I love metaphors. I use metaphors in my writing. I teach with metaphors in counseling. I express myself with metaphors in my art. I love finding metaphors in books, movies, and everyday conversation with others. I will go to great lengths to develop a metaphor and exploit it for my own personal use.
As a counselor and writer, I am often conscious of the subtext metaphor provides. Yet sometimes, metaphors sneak up on me. An example is the furniture I've gotten in the last few years. When I got my Master's Degree, I bought myself an entertainment center. At first, I thought this was simply because I had simultaneously moved in to a somewhat smaller home and I needed to consolidate my CD, electronics, etc.
Enter my most recent purchase. The couple of years since I've graduated have been even harder than the ones I spent working and going to school full time. My parents had been encouraging me to get rid of my old recycled sofa. So when I went with my parents to help them pick a new dining set & sat in a nearby recliner, I was, well, sold.
I had no conscious thought of my need for entertainment when I bought my entertainment center. Nor did I buy two new recliners specifically because I need to relax. No, these hidden layers of meaning were there all along. I just needed to look for them.