morning comes in paradise, morning comes in light

i've always had these grand visions for myself. when i was young, i was going to be an olympian. standing in my front yard, practicing my backhand-springs (or flip-flops, as i normally call them), i had visions of a crowd erupting upon sticking a perfect landing. later, when i was a little more accomplished, i was watching an olympian do a pass with a flip-flop, flip-flop, back (also called a back-whipback - a backhandspring without hands. different from a back tuck), flip-flop, flip-flop, back. i immediately thought 'hey, i can do that,' and i proceeded to make my mom follow me outside in the dark to see if i could. i stuck it the first time.

i never really appreciated how much of my parent's very limited resources they put into my activities. from gymnastics to cheerleading to soccer to track to blah to blah. i always assumed the money would be there. and that i was somehow entitled to it. when i was in the 10th grade i applied to a summer chemistry program at columbia, without really telling my parents. i was exploding with excitement when i got the acceptance letter. i'd be able to spend 6 weeks living in nyc (i'd, of course, never been there), studying chemistry, getting me one step closer to my dream of attending an ivy-league school. i'll never forget the disappointment when we got the bill for $7,000, and my parents said we couldn't afford it. and i knew it was true.

same thing happened when i applied to colleges. choice A with tuition i could never afford or choice B which would pay me to go there. i picked choice B. i ended up loving it, but that twinge of regret is still there.

i've always prided myself in my ability to DO STUFF. most days i really feel like there's nothing i can't do, if i really want to do it. but other days i look at where i am now, and i have a fuzzy picture of where i want to be in the future, but it's just going to take SO LONG to get there. it feels like a massive transition period, but, really, isn't that what life is? when i reach the top, i'm sure i'll just be reaching for more. it's not healthy to say 'i'll be happy when...,' but it's really hard not to.

sufjan stevens . for the widows in paradise, for the fatherless in ypsilanti


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