Step inside my room – or try to, at least. I’ll admit my favorite space is a bit of a disaster. Heaps of college newspapers cover the floor, rejected outfits drape my easel, unneeded receipts spill out of shopping bags and books stack higher than my short-attention span can handle. My mismatched décor matches this havoc: Hot pink and turquoise walls clash with my earth-toned furniture, a raging sea of thrifted or gifted finds.
Yes, I’m an adult and yes, my room is still a mess. And although many women have Pinterest boards dedicated to minimalist designs and decluttering tips, I’m sure a lot of you have a room a lot like mine.
Now you may be blushing, worried that your secret has been exposed. But I’m not here to order you to get yourself together and start adulting quicker. It’s your room – keep it how you want to.
As a kid, we’re allowed to be a mess. We had ketchup on our shirts, uncombed hair falling out of braids and high-water jeans that didn’t quite touch our jelly shoes. If your childhood was anything like mine, your room was allowed to be an extension of that. While my mother did make me tidy, I wasn’t told how to define my space growing up.
But now I’m a 22-year-old college graduate, making me (kinda) a grown-up. While my work clothes are pressed and my hair is tamed with a blow dryer, I refuse to update my room to fit the standard of adulthood.
We’ve been conditioned from a young age that adulthood looks a certain way, with matching furniture, a coordinated color scheme and tidy closets. There’s nothing wrong with wanting this future – but there’s also nothing wrong with rejecting the standard.
From the vintage dining room table I repurposed as my Hemingway writing haven to the big, blue Alice in Wonderland-esque dresser I fell in love with at IKEA back in 2005, my room clearly doesn’t follow a theme. I stripped the dresser I scored for free on Craigslist of its tacky tan wallpaper, decorating the trashed treasure with childhood knickknacks and perfumes.
My daybed is covered in chic pillows and an old stuffed animal. Sometimes it’s made, but usually the covers are thrown back in a panic as I rush around my room to put myself together for work. My closet is full of office attire, which also decorates my floor some mornings. My drawers are stuffed to the brim with memories that minimalism blogs order me to purge. And I’m not embarrassed by any of it.
We can’t be kids forever, but being an adult doesn’t mean forcing your room to match. Yes, our tastes and styles may change as we grow up; maybe your messy space will eventually morph into catalog dream. Yet that change should occur naturally and willingly, not because you’ve been cursed by adulthood.
Jumping into the real world is scary. With age comes responsibility, especially with work and family. Your 20s are riddled with insecurity, making you confused and lonely at the same time (Thanks, T-Swift). During this time of extreme uncertainty, your room should be a comfortable reminder of who you are. Mix the old and new, the child with the adult. Allow yourself a space that is unapologetically yours in a world that can be harsh and unforgiving.
READ MORE: 6 Trendy and Healthy Plants for Your Bedroom
It’s your room – leave it that way.
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