you can find me chasing the sun rays as they disappear behind the mountain silhouettes. you can find me waiting patiently for the constellations to connect themselves across the midnight skies. I am constantly looking for the depths of my own soul along two lane roads and corn fields. my feet are playing in the sand at any given beach while my head is playing in the clouds 14,000 feet in the sky. I am sipping coffee from foreign lands, fulfilling my taste for adventure for a few short minutes. I retreat to familiar faces, embrace hugs, and appreciate home for what it is- a place to come back to. Home for me, has never been a place to stay but rather a place to refuel. I am craving to fly and not scared to swim. I want to experience the highest highs and the lowest lows and every roller coaster loop in between. I want to meet the kindest, the rudest, the most insecure and confident people in the world. I want to know what makes people smile and what word triggers a breakdown. I am searching for a sense of nostalgia amongst brand new cities and places. I am searching for my own emotions in letter combinations others have created. Being lost is not something that scares me but something I look forward to. Amongst the wanderers and the dreamers. Amongst the people who never want to stop striving for more. Being found is not the ultimate goal. But finding someone else, somewhere else, something else. thats the goal. I am lost, trying to find anything and everything but myself.
I recently read a book to a group of students titled: Lulu, the Big Little Chick by Paulette Bogan. This book was intentional in its storyline representing a safe place and a mother’s love but at the end of the story, I found myself redirecting children from this plot line. Here’s why: Lulu, the Big Little Chick was about a young chick who was ready to explore the world, wanting to go “far far away.” In other words, off the farm, away from what she has always known. She hit challenges along the way, had other animals tell her she was foolish continuing with her dream to explore. It was inspiring and motivated freedom, adventure, and fearlessness…but only for a minute. At the end of the story, the mother chicken rescued this little chick when she got scared and felt unsure of her decision to leave.
Now. I know the moral of the story was that mothers are always there to help and save the day when necessary. That a mother’s love is incomparable and irreplaceable- a fact that should not be under-appreciated or skimmed over. However, I wish the moral of the story had been that the little chick succeeded off of the farm. That the world had been challenging and scary but the little chick had the courage and persistence to succeed because of the tools she learned from her mother and from her home on the farm. I wish that despite the scary things that can happen and despite being alone in the world, this little chick knew she had a strong support system at home and was motivated to continue living and loving life with curiosity rather than reverting back to a safe zone.
I think it is vital that children, especially in early education, who are at such a moldable age and whose brains are more plastic than ever, are exposed to stories that promote self exploration, curiosity of the world, and discovery. We live in a time period in which boredom is quickly obliterated by handheld devices with bright screens and interactive noises. Haven’t ever seen the ocean? Google it. Don’t know how much sun eucalyptus is supposed to receive to grow successfully? Google it. We have lost the art of trial and error. Children are no longer experimenting with their skills, their knowledge, their “gut feelings.” Children are not being given the opportunities to learn for themselves when the world is literally at their fingertips.
Books are an educators’ and a parents’ first line of defense. They are one of the few things we can offer children that can create and maintain a child’s interest in the world. Safe places and support systems are an important to have no matter how old you are. But children need to be left to their own devices (and I don’t mean handheld- I mean their innate, intrinsic motivation) to see the world, experience heart break, failure, love, fear, success, personalities, good and evil. We must not be afraid to let our children fail. We must give our children “our blessing” to experience the world and find their spot in it. Away from these safe spaces, away from these support systems, away from the unknown- with the opportunity to turn home, rather than an inevitable rescue.
And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure the storm is really over. But one thing is certain, when you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person you were when you walked into it. Thats what this storm is all about.
I flaunt a shallow mind because the depths of my soul have been humiliated. I’m sarcastic because no one takes me seriously or vice versa. I scream “I’m strong” because I feel broken. I crave quiet nights in more than hectic nights out simply because I feel alone either away.
This world is crammed with colorblind sheep, with people all working toward a similar goal and yet clawing at each other to get there first. I play my part but dread every second. I find myself defending why I see color more than relating to individuals who want a change.
I see the ugly, I feel it in my bones. and yet all of you refuse to acknowledge it. you throw blame and fault at individuals pleading for help, who see a darker shade of gray. you abide by all of the rules and expect others to do the same despite the difference in resources and accessibility.
I wake up everyday embarrassed of the nation and the world in which we live, scared of the people I surround myself with. and yet, I abide by the rules. I play the game. I baa right back.
I’m frightened, I’m bored, I’m searching for a way to thrive in this fleece flavored world. I play a little differently, with a little bit more sass and spice. my relationship with this world and the people in it is that of a toxic affair. some days it are my weaknesses that do not live up to the needs of others and sometimes it is the way of the world that puts me at my lowest point. we give and take, we try to change one another. I am left to fight my way through this world- through the fear, through the boredom. just another sheep but with access to the colors of the world- access to a different visual, a different dream.
and yet somehow, despite everything you have ever put me through, despite the way my stomach drops when I see you and the anxiety I feel when I hear your name I want to know what makes you tick. I want to know at what point in our relationship did your heart change courses from strong and passionate to weak and cowardly. I want to know who you are now and if those horrifying things that made me run away are still applicable to your life. are you hurting all these other girls the same way you hurt me or did you learn your lesson? did seeing my pain influence the way you treat people or do you write it off as a weakness of mine? do you watch that sex video over and over again and recognize the vulnerability in my love for you? or do you still use it as a source of power for yourself to get you off every night? when that police officer called you and told you that you were about to be charged for stalking and harassment, what made you want to come to my front door an hour later? when your roommates told you that an officer came to your door to hand you a restraining order, what went through your mind? did it ever cross your mind that I was horrified to come home and see you standing at my door? That I avoided certain places for months to avoid you. I stopped coming home without Jake being there. My life flipped upside down that Saturday morning that you couldn’t sleep and texted me instead. has that ever crossed your mind? or am I just another person on your hit list? despite it all, I have so many questions to ask you and if I ever get the chance aka the courage, I might just go for it.
I reread your emails almost daily. the way you nonchalantly consider a friendship, the way you claimed to have forgiven me for my sins and expect a free pass for yours. I analyze the way the first line is filled with rage, hate, and anger but the second line is full of love and compassion. representative of so many times when the words were spoken instead of written. the way you expressed so much anger and hate toward my lifestyle, my friends, my passions but then showed me so much love and care and grace. its almost like I reread them out of nostalgia. like I’m seeking comfort in what I already know and have experienced before. as if there is some kind of home in knowing how the story ends so I keep replaying it no matter how ugly the contents are.