June might as well be declared as teen cruise month at work. We do a lot of them - semi-formals, senior class dinners, senior class overnight trips - so we shuffle a fair amount of pizza, soda, and rap music through the vessel. We do a fair amount of cleaning as well. Yes, you heard that right. The waitstaff is responsible for cleaning the boat after we dock. Which, honestly, is much better than how it was a couple summers ago when I first started working, and two of us would come in on a Tuesday morning and clean. Now, with fifteen people, it goes a lot quicker. And I don't need to get up at seven, clean, and then run to my car to get my uniform.
The thing about doing teen cruises, though, is that I have time to sit, think, and otherwise be stuck in my own headspace. This is both - predictably - a good thing and a bad thing. Especially with me.
Tonight was the eighth grade semi-formal. It's quite funny - not funny haha but funny chucklechuckle - since my grade was the first time that we had the dance on the boat. And it's been done on there ever since. Naturally it reminds me of when I was that age, and that same dance. It was before high school, before everything went to shit that summer (yeah, that was that summer), and then people started leaving. Nez left for California after our first year of high school; Erin and Troy left, too, heading to Ohio; and senior year Jackie headed to South Carolina. She and I have since mended that fractured bridge (it was in danger of burning to the ground in a mass of flames and a mushroom cloud) and have a sort of....well, we don't really talk anymore. But when we do - I get emails every now and then - it's on good terms and there's a bit of a better understanding between us than there was when we were both in high school and everything was happening a little fast. I'm friends with Erin and Troy on Facebook, though it's not like it used to be (eighth grade was the '3 Skis' in the front row, due to the 'ski' on the end of our last names), and I haven't heard, seen, or really even heard mention of Nez since he left. Which is still an interesting - and slightly confusing, of course - situation for me.
Of course thinking about eighth grade leads into thinking about high school, and while there's some nice thoughts there, there are also some.....not-so-nice ones. Then there's the whole situation that Will Not Be Named; the prom photos will stay stuffed away the white BonTon box, and life will carry on as normal.
Until the next teen cruise arises and everything dredges itself up from the depths of my mind to be thought about again, like it's something brand new. And I can hash and rehash every decision that I've made in terms of my personal life from near graduation onward. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? Standing on the bow, freezing, and thinking about nearly everything that's gone wrong or at least some semblance of pear-shaped, in your life for three hours while listening to songs and vaguely wondering why it is that you don't go out more often and dance and get energy out of your system. Why you're not really bothered that standing there with your arms crossed over your chest or midsection doesn't make you the most approachable person out there, and you're both mildly alright with that, and furious with yourself that you can't seem to loosen up.
I am a female human Sagittarius. There are many, many paradoxes within me, as I'm a fairly complicated creature. I'll admit this. Readily.
What I won't readily admit is how much and how deeply that I feel things. It's a part of me, as much as my smile or the fact that my eyes are green, but it's one of those things that's both lovely and annoying at the same time. Lovely in that it makes me a better writer because I can understand people a little better, and get a deeper sense of emotion to give my characters. Annoying in that, in some ways, I'm a sympathy crier. (I'm not a sympathy puker, for those who have heard that term before, though I plenty of people who are.) Hell, I cry every time I watch the movie The Patriot when Heath Ledger's character Gabriel dies. I also cry at the end, too.
I cry during a lot of movies, actually. I'm not ashamed to admit that.
What I hesitate to do is examine those parts of me that don't really want to be examined. The deeper emotions that are dredged up with the memories of high school, and summers, and decisions that seemed like good ideas at the time, and have come to not quite fruitful gains. It's difficult not to chalk things up to mistake or regret because I don't want to regret anything. I mean it. I want to regret absolutely nothing when I'm ninety and remembering the glory days. Hell, my glory days might be my late eighties. Who knows. I sure don't. And I won't until I get there.
I hesitate, sometimes, to look unabashedly at myself. I know the forms that I can take, the moods, and abilities, and the emotions that come with me. There's good, and there's bad, and then, on occasion, there's really, really absolutely fugly. I wouldn't be me without both parts - beautiful and fugly - but the tougher stuff is a little more difficult to look at. And practically impossible to understand.
And maybe there's a reason that we can't. Maybe there's a reason that humans don't have everything figured out in a way that makes perfect sense. Maybe that's a definition of human nature, to be something so different and at times unpredictable that not everything makes sense. Hell, everything might not even be anything resembling logical (I have those moments, more frequently than other people, probably, but I still have them) and yet you've still got to deal with it. Or deal with it the best you can. Which might not be anything special. You might be drowning.
Drowning in any sense (unless it's a good sense, and I know you can think of those examples - shove your mind in the gutter if you have to) isn't good.
Being a water-dwelling mammal and drowning is ironically painful.
Much like life, in a way.
God will only give you as much as you can handle. No more, no less. A fairly wise woman said those words to me on a five hour car ride and all I can think, at the moment (and probably then, too) was that someone needs to find me a bigger bucket. That way I can carry my tune and anything that life wants to chuck my way safely through any construction on the road ahead.
Better break out the hardhat, hadn't I?
I've been assured that it gets better. Eventually, everything gets better. Though as we all know, hearing is one thing, and believing is another. Believe in the road that lies ahead, however many potholes and Jersey barriers that it contains.
Well. Throw on the Converse and let's get goin'. Maybe we'll think about the compass. Maybe.