My sophomore year of college I moved into my first apartment and bought a bed from a girl in my sorority who was moving out in the same complex. It was just my mom and I on a really hot summers day, trying to move this small, but surprisingly heavy bed 8 floors down. It’s a white, Ikea twin bed with one of those Swedish names like Malm. Not much to write home about – I think I bought it for a grand total of 80 dollars, mattress, bed frame and comforter included. It was only meant to be a cheap, small bed for my first apartment with plans to upgrade to a full sized bed. After that year I was only staying one semester before going abroad, so I decided to keep the same bed and get rid of it after Hong Kong. I came back to the same bed (and same comforter) in yet another apartment. I kept telling myself that senior year would be the year I get a big girl bed, a big girl bed for the big girl job I would be getting, and a big girl life after college. But I didn’t know if I would be staying in D.C. or moving to New York or moving back abroad or moving home to L.A. Getting a new bed would be futile. So once again, I stalled. I kept this small, twin bed throughout my senior with a rock solid plan to finally, finally get a full bed after I graduate wherever that may be.
I stayed in D.C. after college and I got one of those big girl jobs, with a 401k and a work phone. But I still have this twin bed, the same white, Malm with two drawers on its last days.
College was always going to be temporary and I thought maybe I would be a good daughter and move back to California at the end of it all. Start my life there, where roots have already been planted. I feel guilty living out here. I know it comes from our culture – living away from home is not (always) a good thing. But how lucky am I that I do have a family that supports my life and the choices that have lead me here.
I can’t help but wonder if maybe not getting a new bed, and still using plastic drawers for some of my clothes, is just out of pure fear. I’m so young. I know nothing – and I miss the certainty of coming home.
Life in D.C. post-grad has not been easy. I naively assumed that this city would just be the same but I was wrong. And frankly, I don’t know how to reconcile with that.
Maybe, I can start by getting a new bed.