In My Room: Delaney Sperlbaum By: Jenna Jarjoura and Hannah Bernstein

Delaney Sperlbaum never spent time in her room before self-isolation. Her mom had taught her from a young age that it was not good for the brain’s development. So growing up she always had the idea that her brain would be wired differently if she spent too much time in her room. Sperlbaum found ways to avoid being in her room, but now her room is where she spends most of her time.

“I always found something to do before COVID,” Sperlbaum said. “My room would only be my sleeping space or my calm “settle down” area. But now with COVID, it has changed into my everything space. I'm in here all day every day.”

To keep some sanity, she began reorganizing and redecorating her room at the beginning of the isolation period. Sperlbaum was bored, and she needed something to do that was time consuming. She added a new tapestry, desk and wardrobe. Along with additional decorations she changed the complete layout of her room, but when she places her bed in her room, the orientation is centered around her photo wall.

“My bed used to be against the photo wall so I was like, ‘I'll just look over and all the good memories will be right there,” Sperlbaum said. “But now my bed is facing it, so I'm always thinking about how visible the photos will be if I rearrange my room.”

Sperlbaum started her photowall two years ago. Originally it only consisted of six images. Now, the wall has over 120 pictures. She added almost half of them since COVID. Sperlbaum found it therapeutic to search through pictures, and it allowed me to reminisce on when things were normal.

For more than ten years, Tater Tot, Sperlbaum's cat, has been a constant in her life. Through thick and thin it seems like the two are always drawn to one another and support each other when times get rough.

“He always makes me so happy and this sounds so cheesy but, he never has anything to say,” Sperlbaum said. “If I come home crying, he's happy to see me and hugs my face to make me feel better.”

Before lockdown, Tater Tot already spent most of his time in Sperlbaum’s room. But, once lockdown happened and Sperlbaum was always home, they connected and it made her experience in quarantine a little less lonesome.

Even before Covid-19, she decided it was time to start organizing. Sperlbaum needed more space for clothes that were lying around her room. She built an infamous IKEA wardrobe. It took her a long time and she did most of the work by herself; Her dad only helped her with the door hinges.

“It just felt cool to build that huge thing,” Sperlbaum said. “When you look at it, it's really big, and then I remember like, ‘Oh wait, I built that by myself.”

Being able to look at it everyday and think back on when she built the wardrobe makes Sperlbaum feel accomplished.

Sperlbaum has only had her own room for the past three years — before then, she shared a room with her older sister. The bright turquoise walls and green bedspreads didn’t go unmissed as Sperlbaum customized every inch of the room. But, there were also objects that were taken out of the room by her sister that were significant to Sperlbaum.

In kindergarten, Sperlbaum made a sign that had her name on it in beans. When her sister was in kindergarten, she made the same sign. They hung these signs on the front door of their room after they were made and they stayed there until her sister moved to the basement.

“You never really think about how long ago something was or how fast time goes until you sit down and think about it,” Sperlbaum said. Three years ago, her sister took down the sign and the symbolic message behind these flimsy papers with beans glued onto them was revealed.

Though Sperlbaum wasn’t upset about the move for her sister, there were emotions of both excitement and nostalgia when she left.

At the beginning of quarantine, Sperlbaum’s newly decorated room was her safe space. She was very passionate about it for the first time in awhile. She was motivated to keep it clean so she could actually enjoy her space. But as summer came along, she detached from her room as she spent more time outside — she quickly felt a disconnect from her space once again.

Sperlbaum is bored. She spent so much time in her room that she is already thinking about redoing it again. She even is thinking about moving down to the basement.

“I'm just sick of it,” Sperlbaum said. “I don't know, I am already wanting to switch it up again. If I move to the basement, I will be super passionate about it again and excited.”

Sperlbaum’s room is something that evolves and changes with her fluctuating rooms. There will always be things she is not satisfied with and wants to change, but it is still her safe spot. She will always have her pictures and memories to come back to in her room.

Photo Courtesy: Delaney Sperlbaum