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Chasing The American Dream

August 18, 2005


The drive to work looks different this week. I have a 40 mile drive which takes me upwards of 90 minutes. That in and of itself is enough to make one want to move closer to work, but that’s another story for another day. During those stressful 90 minutes, I take plenty of surface streets and various short-cuts, none of which work very well. But they do give me the chance to observe people, places, and things rather than just I-95, affectionately known as The Big Slab.

The streets these days are filled with children with backpacks, yellow school buses, school zone traffic signals blinking, crossing guards with day-glo gloves, and a ton more cars on the road. Yes, school is in; summer is over (not technically but you get the gist). The more I thought about this, the more it saddened me. I just recently read a post from Quotablex about her summer, too. The post and my commute got me thinking.

When I was in school, elementary or high school or even up to my sophomore year in college, there always seemed to be finite periods of time. Seasons perhaps. As kids, we looked forward to vacation times. Winter break around Christmas time, Spring Break in March, and everyone’s favorite, the long two or three-month summer vacation.

I loved summer vacation. Summer vacation meant visits from dad, longer days when the sun stayed out past 8 o’clock, July 4th fireworks, days at the beach, days at the golf course, Summer Camp, BBQs, and never having to wear anything but shorts, t-shirts, and flip flops. Summertime always flew by, didn’t it? How many of our great memories were from great times had during the summer? Jeez, the worst week of the year was that last week of summer vacation. All the fun coming to a grinding halt and more time spent shopping for new clothes and school supplies.

Yeah, back then, summer really meant something. I miss those carefree days. I even miss the actual feeling of looking forward to summer approaching. I don’t miss the disappointment of that last weekend knowing school was starting on Monday. Or do I? Nowadays, and really since my Junior year in college, it’s all been a blur to me because of work. Spring melds right into summer and before you know it, it’s Fall. Sheesh, I didn’t really realize summer was over until this week when all the school buses came out of hiding. And that’s what makes me sad. Seasons have no meaning anymore. Days go by, seasons change, but it’s all pea soup-foggy to me. It’s one long, continuous season. Sassy just wrote about being stuck in a rut. I made a comment that ruts are easy to get into and tough to get out of. I think I might be stuck, too. I need to find a new place to live, be excited about coming home once again, get off the couch, buy a heavenly bed or a reasonable facsimile thereof, finish my book, find a nice new friend to go out with and have some fun, or find a long-distance person willing to simply hang out here for a weekend. Something new, a departure from the norm, a new memory, anything to get out of the fog and out of the rut. (Yes, I’m aware of these sentence fragments. I guess it’s my stream of consciousness writing style. Sorry.) Where am I going with this life? Is someone going to eventually accompany me? Damn, everything’s so blurry. Even these damn meds are making my head blurry. Can I make it without them? I’m having doubts and this fuzzy feeling isn’t helping. I guess for now, my daily commute of snarled traffic jams and the herds of stop sign-flagged school buses are my reminders of how time used to be so clearly and wonderfully defined, shaped with great memories with little time for getting stuck in rutsville. I’d ready for a little clarity. Yeah, clarity would really help. Don’tcha think?


  • http://taleoftwosisters.blogspot.com/

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:43 AM, August 19, 2005  

  • Wistful and yearning. Those were the words that came to mind here.

    I can't remember -- did you grow up with actual seasons?

    I think it's easier to get into a rut where you are. We live with the seasons: arid summer followed by crisp fall, frigid winter and budding spring.

    Maybe a real night's sleep in that heavenly bed will help what ails you?

    And please don't apologize for your writing style; I zipped along with your stream-of-consciousness until you pointed it out to me!

    By Anonymous ~K, at 1:52 AM, August 19, 2005  

  • The traffic is going straight to your head.

    I've found, that in those times of strife or indecision when I feel lost or like nothing is happening is when I forget to live in the present. We are a nation standing in front of microwaves trying to speed everything up. It's almost as if we chase drama and the highs and the lows. You just started a new job, correct? That's a new begining. Now plan some new adventures for tomorrow (it's Friday after all). Plan to finish another chapter in the book or go for a swim it's the baby steps and not climbing the moutains.
    (Damn that's so much easier to write than do)

    By Blogger Sass, at 4:24 PM, August 19, 2005  

  • I was reading The Greek Cow's blog and kept coming across posts that wanted to make me throw up. As I got to the end of them, I kept seeing the same name, "Plantation".

    Here is one of them:
    ""Boy can you write." Always, lasts, what-might-have-beens, memories. All bitter pills to swallow. I'm really sorry, sweetie. You make it so vivid. I can picture you in these moments, smiling ear-to-ear, and maybe more importantly, smiling and contented on the inside. And as I picture you, I see three of you in bed; you, him, and child. It *is* a matter of time Stephanie. It *will* happen. You've got entirely too much to offer. Some day soon, some really smart and intelligent guy will figure this out. No more train wrecks. No more sublimation. I know you know this to be true. *Big Hug*"

    Man, you are as pathetic as she is. Every one of your comments kisses her ass. Rather, it's like you're sticking your tongue right up her asshole. What the fuck is wrong with you that you have to drip all over some tramp like Stephanie Klein? Can't you see what a needy excuse for a woman she is? It's no wonder none of her relationships last. If I was a guy, I'd want to get the fuck away from her as soon as I could.

    Stop posting your drivel to her blog. You sound like a needy loser yourself. Shit. I don't get you people.

    By Anonymous Tanisha, at 7:11 PM, August 19, 2005  

  • Why is there such hatred for Stephanie? I don't get YOU people???

    By Blogger Plantation, at 10:09 PM, August 19, 2005  

  • I always try to read your posts, but they always put me to sleep about half way through..

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:09 AM, August 20, 2005  

  • Thanks for at least trying, Ft. Wayne. At least you've found a cure for insomnia.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 7:31 AM, August 20, 2005  

  • PT, i gotta give it up to you, i think you handle negative feedback better than any blogger i have come across! you should be proud of yourself. i myself cant stand SK either, and her posts do cause me to a certain amount of nausea, but it would take me too long to enumerate all the reasons why. but to each his own, and if you like her, thats your prerogative.

    i am not sure what is wrong with tanisha or the anonymous insomniac, but i give you props for the way you handle those types of comments, although i wouldnt be nearly as nice. but when bloggers go head to head with those types of commenters, it never seems to do anything but cause long drawn out virtual battles.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:53 PM, August 20, 2005  

  • Wow, an 'anon' with something nice to say. That's a switch. Thanks.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 10:11 PM, August 20, 2005  

  • Damn! I'm not used to seeing this much negativity around here, what is going on?!

    I just came by to read the latest and see whats up, and hoping you fixed my link, pleez?!

    Why not just delete the bad comments? You have the capability, right?

    By Blogger catsteevens, at 10:51 PM, August 20, 2005  

  • damn good blog, check out mine http://juicyfruiter.blogspot.com, comments always welcome!

    By Blogger janette979dominick, at 1:29 PM, August 21, 2005  

  • Cat, people have a right to their opinion. Hey, if they don't like what or how I write, that's their opinion, right or wrong. I just feel it's OK to air all comments unless horribly distasteful.

    Janette, thanks and welcome.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 2:11 PM, August 21, 2005  

  • seems as though some of your readers are stuck in the winter of their discontent (i would love to read tanisha's blog - it must be really uplifting).

    we have seasons now that we've moved to il, but i know what you mean about anticipation, or the lack thereof (especially now that i work at a place where we're expected to work on holidays).

    hang in there and just remember why you're blogging in the first place.

    By Blogger ropedncr, at 6:29 PM, August 21, 2005  

  • Hey friend,

    I was thinking the same thing the other day. How the seasons just seem to meld into each other and it made me sad. I used to enjoy summer as a kid but it doesn't have the same meaning anymore. Sometimes we have to stop, listen, smell, breathe and remember. The sweet smell of a warm summer night, the sounds of crickets breaking the silence of the enveing... the feel of soft, gentle breezes agains your skin and soon memories come flooding back. It's a temporary feel good, but it helps.


    By Blogger Mari, at 1:12 AM, August 22, 2005  

  • I'm coming at it from a different angle - I'm just going into my final year, and then my life will no longer be defined by academic years.

    I was wondering how long it takes someone to adjust thinking about years from Sept-May (academic) to April-April (financial). After 23 years of academic will my body clock always start a new year in September?

    By Blogger Sarah, at 7:32 AM, August 22, 2005  

  • ah, yes- the elusive quest for clarity. I know how you feel - when one day you wake up and realize you've been following the exact same routine for way too long- right down to how many times you hit the snooze button in the morning to what you eat for dinner every night. It's so easy to wallow in it. All I can say is don't wait for someone else to do something about it. Don't wait for someone to come into your life and make it better. I made the mistake of doing that for a while and all it did was prolong the rut. Then I moved, went back to school and trained for my first marathon. It broke up the monotony and gave me new things to work for and look forward to. Good luck!

    btw, first time visiting and really like the blog. mind if I post the link to it on mine?

    By Blogger Lizzie, at 5:14 PM, August 22, 2005  

  • Dang, what have you done to attract such happy (NOT!) posters to your comments? LOL, I hope you're not taking them seriously because they simply do not have anything constructive to contribute.

    Your journal is just that - YOURS. Write what makes you feel better and what clears your head. If what you write doesn't resonate with them, they can click to the next site.

    By Blogger Denise, at 6:11 PM, August 22, 2005  

  • I emphathize. My new job is an 80 mile roudtrip, all highway. I'm not sure I can afford to move closer or if I want to (I've got a semblemnce of a life where I live now).

    By Blogger Lyss, at 11:03 AM, September 02, 2005  

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