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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.

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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.

The Momentum of MY Life May 14, 2011

Posted by sarahsfate in My Own Personal Trials, PostADay2011, Thoughts on People.
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pur·pose  (pûrps)    n.    1. The object toward which one strives or for which something exists; an aim or a goal.

I imagine, as different as we all are, that every one of nearly seven billion beings frequently considers their purpose here on Earth. In this life. The object toward which one strives or for which something exists. Why do I exist? Sure, my parents met each other, fell in love, and wahlah–Sarah was born. But why do I exist? What is my purpose here? Do I have one? I think many people are terrified to find they have no purpose at all and are simply here. For no reason at all…as though by chance or accident. It is my opinion that these people are easy to scope out…they’re the ones who have no real motivation in life, have no goal towards which they are striving. No purpose.

 

I understand that some people believe that life is just meant to be lived. Life is a terribly cruel chance of fate that is nothing more than hardship, pain, existence, and ultimately followed by death. I also understand that some people believe their existence is so purposeful that to fail in any one endeavor is the be all end all of all things. They say the flutter of a butterfly’s wings can effect a tsunami on the other side of the world. Can one person truly alter the course of the world? I believe the answer is no. You may have one person as the face of the movement but there are hundreds of other faces, hidden faces, supporting the one.

 

But my course is not to change the face of the world…no it is not my purpose, not my goal, not even a dream of mine, and not because I fail to see the possibilities but because I know that is not why I am here. But I do not know what my real purpose is. Will I accomplish anything at all or will I spend my life spinning wheels and then simply die? Become dust in the ground, remembered by a few, forgotten by many. One hundred years from now, no one will know my name. Or…they’ll know my name but they’ll not know the person behind the name. 

 

Sometimes I feel that wheel a-spinning. I clean my house, wash clothes, complete homework, make social niceties…and for what? What is the purpose of any of that other than to fill my hours? Fill my calendar? Complete a degree to get a better job so that I can spend every day completing the same tasks? I will not save lives in my chosen career, nor will I teach children to become our future, and I certainly won’t save the planet from the eventual explosion of our orbiting sun. I won’t invent time travel or space travel or the Jetson’s cars. Being an accountant certainly doesn’t own to greatness. 

 

So, one day (maybe one day soon) I’ll lay in my death bed and think…what? That I accomplished something? Did I use my time here wisely? Would it matter if I spent my time wisely or squandered it away? In a way, I think this is what people fear about death. Not the dying, not the leaving the family behind, but that we didn’t do everything we meant to. But if we don’t know what we’re meant to do, how do we ever accomplish it?