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22 September 2012 @ 02:45 am
15 years ago, I was a shy little girl who spoke seldom and thought much; people wondered if I'd ever be able to read or socialise properly--or if I was developmentally behind and would remain so. My first grade teacher, who was wonderful, told my mother that I really needed my own space to be creative and that it would help me out of my shell. I was sharing a room with my brother at the time and my grandmother had just managed to get into senior living elsewhere in the town. I was given this glorious room with the steeple ceilings; it was my parents' old bedroom and also my grandmother's old 'house' (where there had always been cookies for me) and it was inherently a place of safety that conquered my bad dreams. My father painted a rainbow arching out of a pot of gold just for me, because I wanted it; we both agreed not to add a cloud at the end, so the rainbow had no set destination. This new rainbow room gave me the space to sit and be, to imagine the possibilities: little kitten-friends who could change size and pop in and out of the electrical sockets, a loft bed and a machine that I could step into that would do my hair and clothes with no effort on my part, adventures with my kind teachers. It gave me the space to draw some approximation of these daydreams--mostly horses--and mostly all the friends I wanted, up in my head and, by that, surrounding me in my room of safety and imagination.

Much to the relief of others, it also gave me the space to read for endless hours, late into the night. We had a "bed time" in my house in that we had to be in bed by a certain time, but after that we were allowed to do as we pleased for a while; my parents tell me that often even after that time they'd catch me reading by flashlight and have to force me to sleep.

Years passed. The pink walls turned to deep indigo (the rainbow remained); an art wall went up along with my posters of unicorns and other animals. I sometimes spent a little less time reading so I could socialise, in physical life or on the computer. I wrote novels. I was forced downstairs by a fractured hip and operations. I survived those and the trials and tribulations of typical teenagehood. I rearranged my furniture at odd hours and into odder configurations. I spent a lot of time cuddling with my dog. I spent hours cuddled up with a book in the winter, loving my season of heart. I excitedly put on new outfits for first days of school and, at least for a few weeks, came home with equal excitement to do my new homework. I procrastinated; I stayed up late working on assignments; I woke up early for assignments; I studied. I watched a lot of lesbian films. I pulled all-nighters during for my "all-nighters the night before the last day before vacation" tradition (sometimes making food, like my failed chocolate-covered strawberries that failed so I instead put the chocolate scoops inside for strawberry-covered-chocolate-with-the-tops-on, which I actually preferred). I thought about the future and what it might look like.

I'm stepping into the future a bit more now. My brother flew off to England tonight and I promised myself that I would Really Move To Providence when my brother left. As usual with things that matter most to me, I procrastinated on this some more today, so much of my tidying and organising will happen tomorrow on Moving Day (thankfully fine given the relatively short distance). I'm going to make sure that at least my rainbow trunk moves--it has always signified my symbolic home, or where my rump rests. (There's something too homey about a childhood home and area for it to really stop being home, though. I'm glad I get to stick around the area.)

For this very moment I'm sad, too. It's funny that I'll be back in this room tomorrow night (I have to be at church on Sunday, so it makes sense to stay over; that will happen a lot) but it won't feel the same. My showering stuff will have moved (if I remember); my room will be less rainbow than it already is with much of the decorations down.

Really leaving the old "Kiwi Lair" to create a new little niche for myself. It's up to me to put the rainbows over the door.

Going to try to have the grace for allowing myself to be sad if that's how I'm feeling: the excitement for the hustle and bustle of it all can come tomorrow when I see my friends' excited faces as I lug stuff up the stairs. For me the sadness only reminds me of how loved I have felt in this place, how much I have loved it, how much it has meant to me. My brother only goes into his room to sleep for the most part; my room has been my sanctuary since I was seven, my little hide-away from the world. I love this place.

Many of my friends who have moved out of their family homes felt pushed into it by their own frustration, by how much they didn't like it or didn't fit it or didn't enjoy their family's company. I am not leaving a hostile nest. I may have my complaints from time to time (isn't the Internet half for whinging and half for squee?) but I love living with my family and I love this place.

I know I love living with others and in other places too, though, so I know I'll be alright. I just wanted to take a minute to really feel the love for this place that I have called 'mine' for a decade and a half (for which I am grateful, given how much my mother moved as a child). I can see so many of the furniture configurations (and different furniture pieces) through the years, and myself at those ages with however I used the room--ahaha, like the fort I built after second year of uni when I was so frightened of that dissertation of mine! I tucked away inside of that thing like there was no tomorrow, writing McGonagall/Grubbly-Plank fic to avoid life.

Looking down at my sleeping old pug; he's on his little dog-bed to be closer to me. His tongue is peeking out as he snores and it's the most ridiculous, adorable thing. I'll miss looking down at that every night--although thankfully I'll see him much more often than I did in uni, and he'll still be mine even when the room's not. If "home" is both where the rump rests and where the heart is, then he's part of my home with how much of my heart he's stolen. I've only had him two years fewer than this room, both more than half my lifetime!

So tomorrow my home base shifts. I'm sure I've bored you all to tears with that stuff above, given how often I'm sure you've heard it from ex-students, family, friends... The story of the twenty-something really leaving the nest for the first time, rather than just for college (when home-base is often at heart still the family home, the place where the young come back to rest as they're learning to fly on their own). New nest time for me. But I'm Kiwi, the gay magpie (in loving rainbow and shiny stuff): I do the 'nesting' thing well. So I'll do it again to a more extreme degree.

Today a published writer friend of mine came up to me and told me that she wrote a play over the summer about three women, two older women and one 23-year-old, and that she's planning to do a reading of it at FUSF for practise; she insisted that I come and read the part for the younger woman when it happens. Her partner later put it in words similar to "she wrote a part about you!" and I thought he was joking, but a look at his face after I responded made me think he was joking less than I had thought. Anyway, all of that came to mind because I feel as though, scary as this is with moving to a new place and diving into the rat race, I'm stepping into those 23-year-old shoes. Hopefully into the sort of younger woman two hilarious, wonderful, wise older ladies would want to hang around with. I can cross my fingers.

Anyway. I love you, my dear old room. Thank you for being my sanctuary for 15 years. You'll still be seeing me more often than you'd probably like, but it's time for me to be moving along. When I think of the child and youth and young adult selves within me, you'll always be the home that comes to mind.

And that's the goodbye I've been thinking about all summer as I've been cherishing my time living with my whole family under the same roof, all of us considering the same place 'home base'. I'm off to base myself somewhere else; Dweeb is back off to college and when he returns he'll be looking to base himself somewhere new with his best friend C-Mace; my parents are empty-nesters again. Ah, the feelings involved in the various acts of Growing Up.
minervas_eule: MHiU: hat patminervas_eule on September 22nd, 2012 07:49 am (UTC)
*hugs* :-)
Kiwi Crocus: Hair || Green braid.cranky__crocus on September 28th, 2012 07:38 am (UTC)
*Hugs back.* Thank you! ♥
þeof in þystro: A'Tuinmothwing on September 22nd, 2012 02:52 pm (UTC)
It's up to me to put the rainbows over the door.
That sentence made me tear up and gave me all manner of tender feelings for rainbow-painting fierce Kiwi. Also, your room sounds really amazing. *hugs*
Kiwi Crocus: Hair || Decorations down your back.cranky__crocus on September 28th, 2012 07:40 am (UTC)
Awwr, thank you for sharing that! It made me feel all fierce to read it. (: My room has been very awesome through the years, as far as bedrooms go. It's being slowly dismantled at the moment which is sad. It would have been easier and harder in different ways to do it all at once--rip the bandaid off--but that would have been unreasonable given the small room I am moving into and how close it is (close enough to just do little car loads over time).
?elsceetaria on September 22nd, 2012 03:46 pm (UTC)

Kiwi Crocus: Lips || Blue mood.cranky__crocus on September 28th, 2012 07:41 am (UTC)
*Hugs back.* Thank you muchly! ♥
Feather Quill: Unconditionallovefeatherxquill on September 22nd, 2012 03:53 pm (UTC)

This is a beautiful post. I'm sure you'll make a home wherever you go :).
Kiwi Crocus: TV || A:LoK || Lin BAMFness.cranky__crocus on September 28th, 2012 07:43 am (UTC)
*Hugs back.* Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the post; it was very stream-of-consciousness haha. I'm sure I'll make a home wherever I go, too, in not too long--I really am a nester! I'm a little kiwimouse. Or that bird that collects blue things to make pretty nests to attract mates.

My Providence room is looking more and more like a Kiwi home. The household is being infected by a Kiwi.

It's 3.42am. I kinda lost my brain somewhere along the timeline.
tt: I can't even think straighttwisted_twister on September 23rd, 2012 12:47 am (UTC)
Good luck, darling. You already showed us you know how to do it.

And here another rainbow for you, just in case you didn't pack enough.
Kiwi Crocus: Boots || Boots and skirt.cranky__crocus on September 28th, 2012 07:45 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm trying to remember that I've already done it, even if this one does feel different in really getting out of my childhood home more. (:

I always love more rainbows! :D Thanks!