I got a very cheap box of 100 postcards so I can keep in touch with my friends all over the world for less than 10pence per card. I’ve now got homes all over the world and people I need to stay in touch with. I have lots of post cards and the design on the front of the card always influences what I write.
When I picked out a card with a merry go round of shoes with mirrors and lights I thought about my sisters old walk in wardrobe. So I wrote to Sarah.
I told her about how my room here feels like home. It’s my space, decorated with as many knick knacks as I could get for free. My pin board has some lovely cards on it, the fairy lights give off a lovely soft yellow light and I have craft supplies on the shelf.
I told her I’m looking forward to decorating a new room when I get back to Australia because I get to make a new space my own and thats something I’ve become very good at.
Our family has moved house so many times that I’ve lost track of where we’ve lived and when. I can pack up my bedroom in an hour but I always put more time and effort into setting up a new room. I enjoy the ritual of going through memories and deciding where they belong.
I don’t let go of things easily, I have artwork I did when I was three, class work from year five, the first history report I ever wrote, every swimming certificate I have ever earned, netball trophies spanning seven years, birthday and christmas cards from my whole life, my first pair of shoes, art I did in year seven, a harmonica that doesn’t work. And all because they hold memories.
Sarah remembers everything, almost down to the hour that it happened. She describes things in vivid detail and is always ready with a joke or reference to something we did years ago. My brain isn’t good at memories, I have blank spots spanning entire weeks and months. I didn’t tell Sarah that because I didn’t know how to explain it to her when I’m so jealous of her ability to remember things.
The only time my memory works well is when it’s connected to a place. I make a space my own so I can remember what happens in it. I have photographs of my old rooms that I can look at when I want to remember something that happened there. Home is in those photos and in my year six maths book and the 70 paper cranes I folded during a literature class in year 11 and these things are memories I cart from house to house in boxes so I can put a part of home into every new house. Because Home to me is just a familiar memory, and I have so few of those.