Yesterday I wrote a heartfelt goodbye to my beloved couch. And many of you validated how I could be so sad to say goodbye. I got it on Craigslist about four years ago, and my life’s never been the same. OK, not really, but it is an awesome sectional.
First and foremost, it’s huge. Two people can lay down completely on it watching T.V. and not have to squish. I’m pretty sure the record number of people on it has been about ten and only because I haven’t had more people in the apartment at one time. Second, it’s the comfiest couch I’ve ever owned. The fabric is microfiber, and the cushioning is similar to memory foam but firmer. Last but certainly not least, the ottoman opens to a huge storage bin for movies, CDs, etc.
So, as fun as it was to write A Letter to my Couch, it really has been a difficult decision to leave it behind and sell it to April. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Other furniture that needs to find a new home includes my bed, dressers, shelves, wardrobe, dining table, TV stand, and various chairs. Not to mention the fact that I’m leaving behind my apartment – my home for the last five years. I don’t know when it happened, but I’ve grown roots here.
I remember the first anniversary in the apartment and signing the lease for a second year. I had so much anxiety over it! I hadn’t lived anywhere for more than one year since I was in my parents’ house seven years earlier. Not only had I hopped from place to place in college, but I also spent a couple of years bouncing around the (U.S.) west coast and the deep south, not to mention several months in Singapore and around southeast Asia.
And now here I am wringing my hands over the idea of packing up and moving. But, like most choices, once I’ve decided, I stand firm.
And let me tell you, I was leaning heavily in the other direction. So how did I conclude to sell all my clunky shtuff before I head into the woods? Well, it all started when I went to visit my older sister Lauren in Florida a couple of weeks ago.
If I’m going to do justice to this story, I have to give you some background on my sis. She’s a year and a half older than I, but I’m the one that’s always taken on the typical “older sister” role. You know what I mean, right? Responsible, rule follower, built-in mentor (and babysitter) for our younger sisters. Lauren, on the other hand, was always the wild child, not to mention a terror as an older sister. You think it’s a coincidence that I’m excited about hiking the A.T….the potential discomfort of blisters, sore muscles, bug bites, bitter cold, sweltering heat? All that’s nothing next to the torture I endured at her hands as a child.
One of Lauren’s favorite games as a kid was Taxicab, which consisted of her jumping on my back while I was laying on the couch and demanding that I “GO!” (I got really good at holding my breath for lack of oxygen, so I guess I should be grateful.) She was also a huge fan of jiggling my bedroom door handle until it unlocked at 12:01AM on March 12 every year just to bounce on my head (hard) and wish me a happy birthday. Some of you might say she loved me so much it hurt…yeah, it hurt. A lot. It’s a wonder I don’t still have a scar in the shape of teeth marks on my arm from where she bit me, and that was just last month (kidding).
Lauren and I have both come a long way and truly love each other, but you get the gist of how our relationship developed. I still have the reputation of being the responsible one. Even now, it’s more likely that she’ll come to me for advice than the other way around. So I wasn’t really expecting much from chatting with her about my trek.
Fast forward (or rewind?) to my Florida visit. Lauren was asking me about some of my plans, and I mentioned that April and I had been talking about maybe subletting my room for six months, which could give me a solid fall back plan and be better than putting my furniture in storage.
“Jor, I thought that the whole point of this trip was to take a leap forward. You’re not completely satisfied with where you are in your life, and your apartment and furniture is all part of that. As nice as it is of April to consider subletting and holding onto some of the furniture, it’s going to tie you to that apartment and to D.C. and will be on your mind (as a deadline or obligation) while you’re hiking. Even if you decide while on the trail to take a different direction, the furniture is going to be a burden that you’d have to deal with when you get back.
As much as you love your couch (and it is awesome), you should get rid of it. Besides, even if you do move back to the D.C. area, you can get new furniture (Craigslist?), which could be a lot of fun. And if you don’t, you’d have to pay to have the furniture moved, which would defeat the point of holding onto it in the first place.”
Whoooooa, my jaw dropped to the floor. I mean I seriously stopped dead in my tracks. I literally opened my mouth to speak, then closed my mouth, then opened it once more. And still no words came out. I couldn’t believe that my sister had made a valid point. Don’t get me wrong: Lauren is intelligent and reasonable, but she and I usually see the world completely differently. So I chewed on it for a while and then decided that she was right.
Come February I’ll start packing boxes and selling my furniture on Craigslist, and come March I’ll head down to Springer Mountain. And when I get there, all I’ll have to worry about is the pack on my back. What a huge weight off my shoulders that will be.
P.S. – For the record, after that picture was taken (i.e. the “awkward years”), Lauren got hot and sexy. Now she has two wonderful children and is a fantastic mother (and still hot). And let’s not forget the get the master’s degree and career.