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Let’s Vacation July 23, 2011

Posted by sarahsfate in My Own Personal Trials, PostADay2011, Thoughts on People, Writing.
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I had forgotten how saltwater effects my ears but, for the first time in years, the hearing in my left ear has returned. And so as my children squabble over the television channel, space on the hotel bed, and the hot tub, I can hear every octave of their shrieks and even their mutterings.

It’s currently almost ten o’clock at night and the children are finishing a long day with a dip in the hotel’s indoor pool. Well, two of them are anyway, my fourteen-year old daughter, having espied a good-looking boy with a mohawk in the hot tub, has decided she’d like to swim after all and has gone back to our room to change. After a short period of time she returned clad in her yellow bikini with her hair nicely combed.

My ex and I then began a conversation about the dating ritual and concerns of youngsters. My ex, Ben, referred to the kids (teenagers and all) as “carefree”, to which I replied  “who, in that room, is carefree?” My argument being that a 14-year old girl is extremely sensitive to her expression, hair, laughter, outfit, swimming technique — every nuance of behavior matters. That’s not carefree — that’s all care.

And then Ben says how silly that is because guys that age don’t particularly care about any of that. She’s cute and that’s the be-all, end-all. He says the majority of men, as well, are this way. Good to know, I say.

It was nice, though, that we were all completely unconcerned with all nuances of behavior (other than behaving in a socially acceptable manner, that is) at the beach today. I didn’t even notice other women being particularly concerned with their persons. What I noticed, instead, were the families building poorly constructed sandcastles, flying kites shaped as hawks, and wading deep into the intense waves slamming to shore. The temperatures remained in the nineties, a lovely change from the over-100-degrees for three weeks weather back home, and the breeze remained constant.

My son, upon his first experience with the ocean, deemed it acceptable entertainment in his 6-year old mind with the exception of all that pesky salt in the water and, therefore, perhaps the hotel pool was better. Kids. My 11-year old daughter has outdone herself in remaining positive and atop our non-schedule. Directly after dinner tonight she, my son, and Ben went outside to be free of the arctic air conditioning system of the hole-in-the-wall we found, and my 14-year old and I sat inside, eating ice cream and discussing the benefits of moving to the coast.

We decided it was difficult to judge the benefits because it’s easy to enjoy a vacation spot when you don’t have to work or go to school because then there’s no stress or responsibility really. But if we moved to the coast, the stress and responsibility would simply follow us to the coast and then…would we still enjoy the coast better than home? It was too difficult to decide so we simply finished our ice cream, pondered the intensity of the waves some more, and then stepped out into the ocean air.

Letting Go June 11, 2011

Posted by sarahsfate in My Own Personal Trials, PostADay2011.
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Verb 1: let go of – release, as from one’s grip

Until today I don’t think I ever really understood the significance of letting go. I hear people say ‘let it go’ all the time when something is upsetting or annoying. Topically speaking, it just means ‘don’t worry about it’. Or when something bothers me I say I’m just going to let it go. Again, so as not to worry and stress over it. But this almost always means that whatever that something is, it is small. Insignificant.

Letting go, is entirely different.

Today I wandered around my house thinking about the past. The past equals all things that have effected me up to this point in my life. 32-years worth of little somethings that create a larger whole picture of Sarah. Some of those little things I no longer remember and it doesn’t mean that those things were bad things or boring things…they’ve just faded away. Some of those little things are happy memories I cherish all the time…things that have followed me through the many days, weeks, months, and years of my time here in this life.

Other things, though, are bad things. Sad things. Angering things. And today I thought about the sad things. One thing, in particular. I had this person in my life for years who I built so many dreams around and he was (in my mind) someone very special. Special to me. Special in this world. Just special. And I kept trying to find a way to fit him into my life even though no matter what I tried, I failed. And I’m not a quitter so I kept trying. For years. I simply could not let go of that dream. It’s like growing up with the plan to go to Harvard, or Julliard, or to be an actress or quarterback. It’s a dream for your future that you work towards in a lifelong commitment of smaller plans that lead up to the great plan.

But I’m the quarterback who sustained a life-altering knee injury in the game. And just like that, the dream died. Stubborn and unready to give up on the dream, I worked out and stretched the injury, slapped band-aids on it, fought back the tears. But eventually I came to realize the dream was over.

And still I fought against it. I’ve lived in my own mind now for a long time, sequestering myself and my future in and around this dream. Until today. Today I realized that no matter how much I still want that dream and no matter how much I think those band-aids might eventually turn into wound-altering sutures, I have to let it go. The idea of taking something I love with my whole soul, tying it to an invisible balloon and letting it float away on the breeze, is terrifying. Heartbreaking.

That’s how I know letting go of something is significantly different from letting something go.

Resistance is Futile? June 3, 2011

Posted by sarahsfate in My Own Personal Trials, PostADay2011, Thoughts on People.
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Tonight I attended my oldest nephew's high school graduation commencement. While I was too pregnant to attend my own high school graduation, today I sat in a coliseum chair beside hundreds of spectators and was instantly transported to the year I was eighteen years old. You think, at eighteen, that you have seen so much of life. I believe, no matter what people say, the first eighteen years of your life drag by at such a pace one will never experience a second time. Every moment of school, the friends made, the friends lost, the experience with bullies, the inspirational teachers, the parent drama...is so fresh in mind and so important. At eighteen, I felt my entire life had been one long struggle. Graduating high school and becoming an adult was akin to having an ankle chain unlocked...I was free. Free to do whatever I wanted, be whoever I wanted, go...wherever I wanted. It was my second cleaned slate. The theories, or hopes, I had at eighteen were much like the ones I heard in the coliseum tonight. Big career, special life, impacting the world...all things that were possible upon my eighteenth birthday. Man, the things I would do. And as I sat in that chair watching the hundred plus seniors walk across the stage, grinning at each other, so proud of their achievements thus far and full of dreams and hopes for the future, I tried to remain optimistic. It was strange how easily that feeling returned to me. That bubble of excitement in my chest, the butterflies of the unknown in my stomach, the sensation that this great big world I live in just became a little more available to me. I tried not to think about the dreams those kids have and how they'll shatter one day to be rebuilt into another dream that will also be shattered, only to be rebuilt, etc. Nothing ever turns out how you think it will turn out. At eighteen you think you know a thing or two about life -- it's why they really don't listen to anyone when someone tries to offer caution, which is why I keep my thoughts to myself. I also remain silent because I don't want to steal that feeling from anyone. Not ever. That feeling of overwhelming possibility will dissipate soon enough on its own and need not be hampered by any well-intentioned remarks from me.One of the valedictorians said her message to her fellow classmates was simple. Be. Just be. Be something, someone to anyone. It need not change the face of the world, impact society, or be some impossible feat. Just be. Most of what she said afterwards flew over my head because I stared unseeingly into the mass of spectators around me wondering when it was that I became so caught up in the day-to-day mundane existence of a whole while forgetting to be me. An individual. When I stopped dreaming. When I stopped attempting to be whoever I wanted, do whatever I wanted, go wherever I wanted. When did I lose sight of the eighteen-year old me? Somewhere along the road since high school graduation I forgot that I meant to do something. I didn't even remember enough to be aware that I forgot.

I know there are innumerable ways to merge knowledge from Star Trek with real life…but here is one more way. The Borg, whom no one envies, are a collective hive of workers geared towards one common goal, moving in tandem at some unspoken command, without question, without dreams, without individuality. And sometime in the last 14 years I became one of the hive. I know there are circumstances and explanation aplenty about how and when I came to be where I am today but I hope, having remembered for just the smallest of moments who I used to be, that there is still a chance for me. I hope it is not too late to rediscover the old me. To discover those dreams and hopes. To live this free adult life the way I imagined I would, once upon a time.

More than that, I hope the Borg are wrong about resistance.