Sisterly Advice: Move on and Leave the Couch

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.

Look at this angelic child. Doesn’t she look sweet and well behaved? (Oh hey, look at me with short hair. I guess I’ll look fine after all.)

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.

Do you see the malicious intent in those beady little eyes? She just wanted to love me to death. (Lauren’s gonna kill me if she sees I posted this awesome picture of her. Mwahahaha)

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.

Lauren’s response:

“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.

Meandering on,


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.


26 thoughts on “Sisterly Advice: Move on and Leave the Couch

  1. Jor:
    To be fair to your older sister, once she finally, really, ticked you off, you would strategically bite on her shin, clamp down hard and have to be pried off by two adults. There may be an analogy, somewhere, to needing to be pried and pulled away from that couch. (It is a great couch, though).
    P.S. I am turning my phone on silent so I don’t hear Lauren’s reaction to your posting of that photo of her.

  2. I agree so much with your sister and so happy you took her advice! My husband and I have decided to move from California to Colorado in March or April and we also had this kind of discussion. My mom and dad wanted me to try to take a leave of absence from work so I can have something to fall back on and my point of view on it and what I told my husband when he was about to start co-signing was that our whole purpose for going to Colorado was experiencing something new. So why would I put my job on hold like we’re planning on coming back in a year, then have to go back and forth with them about the Leave and submitting information and follow-up, etc etc. It really isn’t moving forward. We also have decided to sell everything we own that we don’t really need. The goal is to fit everything we have in our Scion tC and LEAVE!

      • It really is! Neither of us have ever lived in another state and my husband hasn’t ever been out of California either! The feeling is amazing! And it really makes you think like Hmm all these things we have but don’t NEED to live and survive. Our biggest thing that has been hard to come to an agreement to sell is the freakin tv. I’m thinking about letting my husband keep the PS3 becaue of all the memory and songs we have stored on it but other than that we’re selling everything: tupperware, cookware, home decorations, cabinets, drawers, clothes, shoes, etc. It’s sort of like you get this chance to start almost from scratch.. Start a WHOLE new chapter.. It’s liberating really!

  3. That’s a big decision to start fresh! Wow! I too remember anxiety at signing my first lease and then actually not breaking it and staying in one place for almost two years. But kudos to you for throwing off the tendency to stay comfortable and make big changes! It takes a lot of courage.

  4. I love it! (I have 4 sisters. We can be hard on one another can’t we!?)
    My youngest sister did the same thing for a move to Italy… she spent 3 months there over the summer. She’s back in the US for now but, she’ll be moving back to Bologna in December.
    Go Girl! Live your life! Experience it all without the weight of possessions tied around your neck. I’m also seeing you loving the next couch you acquire even more than this one!

  5. There’s an old song that was popular in Aus in 1962 called ‘I’ve been everywhere.’ I’ve been nowhere. I’m not a couch potato, but I am a stick in the mud. I do so admire people who push themselves out of that comfort zone.

    • Hm, that sounds familiar. Is that a Johnny Cash song? And it’s no big deal to be a stick in the mud if you’re content with it. I like playing in the mud myself at times.

      • Did I reply already? My computer had a glitch. Johnny Cash sang the song in 1992, but Lucky Starr, an Australian singer, sang it in 1962 naming Australian towns. It sure was a sellout here.

  6. Pingback: Hike at Sky Meadows State Park « My Meandering Trail

  7. Pingback: Again? I thought we’d moved on from this topic. « My Meandering Trail

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