Beyond Walls

Selin Yelten

Look to your left and then your right. You are probably sitting in a room, surrounded by four walls, more or less. Secured, ordinary and banal. The walls are separating you from other rooms. This room might be in your house or in your workplace. You have your borders to let you focus on whatever you are doing. But why do we need this ? We are all hiding behind walls. We not only hide our actions from other people, but we also hide ourselves from others. 

From the beginning of life one of our main vital needs is shelter. The basic idea of shelter is to have protection from weather and other living creatures. So whether it is mud or brick, there are walls that serve as a protection mechanism. Over time, shelters started to get divided by walls for each individual. These separations are important for personal space. Once upon a time, it was for avoiding animals; nowadays, I believe that the main reason is to avoid people, including ourselves. We enter our rooms and do whatever we want. Room has a significant meaning in here. It symbolizes our own utopia or dystopia. It might be where our biggest nightmares happen or where we dream of the best and feel free.  Let’s think about it. You are at home: When your phone rings, what do you do? You go to your room. When you want to cry, what do you do? You go to your room. When you feel disturbed by other members in the house, what do you do? You go to your room. When you want to gossip about someone, what do you do? You, instinctively, go to your room, where you feel secluded. You feel like whatever happens inside those four walls will stay inside them. Gossip, sexual activities, emotions, secrets….

Each of us has many secrets. Even we might not know what we are hiding, because it could be deep down in our minds. Some of the secrets are highly secured, some of them are just trying to be kept away from those concerned. Walls are a great method to stash away unheard words that must stay unspoken. For example, there are so many walls in a government building. Why are their architectural structures  not simpler? They could have been simpler, but they must not be, because the data has to be protected and kept away from people. If those walls were not there, we could have access to the files and to people. They are hiding, they are refusing to face the people they have affected. They are avoiding seeing the damage they have done. Another example is what happens inside houses. Family secrets are buried in houses. Who would hear if you were living ten meters away from the next-door neighbour and you were shouting at, insulting or hitting an individual that you share your house with? Those walls are where most childhood traumas are trapped. Parents come home and have anger outbursts. Kids come home and pour out their school problems to their parents. But then the heartbreaking conversations and actions begin  behind four walls, and nobody’s soul hears from outside, the real world, where we act as if everything is alright, where we are the actual Hollywood stars.  Walls in houses have multifaceted functions. They create both a safe and independent reunion area and a war area where we reflect the darkest sides of our souls. So we can say walls are a concrete border between our minds, but when we start to integrate into each other’s lives, walls start to disappear and let us see into others’ darkness. “You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.” It is a quote that promotes my thoughts, and it pushes me to think further: that our walls are prisons that we create for ourselves and that there are some free-souled people out there who cannot stand staying confined inside of them. So, we call them thrillseekers instead of happy people, just because they refuse to obey our own boundaries; they realize that true happiness is outside, in nature, where there are still boundaries but luckily not made by humans.