A writer’s journey

Growing up, I never really had any talents or that something that made me unique. I was either mediocre or just downright horrible at everything. Being raised in Andover, MA I was surrounded by protégée wannabes. All the parents in my town thought that their little Suzy or Tommy was so talented because they took one violin class. Then there was me and all anyone could ever say was “There is Sara…she is a sweet girl.” Geez, thanks I feel special.

There were two areas in Andover where a kid could stand out: academics or athletics. Luckily for me, I was no Einstein or Mia Ham. I got good grades but growing up with a learning disability and dyslexia I knew that becoming the class Victorian or wining the national spelling bee was never going to be in my future.

Athletics was a whole different disaster. The term “uncoordinated” was invented specially for me. In gym, I was always the last kid picked in dodge ball, not because I was unpopular but just because I was a medical emergency waiting to happen. The words “Sara” and “graceful” will never be found in the same sentence. To put it bluntly, if I can go a day without falling to my death then it’s been a great day.

With academics and athletics clearly getting me no where in life, I was determined to find that thing to make me stand out. With that goal in mind, I started doing every club and activity offered imaginable. I wanted people to know me other then that sweet quiet girl. I wanted people to say “Oh, that Sara is going places,” or “Sara? Yeah she is going to be famous and be on Oprah.” Anything to get people to stop calling me sweet.

Around this time I started to write feverishly. I carried a notebook everywhere I went and whenever inspiration found me, you could see my hand gliding across my notebook faster than marathon runner. The whole process of releasing my thoughts from pen to paper was cathartic for me. However, I never thought of writing as anything serious. It was just a hobby for me.

Somewhere in between all the clubs I joined, I decided acting was going to be my ticket to success. I was going to be the next Julia Roberts I told myself. However, it’s hard to be the next Julia Roberts when the only parts you get are Lady in Waiting number 7.  Despite the setbacks, I was persistent and convinced if I just worked my way up in the drama department soon I would be on my way to leading lady and making out with Orlando Bloom.

I guess some dreams never really have a chance at becoming a reality.

In my 8th grade English class, my teacher assigned for everyone to write a short story. Being blessed with a vivid imagination, I banged out a story within the first 15 minutes of class. My teacher read the story and was impressed. “You know Sara, you are a good writer. You should think about becoming one professionally,” she said to me. As soon as those words left her mouth, my mind went “Duh Sara. You are standing here trying to win a freaking Academy Award when your real talent is right under your nose. Literally.”

Writing soon became more than just a hobby for me. It became my passion, the thing I wanted to do all the time. The thing that made me special. I don’t what career I will choose in the future but I can guarantee that writing will be a huge factor in it. If there is anything I have learned it is that everyone has a talent, it just takes some people a little longer to figure out what theirs is.

Facebook ruins lives

They say the first step to curing a problem is admitting you actually have one. So, here goes nothing.

Hello, my name is Sara and I’m a Facebook addict.

You may think I’m joking or being my typical over dramatic self. I’m not. I have a serious problem. My friends are probably planning my episode of “Intervention” as we speak.

I don’t know where my life got off track. Facebook started out as a fun, innocent, activity that soon turned into my dirty little habit. As soon as I see a computer, I immediately think of Facebook. Putting me in a computer lab is the equivalent of putting crack in front of a crack head, bad things just ensue.

I’m constantly on the site. It’s disgusting to think about the hours I’ll never get back spent on that site. I could have probably found the cure for cancer with all the time I’ve wasted if I actually decided to do something productive with my life. Its midnight and I’ve a 10 page paper due the next morning, I’ll get to it but first I need to log on to Facebook and see what my next door neighbor did on his Thursday night.

For me the thing that is addictive about this social networking site is that its instant gossip at your finger tips. I live for finding out juicy gossip on Facebook. Seriously, when I find something out particularly scandalous, it’s like getting a gift basket from Jesus.

I think that’s why so many people are addicted too. My generation loves gossip so much that we even invented a new term: creepers. Creepers are those people who spend hours on Facebook and find out the most random information about strangers. I’m amazing at creepin’. I could probably be in the FBI with all the stuff I have found out about people. Everyone is a creeper. Everyone at some point has looked up the hot kid’s page that sits behind them in class or tries to find out who their ex is talking to now. Everyone has done it. I’m the only stupid one to admit to it publicly.

Another reason why my life revolves around Facebook is because it’s the only way I keep in contact with friends from back home. When my friends and I were deciding where to go to college, apparently the cool thing to do was get as far away from Massachusetts as possible. My best friend went to Vermont and my other best friend went even farther and ended up in New Orleans.  Seeing as I am morally opposed to using the phone, Facebook became the ideal way to keep in touch. In a strange way, logging on to Facebook is like a little piece of home especially when I talk to those special people I love from home.

Until they come up with a version of the Betty Ford clinic for Facebook addiction, where I can go and detox myself from this website, I think I’m stuck with addiction for a while.   So, excuse me while I waste a few more hours of my life on Facebook.

A dose of attitude

The top 5 things that annoy me the most in this world.

People who think I’m rich because I from Andover, MA:
Andover is known to be an affluent and wealthy town. Most people assume that those who live in Andover are filthy rich. I would like to share some earth shattering news to people: not everyone in Andover is rich! Shocking I know, what’s even more shocking is no daddy did not buy me this Louis Vuitton purse and better yet, it’s a fake. Two weeks ago, I was on the commuter rail coming back from Boston. It was an 11:30pm train which was the last train leaving North Station. I was tired (and a little drunk) and all I wanted to do was rest. I told the conductor I was going to Andover and she asked for $6.25. I gave her seven bucks because I didn’t have change; the woman rolled her eyes at me as she was trying to make change. This irritated me and so being the nice person that I am I told the woman she didn’t have to give me change and that it was no big deal. Her response to this was “Why? Because you’re from Andover?” I was astonished by this woman’s rudeness. Yes, lady I’m sooooo rich that I have to take a train home. I like to be surrounded by little people to make me feel better. Life lesson: people suck sometimes.

Ketchup:
I hate ketchup! In fact, I think it’s the devil incarnate. I abhor all condiments but ketchup holds a special place in my heart. There is just something it about that sends shivers down my spine like how some people get when they see a spider or a bug or watch an episode of “The real house wives of New Jersey.” I’m a very neat eater and sloppy, messy eating makes me gag. Nothing orderly and neat comes from a ketchup bottle. My mission in life is to rid the world of ketchup eaters, to show them the light and teach them the evil ways of ketchup. I know I may be alone in this fight for good but then again so was Jesus for awhile.

Stereotypical MA idiotic guys:
To any guy who wears Ed Hardy, complexion resembles a pumpkin from all the fake tanning, has a hideous tattoo down your forearm that reads “Live or Fight,” use more hair gel that the your hair rivals the spike of porcupine and every other word that comes out of your mouth is “yeah duuuude”; please don’t talk to me! Your very existence is ridiculous. The only time I’ll look in your direction is to laugh in your face. Sorry, I refuse to date a guy whose favorite book is Muscle and Fitness magazine.

Techno Music:
Ah, where do I begin on this so called music? It’s loud, annoying and something about the fact that it’s the same beat over and over again makes my ears bleed. The only time that techno music is acceptable is when you’re in some underground rave in Arizona, high on LSD and dancing around with glow sticks. Other then that, it should never be heard. So, will the guys on my street stop blaring this crap from their ’98 Ford Taurus, please? You are embarrassing the male gender.

Nicole Kidman’s face:
I really can’t go on a rant about this; all I know is that I don’t like it. Maybe that’s because it doesn’t move.

Cancer and Hope

The word doesn’t conjure up positive emotions. It’s a word most don’t want to hear in conversation. A word that doesn’t bring smiles or joy but a heavy baggage filled with the dirty laundry of sadness, anger, and fear.

Cancer.

That word hadn’t had much effect on my life until that eventful rainy May day when I was told the news by the breath of whiskey. That word had found me or my mother rather. That word had muddled its way into the sentence of my life. Instead of the usual sentence of “Mom is mad at you,” or “Mom just called,” the sentence was now “Mom has cancer.”

Suddenly, a word that had very little meaning to me became the dominant word in my life. It made my entire foundation shake, my stomach queasy and made rivers of tears glide down my face. The word just wouldn’t leave my head. It was all I could think of. Cancer.

Cancer cancer cancer cancer cancer.

With its unpleasant arrival at my doorstep, the word cancer introduced me to another word, hope.

Hope was also a new word to me, something that wasn’t used in my vocabulary often. Happiness, sadness, anger, sure those words were regular actors in my everyday life. Hope, however, had always seemed foolish to me. Something I dismissed as childish until now, when the only option cancer left me was to hope.

Cancer is different then hope. Cancer finds you. It tracks you down, searches for you in dark alley ways and waits for the perfect moment of when you’re not looking and then sneaks into your sentence. Sneaks into the chapters of your life.

Hope, however, doesn’t find you. You find hope. Hope doesn’t search for you. It waits for you in the corner alone in the dark like an abandoned orphan until you are ready to accept it and let hope in.

Hope doesn’t get rid of the other words that comes with cancer like fear, confusion and sadness but merely co-exists with them, makes those words more manageable. Gives you hope that someday those words won’t be in your sentence anymore.

So, this is my life and it is centered around two words; cancer and hope, in a tug of war race where I don’t know the ending outcome. I am left alone with these two words and hoping that cancer is in only a few of my sentences, maybe a chapter or two, but not the final chapter.

One of the girls

         Most girls grew up playing with Barbies and dolls. They dreamed of a far away land where princesses and princes ruled. They invaded their mother’s closets and walked clumsily in her high heels and smeared on the red lipstick. I, however, am not like most girls.

           I grew up running around with boys and getting my knee banged up on more than one occasion. Instead of princesses and princes, I dreamt of hanging out with Andre the Giant and Nomar Garicapara. As one can see, I do not fit the girly girl stereotype at all.

           That’s was ok up until a point. It wasn’t until college where I started to notice my differences. I went to a school that is known for its stellar fashion design program. A school where girls get dressed up for 8 a.m. classes as if they are walking down a runway.

          Suddenly, all my friends around me were concerned with what purse to wear with an outfit and if their tan was the perfect shade of orange. I was placed where they spoke a foreign language filled with unfamiliar terms like Coach and Versace. When hanging out with friends who were dressed fashionably, it like playing a real life version of which one doesn’t belong and I was goofy looking stuff animal in a sea of porcelain dolls.

           

Like my glasses?

Like my glasses?

Feeling like my female gender card should be revoked; I went to one of my best guy friends with my dilemma. He sympathized with me and compassionately told me “Well, your right Sara, you are like not a real girl.”  What? I am not a real girl? The last time I checked I have all the parts. So, if I am not a real girl then what is a real girl? What does she look like and how does she act? And if I am not a real girl then how to I become one? Suddenly, I felt like my life was like a bad sequel to Pinocchio.

            It became clear to me. My mission in life became to regain my womanhood. First goal was to hit the stores and buy some girly clothing. Next became to change my television habits from Red Sox and wrestling to “The Hills” and “Gossip Girl.” Finally, wear make up and figure out how to use an eyelash curler.

             I must say I didn’t do so shabby with completing these goals if I do say so myself. After gaining a whole new wardrobe, I showed my girlfriends who have been “real girls” all their lives what I bought. As each new blouse or dress came out of the bag, it was greeted with ooohs, ahhhs and giggly girlish delight. I am pretty sure they gave me a standing ovation after the last outfit.

            Next, was to actually implement my plan. That step didn’t go as smoothly. A day after my wardrobe change, my friends and I went out into the city to enjoy the nightlife. Instead of the normal jeans and shirt, I wore a dress. If that wasn’t problematic enough, I had more makeup on then a drag queen would need. I received compliments the whole night on how good I looked but that didn’t change the awkwardness I felt inside. I felt like those Barbie dolls I never played with as a child; fake and plastic.

            However, I am stubborn and didn’t pick up on the giant red warning sign that night was.  I kept up with ridiculous charade for a few more weeks. Felt uncomfortable in my own skin for the sake of looking like a girl, watched mind dulling episodes of “Gossip Girl,” that made me want to stick in fork in my eye and stopped talking about the Red Sox insensately which I am positive killed a part of my soul. 

            After a few hellish weeks, I was rethinking my decision. My whole philosophy of what makes a woman a woman was out of whack. I didn’t like elite fashion designers and watched way too much ESPN but that doesn’t make me any less of a girl. It just makes me different. Anyways, I cried while watching “The Notebook” so that’s proof I’m a female.

            This journey for me was about accepting what I am and what I am not. I am not the girl that has every hair perfectly placed. I am not the girl that knows the difference between a real Coach purse and a fake one. Nor am I the girl who can wear white and not spill anything on it.

            I am the girl who kicks the soda machine because it ripped her off. The one you can find laughing too loudly with her friends in the cafeteria and not care if you’re staring at her. The girl who can walk out her house with no make up on and doesn’t order a salad on a date.  The one who is filled with that’s what she said jokes. The kind who is still figuring out who she is, but will never forget what she isn’t.  And as it just so happens, she is doing more than fine being her own kind of girl.

Party of one

 

With my girls, Gillian and Katherine, enjoying as many girls nights as I can now that I am single

With my girls, Gillian and Katherine, enjoying as many girls nights as I can now that I am single

I’ve never been the girl who cared if she had a boyfriend or not. In fact, I’m usually happier when I’m single. I’m not the girl who whines and moans about being alone and fears she will turn into a 89 year old spinster with 28 cats.

 However, a few months ago, I was out getting coffee with a group of friends and had a startling realization; I was the only one that was single. Even my friend who is socially inept and has a receding hairline had a girlfriend At that moment, I couldn’t help but feel pathetic.

 We have all been there before. We all have had the pleasurable experience of being “the single friend.” Nothing brings a blow to anyone’s ego like having to watch your friends fawn all over their loved one while you feel like the odd man out. This New Year’s eve, while all my friends were kissing in the New Year, I was alone in a corner bringing in the New Year with my apple martini. I’m sure next Valentine’s Day will be giggle fest as well.  

 Being the single friend comes with certain duties. Unbeknownst to you, you will suddenly have a tattoo across your forehead that reads “tell me every intimate and scared detail about your relationship even though I have shown no interest in it at all.” You will hear all about the dates they go on, the disgustingly sweet text messages they send each other and that stupid fight they had about his ex-girlfriend. My advice is just smile and nod and pretend like your listening.

 Also, you will have to get use to your friend’s vocabulary becoming more and more laughable. Try hard not to roll your eyes when they incessantly referrer to each other as baby, hun, sugar plum, and my personal favorite honey buns. As a woman, I don’t know why you would want to be called honey buns, it reminds me of a glazed donut but I digress.

 You’re not the only one who notices you’re single; your friends do too. It will become their mission to find you a soul mate. They will pawn you off to anything that is single and has a pulse. I’ve been on so many disastrous blind dates set up by my friends that I’m beginning to wonder if my friends know me at all.

 However, while being the single friend does have its downsides, it does have its positives as well. You can flirt with that sexy waiter, have as many girls or guys nights out as you want and do not have pressure to find the perfect Valentine’s gift. While it might be tough to be the single friend, there is a certain independence that is learned through that experience. I’m the single friend right now and probably will be for awhile. I can guarantee that all my friends will get married before me and the cliché always a bridesmaid never a bride will sum up my thirties. It’s ok though I’ve learned that I more than fine on my own.

Hello, my name is Sara and I’m a Red Sox addict

As the winter days end and spring appears, the day I have been counting down for gets closer. For me it isn’t spring until a certain group of men return to my life and we start a six month relationship that will throw my priorities out of whack. April 6th is the Red Sox home opener and what I consider the first real day of spring.

But with the start of every new season, I am always left wondering why do I care so much in the first place?
Asking myself that question I am reminded of a certain part of my past. The 2003 ALCS Red Sox vs. Yankees, and it looked like the Red Sox were finally going to triumph against the Yankees. But as we all know Grady Little kept Pedro in for too long and the evil empire walked off into the sunset yet again. The point of the story isn’t how the Sox lost but how I dealt with it. I cried. Actually I cried myself to sleep. I can only explain my ridiculous behavior by comparing it to a woman who has been dating the same man for ten years and finally realizes he is never going to marry her.

However, the very next year luck was on the Red Sox’s side. The Sox popped the question and I finally got my ring.
My obsession with my hometown team hinders on unhealthy. I have more Red Sox t-shirts than I know what to do with. Looking at my wardrobe it resembles more of a fourteen year old boy’s closet than a twenty one year woman’s. Watching a game I curse, yell and scream at the Sox like an abusive boyfriend and lose all lady like behavior my mother taught me. Where did I learn this behavior from? Instantly, I think of the man who is responsible for introducing me to the Red Sox and the man who my mother blames all my negative genes on: my father. Maybe it is his entire fault that I am a cursing, beer drinking, and baseball cap wearing Sox fanatic/idiot.

n43502879_30923910_5024I went to my father with my concern and examined this part of my life. Though my father is just as passionate as I am while watching the games, he has mastered a certain skill that I lack. After the game is over, my father knows how to let go. Win or lose, my father leaves the game at the park as opposed to me who mopes around like Charlie Brown for days. If my obsession wasn’t DNA related then what was it? Seeking some fatherly advice, the best my dad could say to me was “I don’t know why you are like this. You are crazy like your mother.”

My obsession may not be a result of my parent’s parenting skills. Maybe it’s something in the water I drink or I was just born with a Red Sox birth defect. Whatever the reason is, this is the way I am and I accept that. If loving the Sox is wrong then I don’t want to be right. Here’s to the upcoming 2009 season, perhaps I will see you at the games. I will be the one in the Pappelbon shirt, badly singing to “Sweet Caroline,” yelling so loud that only dogs can hear me, and I’ll be the one people are keeping their children away from.