Sadie Says … Set Sail.
Two years ago I had a dream.
I was standing on a tiny inlet all by myself and there was no one else there. Just me. There was no quaint little boat sitting along the shore, and there were no tools with which I might be able to create a shelter, kill a bird, or chop down a piece of fruit from a tree. It didn’t matter anyway, because there were no trees or birds or fruit. Only rocks. Sand. Water. Me.
I awoke with a start and saw, somehow, into my future. And in that future I had no tools, no boat, no partner with whom to man that boat, and no access to the traditional ways in which some of us go about creating a life for ourselves that is comfortable. Engaging. Rich. Fulfilling.
I knew as soon as I was able to collect my thoughts that I needed to go back to school. I had previously given it the good old college try. My first attempt was at Theater, just out of high school. I was idealistic yet unmotivated, especially after a winter break that culminated in the deaths of three people close to me, quickly followed by a descent into such massive drug and alcohol use that I wonder how I survived.
Attempt number two was in the field of Fashion Design. I excelled at the program; creativity of such aesthetic regard seemed to be my calling. But there was this boy. A boy with a boat. And while his boat was hardly seaworthy, I was entranced – swept away – by it and him. And so I jumped in. But it was not to be. I washed upon the shore, and my design aspirations sat discarded, thoughtlessly, beneath the hollow depths of sorrow.
Attempt number three? Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. The sweet, pungent smell of herbs from faraway lands. The language barrier and an abrupt adjustment to pinyin. The resistance of my already afflicted memory and the challenge of beliefs when asked to retain esoteric material I’d never before considered. But I was older by then. Determined. I ruled it, Ching Yih Saou style, pulling A’s in every single one of my classes. Until I got pregnant. Babies have a way of forcing us to re-evaluate. I dropped out of school when she was six months old. It was the best decision I could have ever made.
Yet ever since, there has been an erosion of sorts, quiet and abiding but present nonetheless, ebbing slowly at the shores of my psyche. My dream was a reminder of this, a reminder to reverse it – You need to finish, Sadie. Finish what you started.
And so I did.
By the end of the day that began with a dream, I was enrolled in college. Again. This time Psychology. Why psychology? Because, above and beyond fashion, performing, and the complexities of alternative medicine, I enjoy studying people and the root causes of their behavior.
Including my own.
And so I built a new boat in order to do exactly that – examine, learn… apply. Where this particular boat will take me I am unsure. But the point is that I stayed in this one for the duration. And in four weeks… I will be done. Finished. My boat will have reached its destination.
Whether or not this particular tool will help me is irrelevant. I’ve anchored. For now anyway.
Until it’s time to set sail once again.