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Archive for April, 2009

It always seems that my life plays out like a never-ending romance comedy, you know, like the ones Drew Barrymore always play in—at least I’d like to think it does.  Perhaps I’m too dramatic.

Why is it that when we let go of something, or try to, rather, we can’t seem to truly and honestly completely let go of it… especially if that something used to be a huge part of us?

What if that something isn’t a “thing,” at all, but a person?

It just seems that lately a lot of my time has been spent trying to maintain friendships with everyone around me before we all move our separate directions when the semester ends.  It seems that something keeps haunting me…

…those little, “What if?” questions seem to always flutter around in my mind.

No, I have no regret nor will I ever for how I’ve lived my life.  Sure, I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I don’t regret them.  Mistakes are just tender learning moments in our lives that we can look back on and hope to God that our children and grandchildren (and great grandchildren if we live that long) will never find out about them.  We find elderly people to be wise for a reason—has your grandparent ever once told you about getting drunk that one night or totaling their first car?  Not unless they’re teaching you something, and they need credibility to prove that they know what they’re talking about.

But then, those little “What if?” thoughts in my mind go away when I’m comfortable with myself and accept things for the way they are.  I know things will never be the way they used to be, and I’m OK with that.  Really, I am.  Some things are meant to be, and others are like fireworks; they quickly fly up in a spectacle in the sky, light up for a short while, then gradually dim and fall back to the Earth as we all watch from below.

Some things become nostalgic memories we’re fond to look back on and cherish, but we know that our lives can never be the same again.

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You know that old saying, “The other side of the tracks?”  If not, it’s kind of like saying “The grass is always greener on the other side.”  It’s pretty much along those same lines.

Anyways, I saw first-hand in my backyard that it’s literally true:  sometimes depending on what side of the tracks you live on can make a world of difference.

Right now, a portion of Interstate 40 running through Knoxville (conveniently located next to the exit I take to go home) is going through Hell and back, otherwise known as “Smart Fix 40.” (Might I add that someone changed the name a bit… it’s a tad vulgar to put on here, but it’s a play on another word beginning with “f.” Let your imaginations run wild with that one.)  The locals, i.e. myself, absolutely love construction around here… especially when you take the wrong exit and end up in the ghetto side of town.

I’ve done this twice.  I hate road construction, traffic, and basically any obstruction that lies in my path.  I’m a fast driver, I speed, and I like to get places as efficiently as possible.  In other words (but some might disagree) I’m a smart driver.  My brother once told me that there’s a difference between being a smart driver and a careful driver.  This, I’ve witnessed, has truth to it.  Hesitation kills, people.

So, when I took the wrong exit my mistake put me in a sketchy, shady, ghetto part of town.  At first, I was a bit scared—I’m a young white female driving alone in her probably-not-so-hard-to-break-into car—but after realizing that most of the people living there wouldn’t harm me, I didn’t feel so scared anymore.  Instead, I felt sadness rush over me.

There are so many homeless people right across the tracks from me, and I do nothing to help them.  Instead, I complain that I don’t have enough money for all the luxuries I want to afford, but I’m fine.  I have parents that help me out, friends to confide in, food to keep me more than satisfied, stylish clothes to wear, shelter over my head and a car to get me places I need to go.

They have nothing.  If they have anything at all, it’s perseverance.  I’ve never had the opportunity to test mine—I mean really, really to truly test my perseverance.  Quite honestly, I have high respects for them because I know they’re stronger people than I could ever be.

My whole life I’ve been pampered.  Everything has been provided for me on a silver platter.  It’s all been so easy so far in my life, but I know a time will come when I won’t have my parents or friends to help me out… and I’ll be on my own.  Then, my perserverance and strength will be tested.

Sometimes the not-so-green grass on the other side of the tracks can teach us something about life; it can make us realize what the most important things in life truly are.

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