Better Late Than Never: A Lesson in Learning to Speak Up.

My boyfriend is a people pleaser.
As someone who is often the cause of shocked laughter at my frankness and honesty, this is incredibly weird yet balancing. However, when I ask someone what they think of my food, or my clothes, or my anything, I expect an honest (perhaps tactful) answer. If its “this isn’t great.” I’ll do what I can do improve, or let it go and accept that its not my time. If you tell me “Its fine.” I’m going to assume its fine and I’ll continue whatever it was.

I like sweet potatoes. They are my thing, my grandma makes them special for me no matter what the main course is (Spaghetti with a side of sweet potatoes is a known thing at her house if I’m there…), and I understand that some people dislike them. I’m also not a great cook but for the record, I don’t exactly have the greatest ingredients or utilities here. One thing I can cook is yams or sweet potatoes and I’m perfectly happy to make myself a dinner of yams with sometimes a side of something and sometimes nothing. One day I called my boyfriend who was coming over for dinner and asked him if he likes sweet potatoes.
He replied, “They’re okay I guess. I don’t mind them.” So I’ve been making sweet potatoes pretty much every time he comes over because they are easy and delicious. I also knew deep down inside that he actually doesn’t like them or he doesn’t like the way I prepare them but he wouldn’t tell me.

Last night, I made sweet potatoes… (I don’t really have anything else in my house), so I decided to make them fun with lemon pepper seasoning. I tried them; I liked them. But I knew it wasn’t a combination of flavours that was going to make my guest overjoyed. Sure enough, he tried them; he politely said he wasn’t hungry. After humming and hawing, I put everything away and we walked 10 blocks to Safeway for a lumberjack sandwich. On this walk I finally found the truth when he said ,”Sweet potatoes are okay but more at thanksgiving when they are mashed and covered in turkey and gravy.” Tell me that 3 months ago, why don’t you?

People, girls and boys, ladies and gentlemen, if you tell someone that you like a meal just to save their feelings, thats okay. IF you are only eating at their table the one time. If you know this person is going to be cooking for you for a while, a little bit of honesty in what you do and don’t like on your plate really isn’t gonna make them fall over and collapse from a broken heart. From now on, the boyfriend will only see sweet potatoes mashed, and probably more often than not, in october.
I’m still alive. Woah. Phenomenal.
I’ll learn to cook new things. I’m good at pizza and chilli that will burn your internal organs. I can cook potatoes if you like them el dante, and I make a mean poor-mans-lasagna/ mac-and-cheese. Also, chunky’s soups are feasible. If you’re ever coming over for dinner at my place, tell me what you don’t like. I’m a server. Trust me, I’m incredibly used to modifying dishes around peoples “Allergies”.

The only person you’re hurting when you don’t tell me you aren’t a fan of sweet potatoes is yourself. Speak up.

All my passive aggressive love from afar,
Sarah.

P.S. This time it only took 3 months for him to tell me how he truly felt. It took a year and a half of me buying larges of every snack and sharing at the theatre before he told me he really doesn’t like to share popcorn. We’re making progress.

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All The Reasons Start With ‘E’ 

It’s 2 in the morning here in this Berklee bubble home, and there are three reasons I am still awake: the holiday, my sister, and the surroundings. 

The holiday. Easter. I ate too much candy, drank not enough water and I’m now jacked on caffeine and unable to turn my tired mind off. 

The sister. Elena. You know how people breathe heavier the deeper in sleep they are? Now imagine a water buffalo with the face of a bull dog. Now give that water buffalo dog a cold. And now imagine the sound of the breaths. That’s Elena in a serious state of studying. (Not the face. God no. She’s gorgeous. I’m just using this example to show how strong her lungs and diaphragm are. They’re fucking strong.) now imagine that you are sharing a bed with a bulldog water buffalo named Stallone who has a cold. Stallone falls into a relaxed, deep sleep and now breathes louder and squeaker. Now try falling asleep. Good luck                                              . 

The surroundings. 

The third ‘E’ is Everyone. The Neighbours are square dancing to southern rock renditions of Christmas songs, someone else is practicing guitar, and facebook has angry feminists making me laugh. These are also contributing to the non sleep factor. 

So this is my easter night. How’s yours? Stay cosy, world. All my love, sarah. 

What Theatre Taught Me About Practical Exams

Education is important and I believe it is gleaned from both in and outside of the classroom. In high school, my best subjects were English and Drama. (And Auto Mechanics, but really that was because I was the only girl in the class and my teacher correctly assumed I deserved a good grade for being badass.) English was simply writing according to the outline given by the teacher. I was much better then because I was writing every day as opposed to now when I only write to avoid studying. Theatre, or Drama, was much like English but instead of putting my heart on paper, I was putting in on stage. I loved it. Being the centre of attention but under a different name. It wasn’t Sarah Goddard being stared at and applauded (something that makes me blush with the heat of a thousand suns) but instead it was Sarah Brown or Serena Katz, or the Ringmaster; they were the ones people had fallen in love with over the course of 3 hours.

The thing about English was that I could write and write and eventually I could choose which draft I wanted to hand in to be graded. With Theatre auditions, I had maybe 10 or 15 minutes, no re-do’s. I don’t recall ever having a solid audition where I left feeling, “I did great! I deserve a big role.” Every single time, I got on stage, stumbled through the lines that were so perfectly memorized 10 minutes earlier, and forgot the words to any musical portion. And then I’d blush and stutter and after the process was over I would go to the girls washroom, splash cold water on my face and force myself to do a happy dance just for the sake of not passing out. I think the reason I ever got the roles I did was because my teachers had the opportunity to see my potential in class. The rest of my class time was my real audition and the seemingly unprepared, hot mess on the audition stage was nerves.

Yesterday, I had my first Oral Practical midterm. It is simple. You have 30 minutes to state the consent form (16 lines) and then  as the examiner states, you show your draping skills and massage techniques. I was not worried for this exam. I felt that I picked up techniques quickly and I had memorized the consent form like I had memorized lines. I could tell it to you 3 times backwards right now. But yesterday morning, I stepped in that examination room cool as a cucumber, and then He said “Okay, please state the consent form.” and I got through 5 line…. and blanked. I couldn’t even think of my own name. I couldn’t even think! It was terrifying and panicking and I felt exactly like the 17 year old small town girl standing on the stage. I once again felt like I was letting down my favourite teachers, letting down myself, and overall failing. Somehow I managed a deep breathe and the rest of the lines came pouring out of me after I stopped thinking. My examiner had a complete poker face which also looks like permanent disappointment so I chose to avoid looking at him. A line from the very last time I was one stage came back to memory.
“Smile, and shrug your shoulders. Make believe its fine.”
So, I smiled. I listened to the next instructions, and I followed through. I missed stupid cues and I said really dumb answers, but I didn’t pass out. I didn’t cry. And I remembered that it was just an audition for the next round of classes. I was already in.
Stage fright is one of the worst things a person can experience. Only, I don’t get it on opening night or dress rehearsals in front of 100 people who don’t know the lines. I get it at the audition in front of people I want to impress, in front of people who have the entire score sheet waiting to be checked off. My auditions were notoriously awkward and bad. But my performances weren’t. This midterm may have made me want to crawl under the massage table and disappear into the floor, but theatre taught me that a bad 15 minutes doesn’t mean I’ve failed. It means I’ve learned and become rather self aware of my breathing.  I can remember this feeling and use it. I can also remember the feeling of looking at the final cast list and seeing my name. Knowing I made it through. I have to remember that feeling too.

I miss theatre because if I cried in an audition I could say the character felt it. If I cry during a practical exam, I’d probably be told I’m mentally unstable and shouldn’t be working with the public. The most important thing theatre taught me about practical exams is that the examiners aren’t judging me. They are observing me and comparing me to the outline they have in front of them. It also taught me that it’s okay to feel upset and disappointed in yourself but you also have to feel proud of yourself for doing something you thought was terrifying. Written exams I fear not; practical exams I fear do…… (Just go with it.)

Stay inspiring, world. Everyone we meet can do something we can’t or knows something we don’t. Lets learn from each other.
All my love,
Sarah

I Have This Terrifying Feeling

I have this terrifying feeling that I had something highly important to do today and I have forgotten.
Perhaps its the fact that I have no exams and no work. Maybe its the fact that I’ve made so many plans lately that it feels unnatural to have none.
I don’t know. But I feel ill. Is there a word for this?
I slept in until 11, then I checked all my calendars, which were blank. Coffee is always the next step, so I made that and breakfast and as I ate I pondered all possibilities of what I could be forgetting about. Is is a birthday? Is it a letter I’m supposed to write? A shift I picked up? I friend I was supposed to meet? I have no clue!
I decided to be productive, and so dish washing and house cleaning began. I think this wasn’t what I was forgetting because although the feeling of cleaning is satisfying, its not relieving. And I believe thats what I would feel after remembering what it is I seem to have forgotten.
I’m going to do some laundry and study and figure out what to do with my life today.
Good luck today, World.
All my love, Sarah

PS. Is it normal for mould to grow on plants that are being watered every other day? I’m trying to be an adult and not let this one die, but just when I see green shoots poking through the soil, I also see fluffs of mould.

Wanna Hear a Joke?

ME: “What did the pirate say when he turned 80?”
Dustin: “I don’t know. What?”
ME: “Aye Matey!”
Dustin: “haha. Ar Matey. thats funny.”
Me: “….No. Thats not the punch line. It’s ‘Aye Matey.’ sounds like ‘I’m Eighty.'”
Dustin: “Ya I get it. its a pirate sound. It sounds like he’s saying ‘YAR matey.”
Me: ………….. “I don’t know if I can handle this situation right now. You are laughing at a punch line that doesn’t even exist. ‘Yar Matey’ is not the joke. Its ‘Aye Matey.”
Dustin: “Uh. Okay.”

Often I feel like my humour is too smart for the crowds I hang out with. I’ll say something funny and no one gets it because I’m referencing a play or a country that non thespians and non-travellers wouldn’t know. And then I go to a simple little haha joke and still my joke is misunderstood. Maybe I’m the one who is not getting the punch line. Perhaps its not their sense of humour that is lame, but mine.
I blame homeschooling for making me unfunny. My mom was the recipient of all my jokes and she had to laugh. Its like breaking the mom-law if you don’t laugh at your kids’ jokes.
Personally, I laughed at the AYE MATEY because it reminded me of something my dad would say with pride.
Also, why doesn’t my boyfriend get my jokes?
Stay humorous, World.
All my love, Sarah

This Makes Me

This past week, I have been quite sick. I even stayed home from school one day and when you’re paying for your own education, you suddenly value those classroom hours. GIVE ME ALL YOUR KNOWLEDGE, OH WISE ONE!
On Sunday, Dustin came over to hang out and he knew I was sick so when he walked in the door, he gave me an empathetic  smile and held up a grocery bag filled with feel goods. Not only did he bring me cough drops and tylenol and other soothing medicine, he also bought me chocolate because he knows that just by having chocolate within my reach makes me feel much better.
Last night, we were cuddling and my feet were freezing. (seriously, huge lack of circulation issue.) My Mr. HVAC Technician held my frozen toes in his warm hands and asked “Do you know what kind of heat transfer this is?” and I piped up saying “Conduction!” The look of shock on his face that I knew something from his trade was amazing. I then explained that I know this stuff from studying hydrotherapy and I was able to explain conduction and the other 4 forms of heat transfer that I will use in my career. Suddenly, the couple that was the epitome of “opposites attract” had something in common.
This is the part of traveling I loved. This is the part of living in a new city or working at a new job that I loved.
This … knowing things.
Its so cool! I need to thank my Dad for this. Because without him, I never would have wanted to get to know a new country. I never would have known how to push myself. I never would have gone to school.
A year ago, I had envisioned myself now being in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam. Somewhere. Anywhere but here. And now I’m willingly walking through the snow and the wind to get to a classroom where I spend 7 hours taking notes and then going home and studying those notes for another 2 hours and then working out and sleeping and repeating the next day.
Knowledge is cool and wisdom is powerful.
Christmas, 2015, I will sit with my family and my brother and I will have a conversation using all our medical terminology and we will finally be the ones that confuse our sisters. We will no longer be the confused ones. (until they start talking about finances and economics. Then I’m back to confusion.)
This post had a point, but it is long gone.
Keep learning, world! Every person you meet knows something you don’t.
All my love,
Sarah.

The Art of Seeing it Through

Today, for the first time I can recall, I finished something from start to finish.
There were moments where I wondered if it was worth it, if my time could be better spent elsewhere. I laughed, I cried; I experienced heartache and frustration. I didn’t always understand what I was learning and sometimes I wondered if it was even necessary to learn it.  Although some days I wanted to give up, I saw it through. I pushed down the naysayers and little voices in my head telling me to let it go, and today, I did it.
I finished an entire series on Netflix.