I don’t have my own home, I live with family, so I can’t really talk about why things are on the walls downstairs because for some things, I don’t honestly know. There’s a drawing someone made of the first house my parents ever bought, back in Georgia, that the realtor who found the house for them had commissioned. It hangs right by the front door. It was a gift to them as it was their first home. My mom grew up in a house, but my dad, sister, and I grew up in apartments. My parents’ whole married life, before we left Chicago, was spent in apartments, so that picture is really special to them. Downstairs in the basement is a painting a friend of my late grandmother’s painted for her, which we kept when we otherwise donated all of her things after she died. Oh, and in the living room, right between the two huge windows, is my dad’s framed share of the Green Bay Packers. He bought one share of stock in the team about 20 years ago, and the certificate is framed and hanging on the wall. There are no pictures of people hanging up on any of the walls. Any framed photographs are on mantles, tables, or hutches.
In my bedroom, I have only three things on the wall; a map of New York City, a clock, and my Bachelor’s degree. The map of NYC is there because it’s my dream city, it’s the place I want to move to and immerse myself in, and having the streets tacked up on my wall makes me feel like I’m one step closer to getting there. The clock is there to, well, tell me what time it is. Sure, I could look at my laptop, alarm clock, cellphone, and iPod dock for that, but if the power goes out, all of those are useless. It has a lo-fi feeling to it that I hope will never go away. My Bachelor’s degree is there to remind me what my hard work can accomplish, and also to mock me over the fact that it’s been practically useless in getting me a job, lo these 10 years I’ve been out of school. I’m proud that I have it, because I was the first member of my family to graduate from a four-year university, but I sometimes wish I could look at it and not be reminded of how much money got sunk into getting it.