Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wildwood and Summer, and Chaos and Peace

Last week, I went to Wildwood, New Jersey, with my husband, and a bunch of family, ten people altogether. In my youth we went to Wildwood every summer. 

Every trip back home, for me, is stressful and chaotic. This time I tried to seek moments of peace. I visited my grandpa a few times in the hospital. I thought he might not make it this time, but when I walked in he said, Sara. He said, where's your husband. He said, you came from California? He said come here, come here. He wanted to give me a kiss. 

My husband and I walked down the aisle together at his sister's wedding, as a groomsman and bridesmaid. I love my husband and it has been nine years and I only love him more as time goes by and I think that we must be lucky. 

In Wildwood I got to see family I usually don't get to see, and had a couple conversations about my family and our history, which I am trying to understand. 

There were no jellyfish in the ocean and we all jumped in the day we got there. My ten year old niece was scared of the ocean, and I am always scared of the ocean, though I love the ocean, but because she clutched at me, I carried her in and I wasn't scared at all. 

We took our nephews and niece to a water park one day and that night I fell asleep believing I was still in a tube, floating along the lazy river. I felt peace in the water park, and on the ferris wheel. Ferris wheels, airplane windows, views from tall buildings, these things make me feel so suddenly, almost violently peaceful. 

We bought a beach umbrella and played in the sand with the kids. We made moats and sand castles and   buried each other. I laid on a purple sheet under the umbrella and listened to the ocean and read a book and my husband laid next to me and the kids played in the sand at our feet and it was one of the happiest 20 minutes of my life. 

Later I came in and someone had emailed an article. I quickly scanned over it. It was about writing and networking and how to sell a book and write a book that sells and how to be a successful writer and I didn't care. I cared about sand and kids and husband and ocean and the colors of the beach umbrella and reading my book. Sure, I care about the book I am writing. Sure, I care about my stories and essays. I love them and need them and they are me and I will never stop. Sure, I will keep trying to get published but the truth is, right now, I don't care, or I don't want to care. I don't want to think about success and networking. I want to live my life. I want to have a baby. I want to write. I want to spend time with friends and family. I want to learn and figure things out. I want to visit home and not feel the chaos. I don't want to care about what you do, your trajectory, how I stack up against you. I don't want to be compared to anyone else. I want to live my life, just live it, and I want that to be enough.