found art and my old worn couch

I got married and moved to tiny apartment sight unseen in Arlington. Actually I was out of town at a shower so my husband did all of my actual moving without me.
Did I mention I didn’t know a soul in Arlington. I did have a few distant friends in the metroplex but quickly learned that the metroplex is a really big place and I better hurry up a make a few in my own zipcode.
And I thought it would be easy enough. Just like at summer camp or in college. But months passed. I joined a church, I started a new job (and a bad one at that) and still no real friends.
Did I mention that my husband also traveled. A lot.
I spent a good part of this year alone in that tiny apartment lonely and sad.
I mourned the loss of friends. I fought on the phone with my husband in some distant state. I wandered through Barnes and Nobles several times a week and saw almost any movie that came out. By myself. If Shaun was gone for a longer stretch, it would be weeks where no one touched me. Something I never noticed, but when 10 days would pass and not a single person hugged me or touched my hand I felt like part of me was growing cold. I longed for intimate friendships. I longed for my husband. I tried to make the best of it……..but mostly I just sat on the couch. I really started to hate that couch. It was my old tattered stained one from college propped up by a phone book.
I remember thinking that getting a new couch would make me feel better. And I waited for the furniture man to deliver my new happy flowery couch that was going to make me a whole new girl. One who wasn’t so sad and alone.
And briefly it worked. But when Shaun hit the road again a week later, I was the same lonely girl sitting just sitting on a new couch.
I do not remember this time with fondness.
But I did leave and cleave.
It wasn’t my family that needed leaving so much as it was the life I had built in college. The girl there was always jetting off to some event or to eat with a friend or out with her cute boyfriend.
This girl had to figure out who she was alone on the couch. Her ratty old one and her pretty new floral one. And even now on my toddler stained Ikea sectional.
And eventually that girl figured out how to be a wife.
And a better friend.
And ok with herself.

Yesterday, I finished reading Found Art by Leeana Tankersly and it took me back to that couch. The ugly stained one. And made me realize that I learned some pretty important lessons there. My couch doesn’t quite compare with her journey. She married and zoomed off to the Middle East with her Navy Seal husband and learned how to be quiet and how to be brave and alone and how to be a wife. She weaves her tales so colorfully that you can smell the spices and taste the sweet tea. She mostly talks about the transitions there and back and that is where I think the story really often lies. Mine and hers and yours. In transittion. I loved this book and am starting to think a little more fondly of my old couch.

Win my copy (which I was generously provided by the publisher in return for my reivew) by leaving a comment below ( I'll draw a number next Sunday for the winner). Or buy your own copy.
Read more about Leeanna here ( and trust me her story is way cooler than my lame couch). Or you can learn more about the book from other bloggers on the tour here.


mommaof3 said...

Sounds interesting!!

I just LOVE the way you write. Makes me want to meet again at Barnes and Noble :)

Have a good week-

Corinne said...

I can relate to so much of your post. I'm still in that transition.
And would love to read that book :)

samskat said...

I can relate too...the past year has been one of trying to learn to be a better wife, mother, and friend in an alien place...still no friends in Tulsa, but I'm connected better with other friends than I have been in years! :)

michelle said...

my random # generator ( aka Owen) picked #2.

leeana said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review Found Art, Michelle. I love your story about the couch. How much we long for things to change in the moment, but how much there is for us in that moment. I am still trying to learn that lesson for myself today. Thank you for finding your story in mine and for the insightful reminders around being present in our lives.