Thinking about not thinking (Originally written July 2012)

Saturday was not a stellar day for me. If I’m honest, the past week or so has not been stellar for me. My main problem stems from the fact that I am closing a chapter in my life before I open the next one. It’s terrifying, frankly, and people constantly questioning my next chapter is not helping. For the most part, I understand everyone’s concern. I appreciate that they care about me enough to be concerned. However, I wish that they would trust that I know what I’m doing, even though I do not have a set plan. If I’m not worried about my life and future, why should they?

Anyway, to Saturday. For the most part, it was a dull, normal Saturday. I woke up, spoke to my sister on the phone, went shopping with my parents and bought my first sewing machine. We hurried home to try and swim before my parents left to go see a play that night. When we got home, though, a massive fight broke out. Like any normal family, we have our disagreements and arguments. This was a nuclear disaster by comparison. For some reason, even though I despise confrontation, I got involved as the fight escalated. Once I removed myself from the situation, even though the fight continued, I realized that I was shaking with adrenaline and crying for unknown reasons. At that point, I really did not know what to do with myself. I wanted to leave, to escape, to be away from the conflict that was causing me stress even though I was not involved.

Eventually, things calmed down somewhat and my parents went to their play. I left my Grandma home alone to go for a walk. Like everyone in Muskegon, going for a walk means that I ended up at the beach. As I got out of my car, I noticed a coal barge heading towards the channel. Now, I don’t know if you live on a lake in a port city, so I will tell you that two things bring people to the lake/channel more than others: storms and big boats. I hiked up into the dunes and trudged my way from the beach to the channel, which is no short walk. I even passed a couple making out in the dunes.

Once at the channel, I climbed over the railing and scrambled down the rocks to sit about a foot above the waterline. Then I waited. I watched people on the other side of the channel and boats as they passed my spot on the rocks. Soon enough, the coal barge came through. It was at this point that something amazing happened. I stopped thinking. I was watching the coal ship, Lewis J. Kuber, steam pass where I was sitting. I realized afterward that this was all I was doing. I wasn’t thinking about the earlier fight or stressing about my job and future.

It was wonderful.

Words cannot describe how I felt afterwards; realizing that I was existing purely in the moment. Breathing. Living. Being.

I hope it happens to me more in the future.

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