05 April 2006

Red-Headed Reset

Funny how we feel "forced to do" certain things. When I started the semester taking five classes, I felt I was forced to be completely vigilant about school. I read every single thing. I read morning and night. I wrote papers in advance. I was extremely organized and focused. I could be found following a daily schedule from January to Spring Break. People knew where to find me.

The week before Spring Break, something came loose. I took a breath and put off the studying for the coming week after the break. A frien
d and I started off on some errands in Berkeley, and ended up crashing a Russian Orthodox wake in San Francisco, strolling the Presidio, and chowing in Japantown. When I saw the ocean, i knew. I had let beauty lapse. I had forgotten to look up. Though I could recite Morning and Evening Prayer to you and could tell you exactly what all the bulletin boards on campus looked like, and who had written what on blackboard, i couldn't have told you one thing about one current event, and I wouldn't have known what the water looked like lately.

Seeing my nephew was another wake-up call. He hugged me and we laughed and laughed. We threw the frisbee, did science experiments, and watched Sponge Bob. My dad and I had one of our best talks ever over a bottle of Ridge. Brie and I grew closer and I became extremeley attached to her children. Esme greeted me with "Sarah-hug" morning and night. Five-year-old Ayla and I talked about how her radio made her feel alive. Amaris liked my cocunut squash dinner and ate up all the leftovers. We ate at my favorite bakery and my favorite lunch joint in Columbia. It was old times and it reminded me how different my life is now. Before coming home I saw both my godchildren in one day -- this is particularly amazing because one lives in Arkansas and one in Kansas City! There were children all around me over break and I felt I was gaining wisdom through observation and experimentation. Mothers imparted their wisdom. Even today over lunch my boss imparted more wisdom to me.

For the break I did homework only while on an airplane. I furiously completed a lot of work upon arriving back in Berkeley. While I was away, someone hit my reset button. I had gotten cranked up, twisted around and m
y brow was all knit up. When I came home, I could feel myself breathing again. I knew when i got home that I needed to hit the reset button again. Just as I felt forced to maniacally study, now I felt forced to let it go. Only now I knew I wasn't forced but rather had many choices. I took Monday off, missed my classes and spent time with Matt. I don't regret it. It was the last part of break i didn't know I needed. It was another step back and another breath. I called it "readjusting to California." Tuesday, as a result, was heavenly. I was rested and relaxed and I felt I had my priorities straight again. Somewhere along the way this semester I became a crazy woman. I didn't hang out as much and Matt and I hardly saw each other. I missed some opportunities to grow relationships and listen to myself. I became a graduate student machine. Nothing more was permitted. Having spent a week with my friends and their three kids, I remembered how much more to life there is than books, papers, and chapel. I remembered I live in the Bay Area, not the midwest, and I intend to take full advantage of it. I'm going to get in touch with the Pacfic. My two-month stint as a school rat is over. I'm Sarah again.

This means reading Bitch magazine, knitting, watching Democracy Now, writing letters to my grandmother, drinking home brew, going on dates, painting, journaling, reading non-school books, cooking new things, going to community events, going to the ocean, hiking Tilden, and sitting in the sun.

Just in time for Spring, I am blooming.


Blogger mikey said...

sarah, how refreshing. i really liked this post. i understood everything you said.

8:28 PM  

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