Somersault weekend

 December 14, 2009

When I was eleven and a half, my family spent two weeks in Costa Rica.

I took my first stab at boogie boarding at Playa Hermosa, and it took me a long time to catch anything besides a mouth full of salt water. On perhaps my 15th try, I started somersaulting. I guess somehow I moved against the force of the wave at the wrong time, and ended up six feet under without air.

I remember panicking until I realized that I had to let the water take me where it would, and that everything would go faster and smoother if I wouldn't try to catch a breath until the wave had passed. Turns out, my flip series brought me back to shore.

I guess you know where this is going - last week was a crazy wave. I did some metaphorical somersaulting. Yaddah.

I'm used to life's acrobatics - or at least to the ones I bring on myself. But this was different.

See, I'm used to being wrong. I'm used to putting my foot in my mouth, apologizing, being too quick to make judgments, learning to go slower. I know that I can be a bum. But this time it wasn't me. And, in a way, I think that was harder. It was harder to be the person that actually had her priorities straight, her thinking in line, her actions planned, and to be attacked for the results of that kind of living. Victory - finally! And a great big whack in the middle of my awkard finish.

I know how to apologize. I know how to admit my faults, I see them in brighter colors than anyone else does. But I don't know quite what to do with being right, and faulted for it. I'm not sure what to do with being attacked for living and commucating the truth in things like equality, freedom of expression and honesty.

I do know that I want to get better at it, because this whole stomach in knots, sleepless night, acne flare up thing is just not my cup of tea.

I took a trip to my aunt's house this weekend to try and let a little steam off. We watched dirty jobs (just gross, okay? not good) and drank rum and hot cider on Friday night. We wrapped presents and drank coffee with peppermint mocha creamer on Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon, I had the house to myself. I tried to settle down and get myself focused on one thing at a time - mainly chapters 10 and 11 of my Spanish II textbook. Really all I ended up doing was spilling a cup of coffee on myself and stomping around the house listening to Twisted Sister on repeat. I took these pictures, and I think they helped me more than anything else. Sometimes the world is on a sideways axis and I need a still frame to get things straight again.

I still don't think I've settled on anything epic or life changing, or even solved how to talk to someone who has tried to rip you down, but I have learned this: who I am, where I stand, and the processes I am learning through are all mine. The stories that I carry inside, and the lessons I have learned, are realities that belong to me. They cannot be ripped from me - not by judgment, not by accusation, not by written or spoken word, or by false pretenses. Regardless of how they might be trampled underfoot by others, it is a choice I make to keep them new inside of my heart.

Perhaps I am getting somewhere - somersaults, spilt coffee, bad spanish grades et al.


Jess said...

I miss your handwriting.