Monday, February 18, 2013

How do you Solve a Problem like Maria?

Plinky prompt: When you were five, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did it happen? I know this one may seem cliche, but I have a cute story and it has really influenced my life thus far.

I am not sure exactly what age this was (somewhere between three and five) but I wanted to be a nun. I don't think I fully understood what this meant but when my father asked me why I wanted to be a nun, this was my reply: "Because I want to pray and sing all day like Maria." I was talking about Maria from the Sound of Music. I absolutely loved that musical (I still do)! It was the first musical I saw on Broadway and the only think I remember about it was not wanting to walk back to the hotel after the show so different people took turns carrying me. Anyway, I use to put the things that cover the arms of the couch on my head and walk around  singing "how do you solve a problem like Maria?".

I moved away from that idea as I got older. I wanted to me a journalist for National Geographic. Then I wanted to be a music teacher. Now I'm studying psychology and religion in the hopes of becoming a clinical psychologist someday. The idea of becoming a nun really never left my mind, rather it was shoved in the background. Before the end of my senior year of high school the idea resurfaced and I though a lot about the religious life. It was a drastic change from the wanting to going to college and study psychology. To some extent, wanting to join a convent was my way of trying to control the changes I was about to face in my life. Also to some extent, wanting to a nun was more than just a desire, it felt like something I was meant to do. But obviously devoting ones life to a religious vocation takes a lot of discernment.

Hence the reason why I am in college with the intent of reeving a degree in both religious studies and psychology. I also have a lot of things I want to do with my life that I would not be able to do while confined in the walls of a convent. I want to travel and I want to help people through clinical psych. Becoming a nun is not a goal I specifically aiming for at this point in my life, but it is still something I think about. I think that someday (when I am much older) it could become a possibility. Who knows, life is so unpredictable but everything happens for a reason. Maybe wanting to be a nun at the age of five is a sign or maybe it's just a cute story.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Five People

     This week has been long thus far. There are lots of things (good and not so good) going on in my life, but none of these things I want to write about nor do feel inspired to write about. Since I have to write something because it is part of my grade, I needed some topic ideas. So I used Google and found some great prompts through the website Plinky ( The one I will be writing on this week is as followed: Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. If this is true, which five people would you like to spend your time with?

     I am going to assume that these five people can be anyone, dead or alive. So here is my five: Jesus Christ, Socrates, my father, my mother, and my grandmother on my fathers’ side. There are hundreds of people I would love to meet spend time with in my life and it makes me sad I could not list all my friends and family. But these people are included in this list for specific and meaningful reasons. 

     First of all, Jesus is number one because I consider my self very religious person and meeting the man who is the foundation of the religion I practice. Spending my time with Him would make me a more faithful and generous person. Also, I think he would help me a understand a lot about my faith that I do not understand. And I love religious discussions and having them with Him would be incredibly fascinating. Spending time with Socrates might drive me crazy but it would also make me wise. He would help me understand the world and (more importantly) the people of the world. Doing this is what I seek to do in my life, hence why I am studying psychology. 

     I would like to spend my time with my parents because they are both people who I look up to and respect immensely. Talking with my parents is always interesting and I think they would make me wiser as well. Spending time with them would also teach me love. Being able to love someone and be loved is another thing I think we all strive for in my life. My father would also provide the music in my life (he is music teacher and fantastic musician himself) and my mother would provide me with books and knowledge (being the teacher and graduate student she is). They would both fill my time with fun because they are both fun to be with and we have great times together. The last person on my list is my Grammy because she has Alzheimer’s disease and I don’t know how much time I have left with her (or how much of that time she will know who I am). I would want to spend my time with her so that I could make however much time she has left amazing. Being with her I would learn about how to live a happy and full life (like she has) and also I would learn how to deal with and accept death. She would teach me how to be kind and how to take care of others in need, She has done this her whole life being a nurse, wife, mother, and finally grandmother. 

     Spending my time with all these people would definitely make my life a rich and interesting one. I think spending time with these people would help shape me into the picture perfect Sarah, if perfection actually existed. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sometimes I Think too Much and put My Thoughts on the Internet

     We just finished reading Camus’ The Stranger in class. Again, this is not my reaction to the book (I just wrote a six page paper on that). But I have to say that I really did like this book; it was short but deep. The main point I focused on in my paper was about absurdism and how that played into the book. Absurdism is a philosophy on life that basically states that we live in a meaningless, chaotic world. Before I go any further with this post, I would like to say that everything I write about is my opinion and interpretation. I write about these things because I like to share them with whom ever finds them interesting. In no way do I write my opinions and interpretations to put down, disagree with, or criticize any other opinions. I have an open mind and try my best not to judge.

     Absurdism is a philosophy that I have a hard time completely grasping because it is so different from my philosophy on life. In this post I want to share what my philosophy on life is because this is a topic I hardly touched upon in my reaction paper. Calling it ‘my philosophy on life’ makes it sound as if I know what life is all about. I don’t; I’m eighteen. But for the sake of keeping things simple, I will call it ‘my philosophy on life’. What I really mean by that phrase is what I kind of sort of think life is about, the meaning of life, etc. Again, I know that I am eighteen and am absolutely clueless about life but these are just some thoughts I have floating around in my mind that I decided I should write down. So, here we go...

     I think that every life has a purpose no matter how small that purpose is. I think that everything happens for a reason because everyone and everything that happens is part of a grander plan. Being part of a grander plan does not take away from the individuals purpose in life, but rather adds more meaning to that purpose. Here’s the catch: I don’t think that there is any way we can understand our entire purpose in life until the moment between life and death. I think it’s possible that we can have an outline of an idea of what our purpose in life is earlier than that, but nothing more than an incomplete idea of this purpose. My religious beliefs play a lot into these ideas as well but I do not want to get into that.

     I want to end this post with an example of a life that was short and seemingly meaningless, but that has a meaningful purpose in my life and heart. I was a triplet. I was adopted along with my twin sister but my brother died shortly after birth. I’ve grown up knowing his name was Lyubof (Любовь in cyrillic). In Russian, this means love. Today during philosophy class when I was think about writing this post, it just hit me what I think the purpose of Lyubof’s life was. (In regards to my life anyway. He could have had significant meaning in my birthmother or has a different meaning in my sister’s life. I don’t know.) Maybe he was born (and died) to help keep me connected to my heritage and to the part of my identity that is Russian. There are many ways in my life I have stayed connected to my Russian roots, but this connection is stronger than all the rest. I strongly believe that no matter what happens in life, through good and bad, my family will always be there. I know now that that is the one constant and anchor in my life I can always rely on. The memory of Lyubof is a part of that family anchor too, keeping me connected to the Russian family I may never know. Some might argue that my sister does this as well and I agree. But it’s different with her because she is actually here keeping me grounded to both my adopted family and Russian family roots.

     The point I am try to explain here is that even if a life is short and meaningless to some, it still has meaning to others. Nobody ever knew Lyubof and I may be the only one that cares about preserving the memory of him, but maybe that is the way it was meant to be.