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Mapleview Drive

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Two swings. One tire. Woodchips. Pond. Comfort. Everyone has that place. The place you call sanctuary. Where you can go with out any worries— one place that doesn’t judge you for how you look or the decisions you’ve made. The place where you can go just to be you. One would think that going to a living person would be better than reaching out to an inanimate place, but to me, the old park on Mapleview Drive prevails every time.

It may look dingy to some, what, with only two swings, one tire swing, one slide, a couple of benches, all surrounded by wilderness to one side and houses to the other, but to me, it’s a haven for seclusion. The old swings won’t judge me for my thoughts. The pond won’t judge me if I need a place to sit down and let out everything that is building up inside of me. The grass won’t judge me when I choose to actually sit and think about nothing instead of everyday worries and absolutely everything. This park won’t judge me for anything I show it… it’ll only be inviting. Inviting me to be myself for once, inviting me to let go of the worries of judgment, ignorance, and self scrutiny—inviting me to finally break free of the biggest thing holding me back: myself.

The park serves any purpose I impose on it. I go there to forget, I go there to remember. I go there to forget all the unnecessary strains I choose to bring upon myself— the stress about moving to a city in which I know no one and no one knows me. Forget all the anxiety I know I’ll be facing four months from now, anxiety for starting over completely new with no one or nothing holding me back. I go there to remember that there’s absolutely no reason for me to feel that anxiety because of the values I was raised with, because of the support system I call my family, because of the faith the people I love have in me. I go there to remember the feeling of exuberance I first felt when realizing my future’s all set to attend the University of Washington, a school I never thought would accept me in the first place. I go there to realize that in order to be successful, I needed to hold on to that feeling of exuberance instead of doubting myself. To think, all these thoughts are pulled together by an old dingy park is the exact reason this place is what I call my sanctuary.
Looking back, I realize the old swings have always served as a sense of support, a source of vent, and a thoughtful place to be able to think about thoughts and people repressed throughout these four years of high school. The grass by the pond has always remained my spot to sit and think about absolutely nothing as I watch the always moving water. The aged woodchips have always lingered behind, only to be stepped on repeatedly by people like me, people who need a place to call sanctuary.
The park provides a sense of comfort to me, almost as a real person would. It has watched me transform from a sense of insecurity to a sense of confidence from freshman to senior year. It was always there for me to come back to, whether it be for my mistakes or my successes. Two swings. One tire. Woodchips. Pond. That’s all it takes.





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