My room at home has been pink and fluffy for as long as I’ve lived in it. When we moved in I was seven and I was allowed to choose just how I wanted it decorated. As a result, the top halves of my walls are covered in pink wallpaper with stars on it, the bottom halves are a deep purple. The carpet is bright red and amazingly soft. The walls are littered with photos of me in my young teens and the shelves are filled with childhood story books, teenage romcoms, fluffy pens, computer games and various ornaments picked up on monumental birthdays.
It has never really bothered me that it is so childish: There are so many memories attached to it I could never bear the thought of stripping it back and redecorating. Besides, I only live in it for a few months of the year. Sleeping in my old bunk bed isn’t much of a problem for me either, because I simply haven’t grown enough. It was yesterday, when I was sat at my desk reading for an essay on performance practice, that I suddenly felt really out of place. I suddenly felt like an adult sat in a child’s room. It didn’t feel like my room anymore. Me and my dad agreed that perhaps it’s time we thought about redoing it. I am admittedly tempted by the thought of a double bed and a bigger wardrobe.
Then, yesterday evening I went on a walk down memory lane, although in this case the lane is a bridleway that runs between the part of Chelmsford I live in and the bit next door. A group of us used to do the same walk on a couple of nights, of every week without fail. We’d walk across the bridleway so we could join the rest of our friends at a park, where we would spend hours out in the cold doing goodness knows what until curfews crept up on us and we had to head back home. The walk back used to terrify me: The bridleway would be pitch black and even if we took the road around it, there were no lampposts and we had to pass a graveyard just before we reached the end. It sounds crazy now, but when me and my friend were reminiscing last night we realised that some of our happiest memories come from evenings spent walking that walk and spending time at that park.
We chose a beautiful evening to walk the walk last night. It wasn’t even quite as scary as it used to be, because the skies were clear and the moon lit our path up remarkably bright. I still found myself gripping his arm as we passed the graveyard. When, just over a week ago, he sent me the text suggesting that once I got home, we do the walk again for old times sake, I knew I’d love it, but I could not have imagined how much. I hated it as much as I loved it. It made me miss being sixteen more than ever and it made me realise just how much everything has changed. I woke up this morning and it felt like I’d dreamed it. I’d just spent my evening sat on a swing , while the sun set, with one of my best friends, catching up on months worth of life. Then we’d walked back home in the dark, the same way we always did when we were sixteen. It was beautiful, but it made me feel so old.
I feel like an adult. For the first time ever I’ve come home to find that, actually, I feel kind of older.