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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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on a bus to new mexico
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
My youngest sister and her boyfriend are running off to New Mexico.

I want to repeat this, because it's necessary for me to let it sink in.

They. Are. Running. Off. To. New. Mexico.

His sister lives there, granted. There's a trailer house with their name on it. There's no electricity yet. They have no money. They have no jobs. They don't have a car. They have *bus tickets*. They leave on Saturday. I'm dealing with this in my usual way, which is complete disbelief and shock. I also bought their tickets online for them after they paid me, which gives it a certain amount of reality, but not very much.

Again. Running off to New Mexico.

It's not that I don't get the timeless romance novel quality of it, though I'm not seeing Alburquerque as a hub of timeless romantic getaways. I *write* this sort of thing. I'm all agog with the richness and purity of their love, that can't go fifteen minutes without an explosion of profanity and arguing and questionable substance use and abuse.

I have no idea why I find this so funny, but every time I think about it, I have the worst case of giggles in history. My mother's completely not dealing with it, and my father's--God alone knows what's going on in his head. My other sister isn't commenting, but she disapproves of any of us having an independent idea on principle. I may be the only one thinking, oh what the hell, *do* it. My aunt is just against it, but I'm not too sure about her motives.

I mean, if I were to lose my mind and pack up Child and drag him across the continent, it wouldn't be Alburquerque, but you know, I can go with that being the place. I suppose what I don't understand is why everyone seems to think it's such a bad idea. Scratch that--I get why it is. What I have never gotten is why people in my family are so down on mistakes.

I mean, let's assume it's a mistake. The odds say it will be. I honestly don't think that matters, but let's go with that. It's a bad idea. What the hell makes that a reason not to do something? Three quarters of the things people do are mistakes. If you're going to make mistakes, make interesting ones. Make ones that will make interesting memories and anecdotes. There's nothing intersting about picking the wrong wine for your beef mistakes.

It's--it's frustrating, on some level. I want Child to make mistakes. That sounds wrong. But it's there. I want him to screw up and learn something from it, or get something out of it, or walk away from it, or find out that it was the right kind of mistake. I don't think you can *get* anywhere without fucking up, and sometimes doing it big time. It's so much worse than never trying anything at all, or only trying things that are safe. Or only trying when you're sure you'll succeed. Life shouldn't be that safe.

I mean, I've yet to have a really epic mistake, but I'm keeping my eye out for a good one to come along, something I can really sink my teeth into. I don't know--quit my job, pack Child onto a plane with two suitcases and minimal money, and move--oh hell, to Chicago, or Atlanta, or maybe Idaho. Fall in love in one night and get married in Vegas by an Elvis impersonator. Go to amateur night at a strip club and perform. Okay, that would take so much alcohol. But you get the idea.

I want her to do this. It's the stupidest thing I've ever had an epiphany about, but when my mother very gently insinuated I should talk to her about it, it just hit me all at once. Let her *do* it. Let her enjoy it, let her find out that it's the worst idea in history or the best, but let her figure it all out for herself, let her have this. Send her off with a smile and an open phone line, tell her to call or write and tell us what the weather is like, or how she likes the heat, or what she had for dinner, what she hates and loves and thinks about. Make sure she knows she can come home, but let her know she can make the choice to do it, not let us make it for her.

I think I've actually lost my mind. I need to send some money with her for a phone card. I want to know what the weather's like when she gets off the bus.


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Not the way I'd usually look at things, but then again - yeah. The biggest mistakes I've made in my life (and they've been mistakes, complete with heartache and psychological scars) have led to opportunities I'd never have had otherwise. Sometimes those opportunities have also led to mistakes, but sometimes they've been great.

So yeah. Screwing up is an important part of life, and having a family member or friend reassure you that there's an open phone line if you need them is priceless. Your sister's lucky to have you.

Not the way I'd usually look at things, but then again - yeah. The biggest mistakes I've made in my life (and they've been mistakes, complete with heartache and psychological scars) have led to opportunities I'd never have had otherwise. Sometimes those opportunities have also led to mistakes, but sometimes they've been great.

Yeah. It's--I've had some big ones, too, and sometimes I think, if I hadn't, if I didn't--but then, some of them were worth it for the memories. I'd rather regret something I did than something I didn't do, I think, even if in the short view, I yell D'oh. *sighs* I'm not sure if that even makes sense, really.

So yeah. Screwing up is an important part of life, and having a family member or friend reassure you that there's an open phone line if you need them is priceless. Your sister's lucky to have you.

I want her to--just know, that this is for her, not for anyone else. If she wants this, or needs it, to do it. Just keep us updated so we know she's still breathing. And how the scorpion population is. *grins*

I want her to do this. It's the stupidest thing I've ever had an epiphany about, but when my mother very gently insinuated I should talk to her about it, it just hit me all at once. Let her *do* it. Let her enjoy it, let her find out that it's the worst idea in history or the best, but let her figure it all out for herself, let her have this. Send her off with a smile and an open phone line, tell her to call or write and tell us what the weather is like, or how she likes the heat, or what she had for dinner, what she hates and loves and thinks about. Make sure she knows she can come home, but let her know she can make the choice to do it, not let us make it for her.

you know, this is the best response you could have - it's her life, and actually having experiences; doing things and learning from them (good or bad) is the way we figure out who we are and where we're going.

it probably is a mistake, but it's *her* mistake. I like your attitude, and hope she calls to update you on dinner and the weather often.

I'm giving her stationary and stamps and a phone card, I think. I've heard the weather there is nice. You know, being hot and all. Like Texas without the humidity. *grins*

i actually agrees completely with what you just said..

and so i thought, "hmm, how would I feel if it were MY youngest sister..?"

that's when it hit me -- my opinion on this actually depended on how YOUNG my youngest sister is..

oh well, but i think the general principle is exactly what you said. :D

just how young is she, anyways? [/nosy]

*grins* She's twenty-one. She's smart when she takes the time to think. I think this time will give her the chance to do that. If nothing else, she'll get a great tan.

ok! that's good enough for anybody, i think..

i just had the "oh no!" thought flash briefly in my mind, because my youngest sister is still in highschool.. and she isn't from krypton -- of that i'm pretty sure.

:D

My mom always says "Do something, even if it's wrong." I don't always follow her advice, but sometimes when I'm thinking over a decision, that bit of advice comes to me. It's not the safest way to live, but it leads to a lot of opportunities--good things, and not-so-good things that are learning experiences.

Yikes. I do hope it works out for them.

Wait...you're not laughing about Albuquerque are you? 'Cause you know some of live here! ;)

If I hadn't made the biggest mistakes of my life (oh, there are several!) I'd be stuck in a totally happy, normal, conventional life. It would probably be good and nice. I'd hate it. Thank God I screwed up (again and again...) to get where I am.

Yet that fear and love burns in your heart, I know, I know.

Such are the contradictions that make life grand, you know? :)

Yeah... If you're looking for gifts, you can't do much better than a big, fat phone card for her. It's a gift to her as well as your family. It's not like she can spend it on anything BUT giving you a ring and letting you know how the weather is. Get her some 1000 minute card from Wal-Mart or BJ's. It's nice to have the option of calling home from any payphone in the country. Or out, probably, for that matter.

Though, if she's calling you from Belgium, all of a sudden, you'd have other issues in play.

Regardless, I wish her (and you) the best of luck and I just hope she gets a chance to vote before she leaves. ;)

I... man. See, that hits home hard.

When I turned 18, I got control of various monies and, well, ease of doing Adult Stuff. So I started planning my Grand Road Trip and Travels of the United States. My Grand Road Trip did not turn out to be that Grand, but I did go to Boston in January and I went to the Caribbean in February and I got a chance to go to an awesome convention in San Francisco because I was on that cruise, so I went there, and I visited friends and family in California and I finally sorted out my relationship with a friend in LA, and this is a run-on sentence. And then? I went to Arizona, to stay with friends and lick my wounds because rejection of any kind is never fun even if you're ready for it, and I fell in love with someone there.

And then a couple months later, I drove cross-country, from Middle Tennessee to Phoenix, Arizona, driving my Dad's bigass F-150 with a 6' U-Haul trailer on it's ass all by lonesome, all of my belongings packed up in there and I moved in with my boyfriend of a couple months. That I'd spent all of a couple weeks actually physically with.

It's been a GRAND adventure, and somehow, it all seems to be working out but even if it doesn't? I tried it. I did something insane and amazing.

And my parents have completely supported me in this--to wit, the use of my Dad's truck. Because they seem to think that I'm a smart woman and capable of making my own choices and that it's better I get the hell out of their house and start living my own life.

People have always been asking them, "Well, surely you're worried about her going off on her own like that?" And they've just grinned and said that it was my adventure and that they wish me nothing but luck.

I'm insanely lucky to have had my parents like that. And I have to say, your sister is lucky to at least have someone whose going to leave the phone line open and send her off with a grin and a good luck charm.

Because it might be a mistake, but it's hers to make.

This is great to read. Good on you (as they say hereabouts) for cheering your sister on!

I recently discovered my new Motto for Life in (of all places) a Magic Schoolbus book (picked up for 50 well-spent cents at a local charity shop):

The bus stopped ... "Ms Frizzle, I'm going to go out and have a look," Wanda said.

Ms Frizzle nodded. "Take chances," she called after Wanda. "Get messy. Make mistakes!"


I damn near cried when I read it. JB didn't understand why I suddenly choked up in the middle of a story about decomposition ;-)

Which reminds me, I really must print out Shel Silverstein's "Listen to the Mustn'ts" and hang it on JB's wall. He'll appreciate it, when he learns to read ...

LISTEN TO THE MUSTN'TS
Shel Silverstein

Listen to the MUSTN'TS, child,
Listen to the DON'TS
Listen to the SHOULDN'TS
The IMPOSSIBLES, the WON'TS
Listen to the NEVER-HAVES
Then listen close to me --
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.


Again, hurrah for sharing your sister's excitement! I hope it's a Glorious Mistake, and fodder for endless anecdotes.

(Do remind her to shake -- and thump -- her shoes well before putting them on in the morning.)

I want Child to make mistakes. That sounds wrong. But it's there. I want him to screw up and learn something from it, or get something out of it, or walk away from it, or find out that it was the right kind of mistake. I don't think you can *get* anywhere without fucking up, and sometimes doing it big time. It's so much worse than never trying anything at all, or only trying things that are safe. Or only trying when you're sure you'll succeed. Life shouldn't be that safe.

EXACTLY!!!

Mike bought a car last month...completely on his own.

He got hosed.

I mean so badly it's not even funny.

He's already replaced the transmission, part of the exhaust, his passenger side window won't roll up. The car cost him $2,000 and he's almost at $1,000 in repairs.

But you know what, I wouldn't change a thing. Because it's taught him so much!

It's painful to watch sometimes, but I know (okay pray) that he'll learn some valuable lessons after this experience.

So I'm totally with you. Let your sister make her mistakes.

Dude.

*considers*

Awesome.


(And, Child will thank you later. SO MUCH will he thank you later.)

Then again, there are the *worst* mistakes, like...choosing the wrong yellow paint? Virulent, retina-burning, *bright* yellow paint? There are no words for how wrong it is. *shakes head at herself*

I like that your mother told you to talk to her -- did you? Ideally, before letting your mother know that you wanted her to do? In any case, since you bought her the bus tickets I guess she's going, and your parents haven't been able to stop her or talk her out of it. Good for her for going, and good for you for supporting her on it.

She's so lucky to have you.

Everybody, at some point in their life, must take that grand leap into the unknown, some new adventure. Like you said, opportunities arise from taking risks, and you get new experiences, even if the risk you took was a mistake.

Everyone should have such good siblings and family!

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