Decorating my new home has been a great sense of joy for me since I moved to Dayton on a cold February day. There is, though, one room that I left relatively bare.
Aside from bookshelves to house the covers that shaped my adolescence and a bed to fitfully sleep in each night, I left my bedroom empty. Like the walls of my heart, the surfaces of the four walls housing my bed were left plain -- imagined memories and pictures and décor filled my mind for both, but I could never gather the strength to put life into my room.
I never wanted to be a 27 year old woman that decorated the bedroom of her house alone. I had always been under the assumption, living in the wild and precious hope, that this process would require my husband's opinion. So, my very personal space in the house sat relatively empty - because I am a 27 year old woman with no husband, no other opinions to consider or consult.
Color schemes were not heavily discussed, I did not paint any of the walls that housed my bed and a few of my books -- it is all very simple, honestly; I sleep there, I run the fan at night, I rarely make my bed.
No one sees my bedroom -- when new people come to Morton Avenue, the tour skips the upstairs completely; no one needed to see the cluttered mess of my bedroom -- there was, and is, no reason to reveal how very sad my bedroom made me. I was never supposed to be nearing my thirties and sleeping alone. It was an open and closed case - I struggled. I am struggling. The idea of a naked bedroom left me wide open, stripped raw, and deeply saddened.
I can't tell you what changed. I needed a new comforter; the one I had moved in was fraying and stringy and messy.
What started out as a Sunday evening return to Dayton and putting on the new comforter so I could send pictures to my mom ended up being me digging through drawers for art that had been purchased but not displayed yet.
I got out a screw driver and screws.
I collected doilies my beautiful Grandma Jo hand-stitched.
I began to allow myself to pour a little soul into my private space.
I never thought I'd be single and unmarried at 27. I also never thought I'd live in Dayton or have to say goodbye to as many people as I have. I never thought I'd be proud of those corn fields I grew up in or ache, at least once every day, to return to them.
I never really banked on living the life I am currently living. But if we are all honest with each other, who is living the life they had dreamed up perfectly, as a younger, less damaged version of themselves?
I think the point of it all is that we aren't. I'm not. And that's okay.
But I can't continue to allow a deeply punctured heart to leave my space and my soul vacant.
So I put out my new bedspread. I took the hand crafted steps two dear friends made for my dog and turned it into my nightstand (because Addy refuses to use them.) I lit up my walls with words and art and memories that make my spirit catch alight with passion. I allowed myself to put myself into this space.
One day I might have a husband and we will decorate our bedroom together -- it will probably have less yellows and ruffles and lace doilies -- and it will be okay. It will be good.
But right here? Right now? All the yellows and ruffles and doilies (and beautifully, weird art that makes my soul dance) are okay. They are all good.
I can still dream and hope and pray for the day I won't do all of this on my own, but right now, I am here.
And it's just really time I stop fighting back so hard, so wide open hurting, and really be here. In my home, in my bedroom. Just, really, all in.