The Life Couch
I can safely say that while I appreciate many inanimate objects in my home, I don’t generally associate a lot of meaning to them. My lamp is awesome, but it doesn’t exactly speak to me. My dinosaur tooth fossil, on the other hand, does, but that was once a living thing, so I’m not sure that counts. My couch, however, seems to have a very strong voice and it’s played more than a small a part in teaching some large life lessons.
I should mention that my couch is already famous. I inherited the couch from my sister-in-law, who wrote about the couch in her memoir. It represented many things that had been wrong in her life at the time, and in overcoming some things (and ditching the couch), she had eventually righted them. You see my brother chose the couch and she hated it, but she didn’t speak up about it for a long time and then, of course, grew to resent the whole setup, as people tend to do when they’re repressing their feelings.
I of course, did not know anything about the swirling symbolism of the couch when they gifted it to me, but rather learned about its history while I was reading her book, sitting on the couch. I like the couch, and yet my goodness. What a moment to take in. My life circumstances at the time did not warrant my own expenditures on a new leather couch, Ikea or not. So I was thrilled to get it. And then mildly shocked that something that was so super awesome to me was such a point of contention to someone else. One man’s trash? It’s a really nice couch! Anyway, that’s not even where my life couch lesson came into play, at least not in it’s most interesting form.
That came later when I couldn’t figure out how to reorganize my living space into a more functional workspace without getting rid of the couch. I work from home, which means my desk setup needs to be amazing for me to be productive, and it wasn’t. But I just could not think of a single way to work things out without selling the couch and downsizing to a loveseat so that I could make more space for my desk to face the window.
To say that I went through an experience of deep processing in giving up the couch is an understatement. I cried for hours. The thing is, my life circumstances at the time still did not warrant my own expenditures on a new leather couch, Ikea or otherwise. (Those babies can get pretty pricey.) Giving up the couch felt unreasonably terrifying because it was a “real life” item. The couch makes a living room and I was an adult who needed a living room.
I worried on some odd level th