In the past four years, I’ve slept intermittently on a twin sized mattress that belongs to my best friend. Sometimes consecutively for a years lease and sometimes just for the night. I’ve shared it with others, I’ve cried into it, I’ve had conversations that sung the moon to sleep and shook the sun awake on top of its thread and springs. Sheeted or not, it has provided a sturdy surface for me to lay on when I needed rest. Tonight, as I squint into my computer screens endlessness in search of excuses not to live my actual life, I have realized that it is entirely too small for me. As I stretch my legs and crane my neck to their furthest extent, my ankles lay tired over the edge and my head smashes the pillow into the wall above me.
I pay close attention to my height and weight fairly, noticing minimal gains. My routines of sleep are fetal- usually on my back with my heads crossed on my chest and knees bent beneath me, or on my side, curled up. I realize now, that not once have I laid flat to gain this perspective. I can’t sleep on a surface that cannot contain me. This mattress is too small.
I wonder if the same is true about other things in our lives. Not just our mattresses and our shoes and shirts, but our houses. Our cities. Our friendships. I wonder if I have spent such a long time being curled up and comfortable, with my knees tucked beneath me and my head rested close, that I haven’t stretched myself to my greatest height to see that I, as I suspected all along, do not fit.