Bed Frames and The Economy
Today I had very weird realization: I realized I wanted a bed frame.
To most of you, that’s not going to seem overly weird. It’s just a thing, a house thing. It might seem weird that I don’t have one already, but that’s probably as far as your thought process RE: the bed frame thing goes.
The reason it was weird is because I haven’t wanted one for a long time.
The last time I had a proper bed frame, I had been living in the same apartment for around 3 years, after having lived the requisite one year in residence and having lived with my parents for about 18 years before that.
The reason that was the last time I had a proper bed frame is, in part, because that is the last time my life was remotely stationary.
Since 2011, I have moved around 10 times. I might be missing a few moves, I’m not totally certain, but it’s for sure at least 10.
That is a little more than 2 moves a year, on average.
If you don’t live an on-the-road lifestyle, as I don’t, that much moving is crazy.
But I’M NOT CRAZY.
Ok, fine, I am.
BUT, that’s not why I’ve moved so much.
Sure, about half of those moves had to do with going abroad for my Masters and the fact that my residence had me move rooms between semesters because of pretty much no reason and then my residence ended before my thesis was due, so I went to live with my friend and her family (Who are all lovely people and I miss all of their delightful faces!) but that still leaves roughly 5 moves.
You know why I’ve moved so much since then?
I couldn’t afford not to.
When I first came back from studying in Ireland, I had little choice but to live with my folks. I spent (without regret as I got so much more from it) most of my life savings on travelling while I could. Having no job when I returned home, I lived with my parents and sought out work.
It was insanely difficult to find any kind of work. I was either told that I didn’t have the experience, was no longer eligible because I was out of school, or was over-educated.
I dropped off resumes as constantly, I applied online incessantly. It still took over a month before I got a job and even then, it was at an outsourced call center with a high turnover rate because it’s a call center and frankly, I couldn’t hack it there. Between the stress, the awful seating, and the eye strain, I started coming down with intense headaches within the first month and a half.
It was then almost three months before I got another job, this one, a contract gig that necessitated a move. So, I moved to a friend’s house (HI, MATT!) where I was allowed a room in the basement for super-cheap as I tried to get on my feet. When the contract ended, I got another, but once that one ended, there seemed to be no work again.
I’ll save you the details of the rest of it, but a pattern is pretty clear: Need work, find work, move to be closer to work.
With so much moving (which thanks to my parents, who shlepped me and my junk in their vehicle each time, cost me nothing) and so little income (most jobs I worked were minimum wage), owning things felt heavy. I had only what I needed and it wasn’t until I moved out on my own a year ago that I had anything more than my bedroom stuff (which was huge for me as it had been 3 years since I’d had my own apartment, really).
Things felt like a burden because somewhere in my mind, I was sure I was going to have to pick up and go again, either for financial reasons (unemployment, which happened but was enough to cover my rent) or because I’d need to move for a new job.
This past March, my Mum offered to buy me a bed frame at Ikea that is not particularly expensive, but that I really like.
I’d only been at my job for about a month and that little voice inside me was still saying “No, too soon.”
Today marks 6 months at my job.
I feel like I’ve been there forever.
I love it. I love my coworkers (HELLO, IF YOU’RE READING THIS), I love the work (most of the time) and I love how close to my apartment it is.
I also love my apartment.
I’ve been in this apartment for 4 months and I still don’t have it fully decorated. I have multiples sets of curtains that still have to go up, I have chairs to recover, I have stuff to get rid of (I’m sure).
But, today, I realized: I’m ready.
I’m not sure when the idea of a bed frame stopped feeling like an anchor, but it did. Now, it feels more like a safe port.
I’m really excited to make my apartment more of a home.
I look around and see various friends going through the same things that I did before I got to where I am now (though I don’t know that any of them have had the same trepidation about owning stuff as I did). It makes me wonder how our generation is going to shape the future economy.
I mean, at 26, few of my peers can afford to not-move. It’s rare for me to meet someone my age who owns their own home and even rarer for me to meet someone my age who’s out of debt.
What the hell kind of nonsense is that?
I’m so grateful to have finally clawed, fought, and lucked my way into a position where I can feel like my life has a bit of stability now.
Maybe I’m not crazy, maybe I’m just sane enough to realize how messed up our economy is that at 26, I’m utterly grateful to feel comfortable in buying a $200 bed frame.
Yes it has.
P.S. For those of you wondering what I use if I don’t have a bed frame, I have two shelves made of MDF board that I put plywood across and my mattress is on top of that. STOP JUDGING ME!