Between the two windows across from my bed hangs a cork bulletin board with no specified purpose. I don’t remember when we put it up there, though it was probably after my room was painted light green — my beloved white wallpaper with tulips on it had torn, and was dirtied from blackened hands that ran along it before bedtime.
The bulletin board was not something I had asked for, so when it took its place on the wall, I had no concrete plans for its use. Should I have tacked up photos of family and friends, or used it as an extension of my desktop, which rests directly beneath it? For a while, I just left the board blank. After a few weeks with it, I had only tacked up a few extra papers, which had previously been scattered on my desk.
One morning, near the beginning of this year, I laid on my bed and scanned my room. My bulletin board drew my attention for the first time in a long while. Over the four or so years it had been up, I had tidied it up in spring cleanings, and weeded out everything that no longer had any significance to me. But, when I looked at it that winter day, I realized that my board represented me well. It had accumulated an assortment of knick knacks, papers, and photos; all of the items represented a different part of me. Much in the way one shares music with a new friend, or suggests their favorite books or movies, I could share this board with someone, and it would provide an outline for my values and personality.
Though, at this point, I know myself well, there is a new sense of identity gained from seeing a physical manifestation of oneself. Some items have remained on that board since it first arrived, and others I added just a week or two ago — regardless, all of those items coalesce to form a mosaic of my life.