Everybody Has a Thing

October 17, 2007
By Ashley Dalby, Tacoma, WA

Everybody has a thing. One thing that helps get them through something difficult. Whether it is a tough decision, a bad period in their life, or an emotional heartbreaking rollercoaster, everyone has something. For me, it’s that bright, circular object easily seen in the dark of night

Most people think of the moon as just that, a bright, white circle. Others think of it as an object in outer space that floats around the earth. As for me, the moon is so much more than either of those. I see the moon as its own planet, full of mystery and power. I didn’t always, however.

It wasn’t until I got into that Japanese Anime, Sailor Moon, that the moon really started to speak to me. Before that, the moon was just something pretty that I could look up and see. The show opened up a whole new reality. There was a Moon Princess, Serena, and then Queen Serenity, her mother. I started to look at the moon differently. I would see the face of the Moon Princess every time I looked at it. Some nights, I still see it. The show started playing in the U.S. when I was seven years old, a little girl slightly taller than a yardstick with light blonde hair and bright blue eyes.

I would sit on our soft, blue carpeted floor and sing along to the theme song. When the episode started, I was immediately taken into another world. This particular episode was when Sailor Moon found out that she was the Moon Princess, and her reaction was pretty funny. I remember laughing out loud with joy when she thought to herself, “I’m the Moon Princess? No way!” After that, I never missed an episode until went off the air. When that happened, I was completely disappointed. I went outside and stared at the sky until the moon came up.

The sky started out blue before the sun set. I remember thinking about how beautiful it was. The color went from blue to purple. The sky looked like lavender with the colors reflecting off the clouds. Soon after that, the sky transitioned to looking like a pink tornado due to the shapes and positions of the clouds along with the sun. Slowly, stars began to crawl their way across the sky and the moon finally decided to show it's perfect face. After a while, I made my way inside for bed.

That night was a full moon. I stared at it through my window for about an hour before I finally fell asleep. I imagined a whole city of people living there. A big castle with a long fountain in front of it, a row of little cement houses lining around the water in a U-shape. I didn’t care if people breathe in outer space or not. My imagination was running away with me.

That night when I closed my eyes to dream, it ran away with me even further. I dreamt I was the Moon Princess. I had beautiful, long blonde hair and a gorgeous sequin dress. It was the color of snow and flowed perfectly in the slight breeze. I lived in the stone castle and a stunning balcony that sparkled, like the one Jasmine had in Aladdin. To relax, I would go out and sit on the side of the long, rectangular fountain. Given we were already living on the moon, all around were stars and planets. The sun was off in the distance, farther than earth. The stars were angelic, glowing dots that seemed so close yet also seem so far away. I would get lost staring at them. The following morning, I wrote the dream down in my 2nd grade handwriting.

From that moment on, the moon was my sanctuary; my place to go for myself. I would use it to get lost in my own thoughts. It was my safe haven. I always felt protected, as if no harm would come to me, whenever the moon was full. On nights when the moon wasn’t out, I always felt vulnerable. When the moon wasn’t there, it was if anything that could happen, would happen. On those nights, kept the moon’s beauty fresh in my mind and carried that feeling of safety with me.

At night, I sit outside on the moist, solid ground. The silence of the night surrounds me as I stare at the moon, thinking. The wind sends a brief chill down my back as it brushes against my neck. The tingles of the cold flow down my body. I shiver and consider going to get a blanket. However, I decide against it. I need to think. It is the reason I came out here.

My latest conflict runs through my head. I’d been in an emotionally abusive relationship. I wasn’t allowed to be artistic because every time I was, my boyfriend would make me feel guilty about it. He always thought what I wrote had something to do with him, yet it never did. It was always something in my head I felt was good enough to write about. It usually involved questioning things. After that, I refused to writing anything-stories, poetry, or songs. I feared it would hurt him so he would make me feel guilty about it. Finally, I had found the strength within myself to stop him. I realized that I was being emotionally abused and I walked away as best I could.

Where do I go from here? I think. What am I supposed to do now? Sure, I’ve grown enough to move on, and yes, that’s a good thing, but now I don’t know where to go. I’m not sure what I should do.

It’s so quiet out here that even my thoughts are a whisper. They play through my mind like a soft melody. The moon is so beautiful that I can no longer feel any anger. It absorbs my negative energy and recycles it into something new, something positive. The night is simply breathtaking. Clouds being blown by the wind are now showing up. They remind me of fresh snow blanketing the ground. The stars, slowly being covered up by the groups of fluff, polka dot the sky in certain spots. I think back to other nights like this

One of those nights was a few years ago. It was cold, as winter was just ending. I was wrapped up in a blanket and I held a silver candle in my hand to represent the need to remove negativity and create stability. I sat on a wicker chair out on the deck of the shelter I was currently a resident of. I stared at the full moon that was high in the sky. I needed to decide whether or not to move in with my dad. I thought about all the problems my mom and I were going through. We were living shelter after shelter. I needed the moon to help remove my anger with my mother. I sat out there long enough for the five inch candle to burn down to about a half an inch. I spent the whole time thinking about what I should do. Both my parents loved me and wanted what was best for me but it was so hard to choose. The candle and the moon helped clear m y head. The last half hour I was out there, I thought about the decision I had made. I needed to make sure I was making the right one. After deciding my decision was the best for me, I blew out the candle and went in to bed.

Another night was just as beautiful, if not more. The moon was full and it lit up my backyard as if it were playing spotlight. I sat in a chair that night as well, for it was cold and I did not want to sit on the ground. I also had myself wrapped up in a blanket like a caterpillar in a cocoon. The sky had more stars shining than usual and I was torn with what I should do on a certain obstacle. The moon’s presence filled me with calmness. I was able to think about the situation as if I were giving advice to someone else going through it. I was able to address the problem as if I were a third party.

All three of those decisions turned out to be really good things for me and my future. The moon has helped me through many more conflicts and heartbreaks over the years. From losing a best friend to leaving a bad relationship, the moon is there every night. Some nights, I don’t see it but I know it’s there. It’s the only thing I know I can always count on without having to worry about it betraying me or leaving me. The moon will always be there for me and I will always need it.

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