Around third grade I decided what I wanted to be when I grew up: a marine mammalogist. Cut to twenty-something years later and I am clueless about my future plans, but that’s another blog post…
Yes, a marine mammalogist. Oceanographers often got stuck with studies about water, plants, or currents, while marine biologists might spend their entire careers with some jelly fish focus. I was obsessed with dolphins and whales, and dreamed of one day either working in Alaska or at SeaWorld. Flipper was going to be my best friend. Shamu would squeak at me asking for lunch. And someday I would guest start on SeaQuest with the adorable Jonathan Brandis. Maybe its that last dream that lasted the longest because:
But again, that’s a different blog post. :- )
The walls of my bedroom were covered with photos, drawings, and artwork related to these creatures for years. It was the greatest thing in the whole wide world when my parents let me get blue carpet for my room. Even when I spend time at home now, a collection of animal figures line the shelves across from my bed, and a humpback whale painting hangs right over me.
These days the dream for who I want to be has shifted, as have my views about SeaWorld (though apparently not about Lucas…I should look up those DVDs on Amazon…where was I…). Even though I no longer want to spend my days in or near sea water, I still often wear a whale tail necklace. It was a gift from my grandparents five years ago when i visited them in Hawaii; a few months before starting my current graduate school journey. The simple charm reminds me that I am loved and supported, and about those dreams from years ago.
Toes in the sand, eyes scanning the horizon, and a salty breeze in the air is still one of the happiest places in the world.
#52sparks is my year-long writing series based on an art prompt challenge. The title is inspired by a quote from Star Wars: The Last Jedi: “We are the spark, that will light the fire that’ll burn the First Order down” (Poe Dameron). The spark that lights a fire to toast a marshmallow or to ravage a forest begins in the space of an inch. So just imagine what hundreds of inches and words can do.