write a paper if you haven’t done any of the readings,” starts one of the sticky notes. Another laments, “I don’t want to warn my child about systemic racism.” I forget the context of the latter.
A daily reminder to stay self-motivated reads, “Good things come to those who wait but only the things left by those who hustle,” and a note card that I picked up at Mindy’s Hot Chocolate encourages: “Eat seasonally, drink chocolate and always save room for dessert.”
On the wall next to my bed, there’s an intense and colorful print of a cat face staring at you head-on, thoughtfully gifted to me by my friend Kenton.
Christmas lights I received as a secret Santa gift line my windows and illuminate my room with a soft glow. When I lay down on my back in bed, I look up and see them twinkling, pinpricks of light that cozify the room. I frequently get lost in the optical illusion mindwarp poster that I taped to my ceiling.
My bed is home. The mattress isn’t the greatest, but after sleeping on it for years, I’ve come to embrace its springiness and creakiness. When I lay back on my fluffy armrest pillow and swaddle myself in soft and enveloping blankets, I become a burrito of warmth and security, unwilling to tear myself away unless I absolutely have to.
During the day, my bed hosts all of the clothes I try on as I decide my outfit of the day. You know the drill, transfer them to your chair at night and alternate piling them up on your chair and your bed through the rest of the week until you finally muster up the will to put them away.
On the other side of my room is a plastic, wobbly, four-tier shelf. Things get lost in the tall, hollow tube structures that make up the frame – I’ve lost many a mascara tube or can of mini hairspray. My heart goes out to all of the fallen soldiers lost at the bottom of the well.
The shelf is piled with lotion and makeup bottles, fabric containers holding clothes, stacks of textbooks, my notebook collection and my memory box, which I frequent to toss in a receipt, a CTA pass or a ticket stub after a particularly memorable weekend.
A few summers ago, I went through all of the TIME magazines my family had collected over the years and picked 16 covers that examined pertinent personal issues, like the quality of present day produce, the cost of college and the rise of Kim Jong Il (LINK!!). I painstakingly taped the covers together, and brought it with me to Northwestern. It hung above my bed during freshman year, and I carefully packed it away over the summer. When I put it up in my apartment last fall, the collage became a visual focus point, not to mention a unique conversation-starter.
Having a full-length mirror is such a game-changer. Not only do you get to see your whole outfit, you get to dance with yourself in the mirror. Part of my morning routine includes me blasting music to get myself out of bed, and twirling around in my room as I get dressed.
Pictures border the mirror – they capture the many different periods of my life. I’ve drawn in little Sharpie arrows to indicate which baby I was. There are photo strips from Disney, the Evanston movie theatre and downtown Chicago’s Lincoln Hall. Snapshots from graduation, my senior beach trip and debate camp depict the people I love, who made an important impact on my life – most notably, my 10th grade English teacher.
Living in my own room has allowed me to create a space that is entirely me, filled with items that may not mean much to the average person, but carry sentimental meaning for me. The bedroom is unique in that you don’t share it (technically) with anyone else, so you situate it in a way that works best for you.
Your bedroom speaks volumes about who you are, what you value and how you spend your time.
There is no space like home.
I am a huge Mr. Carmack fan!!