Monthly Archives: October 2011

Childhood

Life was so much simpler when I wasn’t in charge of making my own decisions.

The other day in the mail, I received an American Girl Doll Catalog. I looked at it in shock – it’s been at least eight years since I’ve gotten one, and I sort of wondered why I was getting one. So, being curious, I flipped through it and settled in to marvel over the new dolls, the pretty clothes, and the wonders that is childhood. I found myself marveling about all those years I spent playing with my sister, and finally got into my closet to pull out my old Molly doll. She still has the same smile, the same hair style she did when I put her away eight years ago, and the same little mark on her neck from when I dropped her.

Legally, I am an adult. Childhood, the days of messing around and giggling at sleepovers and having Mom and Dad to bail me out, is gone. While I will always be somewhat of a child (I like laughing and creating far too much to leave it behind), it’s strange to think that soon, I will be completely responsible for myself. It’s a frightening future, because I don’t want to disappoint anyone. I would much rather make someone mad than disappoint them. And I fear that once I step out from the shelter of my parents, I will disappoint them completely when I make a wrong decision.

I suppose this is why I want to be a teacher so much. I want a way to hold on to my childhood and creativity while still maintaining my maturity. I get to hang out with teenagers all day (yes, they’re angsty, but you have to love them) and help them figure out their transition between childhood and adulthood. It’s such a scary time for everyone, and I think having someone with you that’s been through it is essential to becoming an adult.

Still, it terrifies me. How am I going to make a budget? How am I going to find a reasonably priced apartment? What happens if I can’t find a roommate? How am I going to pay for food every week? What happens if I forget to pay my electricity bill? The questions are endless, and I add more to them every day. I’m a naturally anxious person, so when I think about things like this, I get anxious and worried and start pulling my hair out and –

It’s not pretty.

But then I realize that I don’t have to have all the answers. I will always have a part of my childhood buried somewhere within me to pull out and ponder on. I have a great network of friends and family that will be there to tell me when I’m being just plain stupid or when I need to get my act together, or even just to tell me I’m doing a great job and to not stress out. Strange, how easy you can forget something like that. :)

Food for thought: What did/do you do when you got/get stressed out about the future?

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Listening in the Silence.

Have you ever listened to silence?

I’m not talking about being quiet. Being quiet is something that you want little kids to do when they’re being naughty, or when they’re aggravating your headache. Being quiet is something you want the jackhammer outside your apartment window to be when you’re trying to study. Being quiet is what you want the party two doors down from you to do when you’re trying to get some sleep for your exam tomorrow. Listening to silence is not being quiet. No, listening to silence is a physical thing. You don’t shut your brain off while you’re listening. You are actively involved in listening to absolutely nothing.

This is a really strange concept for most Americans. We so often surround ourselves by noise. Even while I type this, I can hear my sister in her room, the television in my mother’s room, the music coming from my own computer. We are not accustomed to being without sound. We’re on sound overload, and we’ve forgotten what real silence actually is.

In my choir at school, we have this really interesting exercise where my director just tells us to close our eyes and not make sounds. We’re just supposed to listen. Sometimes it’s thirty seconds, sometimes it’s a minute. We close our eyes like dutiful students, take a collective breath, and then –

There’s silence. The hold-your-breath-and-don’t-move kind of silence. The kind of silence that makes your brain go, “Thank you, thank you!” The kind of silence that is just so still that no one disturbs it.

That is, until someone decides they aren’t comfortable and shifts around on the creaky risers. Or they cough. Or they sneeze. Or they take a drink of their water. Or they sigh. Or they scratch their head. Or they cross their legs. Or they tap their pencil on their black choir folder …

Do you see what I’m getting at now?

Silence is so rare in our culture. That’s why I’ve started driving to and from school in silence. I’m a commuter student, so I get a good 40 minutes a day of silence. I use this time to think about my day, to organize my thoughts, and to talk to God. Sometimes I’ll speak out loud, but mostly I use my personal thoughts and drive in silence.

Silence is needed for my sanity. If I didn’t have silence, I think I’d go absolutely crazy! That’s what I’m not a fan of huge parties or super loud music (other than the fact that too much noise gives me a massive headache). But there’s just something about silence that is a soothing balm on my day-weary brain.

I often lay in bed at night and listen to the sounds around me. Mostly, they are the tiny little sounds of my breathing, of my legs shifting under the sheets, and of a car or two driving past on the street. However, a majority of what I listen to isn’t sound at all. It’s silence. And it’s one of the most beautiful sounds ever. It’s that moment where everything seems to stand still. I love those moments. I feel like I’ve achieved something in those moments.

I challenge you this week to find some silence in your life. Find a place to get away from everything and open your ears. I promise that you won’t regret it.

Living beautifully, Sophie

A Beginning.

I’ve never been good at blogging. Like, ever. In fact, I really don’t know why I started this. It was just an idea that I had. “Hey, Sophie, why don’t you start a blog?” So, here’s my go at it. You’ll hear from me occasionally – I’ll write about my life and my adventures and giving you funny stories and ideas. Hope you enjoy!

Living beautifully,
Sophie