Whenever I come home, I try to open up drawers that I haven't looked within in a long time, examine my old toys, look under my bed and in my closets... I couldn't tell you what's there before I see it, but when I do, it's like I'm dreaming, and memories come rushing back to me so powerfully I can't even express them.
My room has changed quite a bit since I lived here. Most notably, my mother has filled it with HER toys and collectibles, which is funny, because it just makes it look like I had mass amounts of toys as a child, and in reality I did not. But my furniture is still mostly the same, and the things I've left here are all still here. Letters, pictures, things I taped to corners of door frames to remind myself that I had friends, maps, knickknacks... it's all still here. I opened up a cabinet that's in my headboard last night, and found that's where I stored all my diaries and candles and special things. The smell inside that cabinet almost brought me to tears. I could smell the wax of the candles and the paper of the journals, the pencil smudges and rose water and incense that I never used but couldn't throw away. Stuff back to when I was 13. Stuff from England. A large bound blank book that I used as a massive diary for my trip through England had this particular smell that made me immediately flash to how it felt to hold the pencil I wrote with in that journal, and how it felt to put it down every night before bed, and how special and spiritual and secret I felt holding it.
I've changed so much and haven't changed at all since then. The smell of that cabinet reminded me of loneliness and hopefulness, social fears and private confidences, crushes and friendships and confusion and frustration, crying and laughing and wanting to escape and go back all at the same time. That sinking feeling that everything used to be better, and the glimmering feeling that everything could still be ok. Fearing I might change as an adult and lose something, and fearing I might not at all and would be stuck with myself forever. I was right on both cases.
I haven't opened up my toy closet yet. I'm almost afraid to. I don't particularly want one of my parents to walk by and find me on my knees, worshipping some forgotten stuffed animal in a daze of nostalgia. I know it's only been about two years since I was here, but still... two years. And opening a closet is like going back in time. I've dreamt of my room so many times in my life that when I think about my room the dreams and the reality become blurred, and when I see what's really there, it's like I'm dreaming all over again. I kind of wish I had more time on this trip to just absorb myself, and at the same time I'm glad I don't have the chance to over-saturate and find myself back where I started as a child, wanting nothing more than to get away from the constant and unending me-ness of it all. I wish I could go back. The irony is in know the only reason I feel that way is because there's distance.