loud & clear | The Feathered Thing

Shutters.
After I committed to UMass, I took a red eye flight with my sister to see the place I'd be calling home. At the time, the anticipation of moving here was everything to me. In the wake of a break-up, I had thrown myself into my graduate school applications. And, after I submitted them, I held on to the single hope of a place I could create, any way I wanted.

That weekend, we visited the house of Emily Dickinson, Amherst's most notable resident. She was a delicate recluse and, in my quiet fear, I found myself to relating to her so deeply. I wanted to go back to being "about to begin", to the part that's just imagining.

Today's post for The Equals Record was inspired Emily and the comfort in unknowing
You can read it here!

When I got home from the trip, I locked myself in the bathroom and just sobbed on the floor of my studio apartment.  I was overwhelmed with trying to find a place to live, and shipping my things, and figuring out my new health insurance.  It turned out that the shiny goal I had of being professor was made up of lots of hellacious logistical details.

I was crying for another reason too. Now that my dream had come true, it wasn't a dream anymore. There was no longer a fictional far-off place for me to put my joy. Instead, there was a very real town in western New England, that was wonderful but different than I'd imagined.  

When I stopped sniffling and called my best friend, Laura, she told me something that I've held on to:
 "There's always going to be an oh shit moment after getting exactly what you wanted." She's right about that, isn't she? It's a beautiful thing to have a dream, but it can be really hard to live it.

(photos) on film with Pentax K1000 | Emily Dickinson's House. Amherst, MA

20 comments:

  1. Beautiful! I really enjoyed reading your words here and there.

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  2. Oh, that moment... It gets me every time.

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  3. I love the way you write and express emotions and thoughts in such a poetic, lyrical way. This post really hits home because it is something I've been thinking about alot. I've been trying to find the words to say it and I think you just did very eloquently. When I passed the Bar exam, I was probably the only person around me who didn't express happiness about the news. Because at that moment, what I felt was a combination of relief (I don't have to study that hard or take another test again!), and "oh shit!" I had been so focused and worked hard at attaining this goal that the moment I did it, I didn't know what to do with myself! Now in hindsight, it was a frighteningly beautiful moment.

    Thanks for always sharing a piece of you here. Your words and photographs inspire me.

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    1. Mae, thank you for sharing your story about the Bar! No one ever talks about how it's actually really hard to get what you want! There isn't a magic genie that says "wish granted" ... it's usually an open door (of course a wish granted, in itself!) and a lot of hard work that follows. It's nice knowing someone out there gets that too.

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  4. She's so right. I think that "oh shit" moment is where my emotions have been lingering for the past few weeks. As always, you face that fear and write about it so eloquently, friend. Beautiful piece for Equals Record, too.

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  5. Thank you for articulating this so well. I've been feeling this lately too now that my boyfriend is finally moving here after two years of long distance. Oh shit.
    Always love your writing.

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    1. Colleen, I bet that's exciting and a little terrifying all at the same time. I forgot to mention one little piece about doing the work after a dream comes true: it's worth it. It's always worth it.

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  6. congratulation for your home Sam :)
    i can emphasize how much i'm dying for a place that is home that is my own too. i feel like i'm gonna be in this moving process forever. and thank you for sharing this. it's something i really need to hear. and thank you for remind me that there will be oh shit moments

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    1. I needed the reminder as much as you! That's what friends are for, right?

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    2. so glad and lucky to have a friend like you :)

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  7. this is so true. love youuuu!!!

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  8. You. Are. Beautiful. And this post? Resonated deep within me. It's that feeling of now or never. It's that hardened but lovely reality.

    It's like commitment in the best/worst way.

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    1. Ah, Tiffany! As always you put that so well. "Now or never" is the EXACT feeling! "Welp ... here we go."

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  9. This was truly beautiful, I wanted to read it over and over. Gorgeous Sam XX

    Sweet Apple Lifestyle

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    1. Thank you, Katie! I've been trying to be more creative with my writing (less expository) and so every time I finish I'm like "does this even say anything?" I appreciate your feedback!

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  10. So, so very true. I think that's why I'm a goals person because if I can have something in the future to push me forward, everything becomes a lot easier. It seems like you have truly created a home for yourself there in New England though and that's so amazing. :) Congrats to you!!

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  11. I just read your Equals Record post and re-read this post...so beautiful. All of it.

    I once heard that sensation, of wanting, gaining, and confusion, called the "aha! oh no!" moment, and I couldn't agree more.

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  12. I love how you were able to express the range of emotions that happen when a dream isn't a dream anymore, but a reality. Then there's the "now what" ...

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  13. that's it. an 'oh shit, what i am doing here??' kind of moment.

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