My Story Sara Nidus

An Ode to Camp

Walking through the gates

It feels like I'm walking into paradise.

Oblivious to the outside predators I feel protected

Like an eagle free to soar

With no boundaries.

It fills my life with light

After being stuck in ten months of darkness.

It's always the light at the end of my tunnel

Leading me to happiness.

Even the quick blackouts of disagreement

Are forgotten

The brightness of the fun can mask any gloom.

To me it is a heaven on earth.

My sacred haven from life's unholy sins.

A Name

Princess. My name tells people I’m one. My personality doesn’t match. For others Sara is slipping silk skirts onto their waists. To me Sara is slipping and sliding until sundown, swerving through life one step at a time. In school I take Spanish. But, Sara in Spanish somehow becomes princess too. At home we are jewish. No we aren’t that religious, but with enough knowledge to know that in Hebrew princess and Sara are the same again. As I grew up and learned the meaning I hated my name. Something more spontaneous was what I really needed. Later in life while talking with my parents I discovered my name does fit my personality by the spelling. Some spell their version Sarah. This was an option, until my parent’s realized the h was a boring letter and I was not boring. Sara what a proper name for somebody not so proper.

A Good Day

The excitement was overwhelming. It was hard to sit still. I had traveled before, but nowhere this cool. I was on the plane watching movie after movie. My was trying to get me to sleep just a little so the flight wasn’t so long but I couldn’t. A ride of over 21 hours with only one stop along the way. I couldn't wait for the adventures ahead. Watched a sport I’ve never heard of before, being around animals I could never ever have dreamed of meeting, being able to swim around with colorful fish, and visiting old friends for a happy celebration. When you go to a wedding you normally say congratulations but at the wedding in the magical new land the one thing I wanted to say was thank you. Thank you for being the reason I got to come here. Thank you for allowing me to be a child yet having so much fun at the wedding party. Thank you for being the reason I went on a boat to the middle of the ocean and dive in with the sea life. Thank you for the sun shining on my face. Australia was an unforgettable journey.

All Grown Up

Starting high school while being on a junior varsity sports team is a lot to handle. The team is a full commitment. Many go into tryouts blind not knowing what is going to be expected of them or how much time it will take up from their lives. You see the same people six times a week running around with sticks and goggles. You run as a team. Stretch as a team. Take breaks as a team. Laugh as a team. And suffer as a team. Playing on a sports team as a child is different. Your parents communicate with the coach for you. They work out your schedule. They discussed concerns. Playing on the junior varsity field hockey team meant I had to speak up for myself. I was my only connection to communicating with the coach. At all of our practices we are with varsity. These girls might only be four years older than us but the experience and wisdom they had was something so unclear in the beginning. Going into high school is a scary experience no matter what situation you’re in, but being on a team with 20 people you already know and can count on makes the transition that much easier. Being on a junior varsity team makes you finally feel like you are not a child.

Am From...

I am from Camping.

From airplane adventures and carpooling to sports.

I am from the park in the busy streets.

I am from walking through the Wah Nee gates

One special day a year

I am from sitting around a campfire

From the perfect golden marshmallow and the sound of birds

as the sun rises.

I’m from the glow of fire lighting up my face.

I am from the dew drops on the grass and mosquitoes in the night.

I am from hot dogs and vegetables

That roast in the heat of a barbeque

Made from the wood and charcoal bought before.

I am from the dirty cement streets lined with trash.

From pigeons and buses.

I am from the familiar yellow taxi

Bustling around.

Rushing through packed streets

Elbows pushing past each other

Racing without knowing to get to your destination first.

I am from the red and white flowing through my blood

Pride filling the room

Crazy costumes line the sides.

Everyone cheering in unison as loud as you can imagine.

E. Lockhart Imitation

MY FULL NAME is Sara Aliza Nidus.

I live in Larchmont, New York, with Mom, Dad, and my brother.

I am nearly fourteen.

I own an iphone and a mac laptop. These are not the only things I own, but they are what I value the most.

I used to be small but then I grew.

I used to be weak but then I fell in love with endorphins and sports.

I used to like school but now I like sleeping.

It is true I don’t like animals.

It is true that is why I don’t have any pets.

I do think some pictures of animals are cute, but not many. Looking at photographs is a whole different experience than having a creature jumping and slobbering on you. They are both representations of animals but stationary photos are a lot better than the real life, quick moving, version.

You could say I’m not average, and that would be right.

MY STORY STARTS before I moved to Larchmont. A little girl living the dream of growing up in the big city.

I was a little, round, person who played super soccer stars occasionally Back then, we had an apartment. I shared a room with my brother. We go to go to White Plains to play with Saba. I got to go to the lake with Saba in the summer. We played dominos in the sun. When we overheated we swam to all the neighbor’s docks.Then we moved. I started playing competitive field hockey and soccer. Saba moved far, far away. Finally, I got my own room.

This is 14

This is 14.

Fourteen is in between. It is still being babied, but in high school with many more responsibilities. It is everybody looking down on you, and everybody else looking up. You have learned a lot, yet have so much more to know. Yes, you are given more freedom. In addition, an equal amount of more responsibilities. You try to balance. All the different obligations pile up. But you're only 14.

Fourteen is being a teenager and having fun. It is also starting to worry about college. It is loving your parents, and then suddenly wishing you were without them. It is being told what to do, but not being told exactly what not to do. It is awkward interactions in the hallway. And passing by friends you used to have.

At 14 it's like you can't be friends with boys without people assuming. And you can't be more then friends without people judging. In fact no matter what you chose to do, you feel you are always judged. What you wear, how you look, who you hang out with, where you shop, what you do after school, where your family travels, and so many other things that might not be important, give you fear thinking about what others would think.

For me 14 is being too young. It comes as a shock when people ask my age. Other around me all a year older, yet I still look older. It is trying to find out what you should be doing with your life. What is actually important for you to spend time on and work for. You are being told to get a job, at the same time nobody will hire you. You are too young. You want to go to your favorite play place as a child but are not aloud in. You are too old. Living and feeling like your barely breathing at times is what it's like. It's having the night of your life and then waking up to more stress than you can handle in the morning.

This is 14. This is me. I wouldn't change a thing.

Author's Note

The pieces I have written here are my story. They show who I was and who I have become. Each piece either shares a view into the special things in my life or a quick glance into my thoughts. In my pieces that talk about camp I feel I am sharing something I am very connected to with the reader. Using metaphors and more creatives types of writing helps reveal this deep connection that might be hard to understand without it. All of these pieces give me the opportunity to write and share about the things in my life that have made me who I am today. It was a very cool process, rereading what I have written and looking back at photographs from when I was younger made me stop and think about all the amazing experiences I've already had with so much more time for more.

These pieces all relate to each other because they are all snip-its from my life so far. Not only that but I have realized that in my I am from poem, this is 14, and my E. Lockhart imitation they are more general about my life as a whole and show brief glances at different things I have done, but in my ode and vignettes I am able to take one of these things and briefly expand on it and better explain my special connection to it.

Writing these pieces and going back to look at them while editing has made me understand and view things differently. I have realized really how much I have done in only 14 years. I've done things people 50 years older then me have maybe never done. I realized how much I have taken camp for granted and not really appreciated how lucky I have been to go. It is staying for seven weeks oblivious from the outside world, there is nothing to worry about, you always have such a big loving family around you, and no matter what is happening inside the gates you know somehow it will be ridiculous and fun. So many people have mot been given the opportunities that I have taken for granted. I remember complaining to my parents one summer about going camping right after leaving camp without stopping home first. Camping is such an amazing thing to partake in and it is so much fun just goofing off around the camp fire playing mad libs and cards. These things I have all taken for granted in my life and from now on I am going to try and appreciate all the opportunities that are open to me to the fullest.

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