Growing up, I always found it strange that C.S. Lewis chose a wardrobe to be the portal where Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy magically discovered Narnia. A wardrobe is such an ordinary household object, but he chose it to be something that transported them to a different world, where they found friendships, learned how to love, endured hardships, and became royalty.
When I look at the wardrobe in my bedroom, I see a huge chunk of wood with two doors that hides my jackets and t-shirts, and two drawers underneath that hide all of my other clothing, with stickers that my hosts’ son has plastered all over the side when the chest used to belong to him. When I’m busy, the contents of it dwindles down to just hangers and random dresses I can’t find everyday use for. With that, that also means that when I finally am able to relax for a bit, hide in my room and “introvert”, the space in the closet becomes a bit tighter with all of the contents I’m storing in.
Though I’m pretty organised, I realise that I have a tendency to let things build up. This could be dirty laundry that I’ve been too lazy to wash, negative “logic” that makes me way too self-critical, or simply the tiny little sins that I do on a daily basis that I try not to let others see. Sometimes they don’t all fit in the wooden cupboard, but I’m stubborn, so I struggle and I push and I make sure that I can close the drawers.
In The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, when Lucy discovers the hidden world of Narnia, she leaves the door to the wardrobe open, because “she knew that it is very foolish to shut oneself into any wardrobe.” Edmund, in contrast, “jumped in and shut the door, forgetting what a very foolish thing this is to do.” I am Edmund. I always shut the door. Because if I don’t and somebody walks in, then they can see my mess, they can see my flaws, they can see me. They can see my Narnia. I mean, it’s kind-of nice to have a whole world as your own. You can be yourself, and nobody can tell you what to do. It’s your world.
But the difference is… Edmund forgot to close the door… I purposely close mine.
My wardrobe obviously doesn’t literally contain a whole world with snow, monarchy and Mr. Tumnus, but it does contain my feelings, my thoughts, my heart, and other things that I hold dear and have trouble letting go, even if I can’t find a true purpose for it. What if somebody looks in my closet and sees that now-way-too-small t-shirt I’ve kept for the past seven years? What if somebody sees the hoodie that I haven’t been willing to throw out, because of the sentimental feeling it gives me, even if it’s for somebody I should not care for or be fond of anymore? What if somebody sees all of my leggings with all of my the holes in the knees and realise that the things I obtain can’t be maintain in perfect condition, or worse, that I’m not perfect?
Reading the series, it’s easy to say that Edmund messed up. With the door closing behind him, he followed a different light. A light that led him to the witch. A light that led him to betraying those around him for Turkish Delights. A light that led him to a world with an outcome that ended up pushing him away from who he needed to be. And Lucy. Wow, Lucy. She knew. She knew it was foolish to shut oneself in not just that wardrobe, but in any wardrobe. She knew that if she wanted to not trap herself in her world and to let others in, she needed to keep it open.
And that’s what I’m aiming to do.
In attempts to be a tiny bit less guarded, to be okay with crying more, to [hopefully] be less idiotic, and to be more approachable to other human beings, I’m going to not shut the doors to my wardrobe.
The doors are staying open.