The Shoebox app, or more famously the Timehop app, gives you a glimpse of your past by showing you your photos and updates from the exact day in history. Today, when I opened the app, it showed me a photo of my place I took 4 years ago that seemed very not interesting - a bulky TV hardly anyone uses anymore, a green plant probably should have stayed outside, a few extra Snoopy stuffed toy than a 30 year old man should have - but I remember vividly the emotions when I took this particular photo as I had just brought home one of the single most important purchase of my adult life - my sofa bed.
After the break up with Scott, I moved to this tiny place above a garage, which I am still currently living in. Beginning my new single life, all I had was a TV that Scott didn't want, a few pots, pans and a cutting board Bill and Todd gave me so I can cook, my personal belongings, and an air mattress Chris lent me. The air mattress was not very comfortable, each night, before I went to bed, I had to inflate it again as it will slowly leak through the night. I tried to repair it many times. I learned to brush soap water on the mattress so I can see where the holes were and used duct tapes over it. I even brought it to work one time to use industrial glue to seal the holes. I told myself that it would do for now, it was meant to be a temporary solution anyway.
It was not until July 17, 2011, 254 days after I started living on my own, when I finally had the courage to go to Ikea to get a "proper" bed.
Thinking back, I never quite understand what took me so long to make the step. I think part of it was the living condition fitted with my mental state during that time - I was lost, messed up, and unhappy - the mattress was unreliable, uncomfortable, and deflating. In my head, as long as I was sleeping on this temporary air mattress, my unhappiness was really just a temporary thing. It was a form of denial.
I remember the day when I decided to go to Ikea was a big day for me. I have been measuring my living space for months by then, and I flipped through the Ikea catalogue countless times. I knew exactly which sofa bed I wanted because there really was only one that fitted the dimensions of my space. Getting this bed meant I was ready for the next step of my life. I was both nervous and excited.
I went to Ikea Coquitlam, one of the largest Ikea in Canada. I looked through the showroom, checked out the sofa bed on the show floor, copied down all the numbers I needed for the bed and prepared to walk down to the warehouse side to pickup the components. When I finally got to the stairway, I froze. "What if they don't have the bed I want?" I asked myself, "what if I have to go home empty handed?" I was too afraid of another disappointment in life. The thought of going home without a bed, at that moment, was more intimidating than waking up on a laminated floor with a sore back from a slow-leak mattress everyday. I cannot do it.
As I was having an anxiety attack, I texted Marv. "He had been through as much emotional roller coasters as I did, he will understand." I said to myself. Marv ensured me it was going to be okay. Why wouldn't it be? After all, it's Ikea, they have a giant warehouse, they have everything. So I nervously made my way to the aisles where the sofa bed components were going to be. To my horror, they didn't have what I written down. I couldn't find the frame, the mattress nor the bed covers. Feeling defeated, I walked over to a clerk and asked if the Richmond location will have the bed. He searched on his computer and found that only the bed frame was available there but the mattress part was on back order.
I was angry. It took me 7 months to get to the point when I finally had the courage to get this sofa bed. "It's not even a real bed! Just a sofa bed. This was a horrible idea." I angrily texted Marv. This one thing that was suppose to make me feel better about myself, but they don't have it. "I should just go home and do this when I am ready again," I texted as I was walking back to my car feeling I just wanted to go lay down on my air mattress. Marv then asked me to go to the Richmond store anyway, despite it's 45 minutes away. "Go get the bed frame first," he texted, "you can put your air mattress on it and at least you will have something tonight." I resisted the idea. I didn't want half a bed, I want everything to come together and be perfect. "Do it for me, if you can't do it for yourself." He then said. So, despite I felt this was a waste of time, I went to Richmond.
When I got to the Richmond Ikea, I didn't waste time and walked straight into the warehouse section and found a clerk. I told him the item numbers I was looking for as well as the other store had already told me I have to come back from the mattress in a week. He checked on his computer as I prepared myself for another disappointment. "I found it, and looks like we have the mattress as well." He said. "It's not possible, they said the mattresses are sold out." I questioned. "Sometimes the stock comes in and we don't have time to enter everything into the system." He smiled as he printed me a pick list. I quickly ran to the cashier while texting Marv, "they have it! They have the mattress and the frame!" I drove my Jeep to the pickup warehouse and a nice gentlemen helped me loaded 4 giant boxes, and my new mattress, into my car.
I didn't want anyone to help me with assembling this sofa bed. "This is going to be my thing" I told himself. So I carried these giant boxes up the stairs one by one. I used every ounce of energy I had to make my way up to the top of the stairs without falling down. Despite it was a workout, I had a smile on my face the whole time. I then spent the next 2 hours reading the instructions and carefully putting all the pieces together. Minute by minute, the pieces started to look more and more like a bed. When I finally finish putting the navy blue cover onto the mattress, I stood at the end of the bed, took the photo that is on top of this page, and started clapping.
Four years later, I look at this photo again, I still remember how silly I felt as I was cheering myself over this small accomplishment, but I didn't care. At that moment, all I knew was that I finally have a bed. I finally took my first step to make my life better for myself.
Happy anniversary, sofa bed, thanks for putting a stop to my leaky life.
#45/365 – Sofa Bed