Thursday, December 15, 2011

The "duh" Moment that Helped a Quarter Life Crisis

“One thought can fill a lifetime.” 
– Unknown, but said repeatedly by Sara Waters, one of my Texas Tech art professors

[Which might be... "it's ok to not know what your doing"]

There is this video of me at my seventh birthday party where neighborhood kids are running around our table; I’m tearing through gifts and my short brown hair is swishing across my shoulders with a vengeance.  I pull out a figurine that’s holding a porcelain cake and I diligently count the candles to find that … why yes!  It’s amazing!  The figurine my Grandmom gave me has seven candles one it!  Just like my real cake!  How crazy is that?!  My blue eyes light up, I shove the figurine too close to the video camera and say with a lisp through my one and only baby front tooth,
         “Look, Mom!  It has seven candles on it!”.  It’s the complete amazement and delight at this discovery and my one and only tooth jutting out and hindering my speech that makes the whole thing hilarious and yet so embarrassing I want to bury my head in a pillow when I watch it.  So when I think of myself as I child, I see myself as I was in the video.  Full of wonder and delight and unaware of my total lack of cool.

When I was seven I used to think of my older self as a completely different person.  The whole “when I grow up” mantra was a phrase used to describe someone I didn’t know, but whom I assumed I would one day be.  This may seem like common sense to the rest of the world but the realization that I am the exact same person today as I was when I was seven, is something I didn’t begin to suspect until high school, nor did the idea solidify until college.  Like a light turning on, the reality that who I am right now is who I’ll be when I’m eighty dawned on me.  And I don’t mean in a loose generic way.  (Like, “Be true to yourself!” or “No one else can be you but you!”… blah, blah, blah it’s like “yeah, sure, that’s a great sentiment but who am I exactly?”)  No, I mean as in: when I’m eighty I’ll probably still be thinking that “so and so” is the most annoying person I ever knew or that coconut flavored candy is disgusting.  I’ll find the same sort of things funny, and I’ll probably still be awful at making small talk and a little bit shy.  It’s shocking actually, to think that the same thoughts and feelings I have about life now will probably be the same ones I have sixty years from now, and the same things that brought me joy as a child will continue to bring me joy throughout my adult life.  So it’s with a pretty simple thought that I trudged through my quarter life crisis moments of 2011:

 It’s that my goals in life should not be for some distant, future “Sarah” that looks nothing like me, acts nothing like me,  does things I would never actually do and therefore, does not exist.  “Who I am” started a long time ago and it’s the process of understanding who I am that happens not just as a young person but throughout my entire life.  So my goal is that as the years go by and people come and go, careers change, and family and friends evolve; that I would in fact become more and more the person I always was.  That through mistakes and failures, family and good friends, my faith and tough choices, and tears and laughter I would slowly become a more conscious version of myself; a seasoned translation of that seven year old.  So that by the time I am an eighty-five,  I will be the most fulfilled eighty-five year old possible, at peace with the choices good and bad that led me there; and well, go out of this life as the "Sarah-iest" Sarah I can be.  So I give myself permission to be a little lost and trust that through that process, I'll find my way.

1 comment:

  1. I'm creeping on your blog because I haven't had a chance to read it everyday and I missed this one :( But I seriously remember that video of you very well. Haha you describe it perfectly! I'm so glad Mom made the effort to document our lives...the older I get, the more I want to get those home videos and convert them to DVDs so I can watch them whenever life gets sucky.

    Great blog!