Sep 14, 2009

Miss Independent

A lot of times we get ourselves into the pattern of believing things that don't quite exist. The aspects of fairy tales and stories hold something that resonate deep within us: that romantic encounter we search for, the adventure that leaves us on top of a mountain having conquered the world, the thrill of surviving a danger, having pressed the boundary to see how far we can go.

Ok, those things do exist. But not in the way we expect.

I could say a lot about how the world's idea of romance taints relationships, but I don't want to right now.

I want to talk about adventure.

I have some really neat friends. They do really cool things, like go to Amsterdam to study and explore the things she is passionate about; I have a friend who is living life in Port Townsend, living on her own and making a life for herself. I have friends who have gone to the most incredible of places - and I associate it with adventure.

Adventure resonates with me. I think of the freedom it instills. It liberates. In essence it releases the ties that bind and allows us to experience things as they are.

I moved to Washington by myself. I made friends. I figured out my new life and went tubing and played frisbee and learned how to be really bad at things and make it laughable. I was so happy in my adventure I never wanted to leave. I left, the adventure ended, and normal life restarted in Liberty.

Then I decided to REALLY challenge myself, and I went to Haiti. By myself. Twice. It has a nice ring to it. It impresses people. For some time I have relished the responses from people. I mean, isn't it cool how independent and adventurous I am?

I hate that I just wrote that for the world to read. Yet that is who I am. That is what I thought.

Tonight I realized that I have seen independence as a sign of strength. I have that sort of "I don't need a man by my side. I don't need anybody or anything. I can take care of myself." mentality.

Do you know why I loved Washington?
Molly, KaraLynn, Rebecca, Tyler, John, Kylan, Erik, Faye, Heather, Grandma, Jake & Michelle - on and on.

Do you know why I loved Haiti?
Diana, Mallory, Britt, and every person I met there.

The second time I went to Haiti I decided to climb the "mountain" behind the mission. We walked a short distance, and I regretted my decision. It was awful. It was so hard. And I made myself go to the top in order to prove I was strong, to stand at the top and see the view, and to feel alive.

It failed. It failed because I was so lonely. The view was breathtaking, and I was simply too empty to appreciate it.

I have had a lot of realizations this week. This last week has held more surprise, more stomach flips, more confused heads, more tired eyes. And I continue to see that I close myself off very easily. It was a process started approximately 1 year ago, and I haven't felt the need to throw this train in reverse.

So what does that have to do with adventure? I have fallen into the trap of seeking that Into the Wild type feeling - stripping down to the root of it all. And in the process I have isolated myself. I am trying to learn when to let people in again.

I haven't given up yet.


  1. Oh babe. I love you and I hear you so loud and clear it's almost echoing. The idea that independence was strength and that admitting loneliness was weakness was one of the things that stung the worst when I decided to come home from Spain at semester. But I had to let myself understand's okay if I'm not ready to be a world traveler all by myself yet. It's okay if I'm never that person...even though I totally love to impress people, too. Adventures are best when you have people to share them with, and when you're feeling alive enought to enjoy them. This comment has gotten really rambly, but I hope you understand the gist of it, which is that I LOVE you and think you're one of the bravest, most adventurous people I know. Truly.

  2. I agree with everything Molly said (let's face it, she's pretty awesome (but so are you!)). Personally, I think you're showing a pretty significant strength right here by admitting where you fall short in your own eyes and how that bothers you. You are strong. you are adventurous. and you don't fail at everything (except ice-blocking). don't believe for a second that you need to be like everybody else. Cause then you wouldn't be Sarah. and I love you just the way you are.

  3. The feeling of independence is so incredible. I hate how much we as humans feel that we must do so much on our own to get the most out of life. Admitting the reality of who we are hurts and definitely humbles, but it allows for us to live in Him in the present. It is so much easier to live in the past or the future looking for the next "adventure", when God is speaking and moving in the present.