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Painting the past

Yesterday, I painted my room. This morning, I had that strange moment where I woke up and forgot that my room looked different. It felt somewhat unnatural waking up in a new place. I find it fascinating how one stripe of paint is enough to change an environment. It covers whatever was there before, creating a new place with a whole new personality. The evidence of the room’s past self simply disappears.

We frequently do this in life. We dye our hair, we employ a drastic change to the way we dress or our job, our personalities change and we become completely different people. Part of me feels a little saddened by this. Years worth of thought and feeling can just dissolve to nothing with such ease that, no matter how hard you try, it is impossible to remember just what you were like before. The new paint is all that you are able to see.

Of course, some people might view this as a good thing. Sometimes, a new start is exactly what is needed. We create a representation of ourselves and are then forced to abide by it, trapping ourselves within the misconceptions that we create. Creating a new representation is often necessary if we are to become someone else. But, really, there is no such thing as a completely new start. The end colour of my wall, after covering it with the new paint, is entirely influenced by the colour of the old paint and how the two combine. The old you will always contribute to the new you. And that is really no bad thing.

To wipe out our history is not just to erase the many things that made us happy, but to dismiss the many things we learnt; the things we must not do again and the things that we must always do from now on.

I like my new room. It is fresh and new, with just a hint of the past.


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