This morning, I had decided that today needs to be spent writing. Every talent or passion needs to be exercised. Much like an athlete who has to practice their craft everyday, a writer has to exercise ever corner of their often cluttered mind. So I decided to hop in my car and drive to down PCH, to a coffee shop, instead of my favorite salty and sandy escape that everyone knows as the beach. I have so many ideas and reflections stored up in my brain that I cannot wait to just press this key board for a few hours and have it written forever.

The traffic was a mess from Crown Valley to Cress. I was surrounded by douche-bags, driving their daddy’s sick Audi’s and blasting some gawwwwd awful music that I still can’t qualify which genre that song belongs in. So defensively, I cranked up my stereo that was playing my latest obsession of Lynard Skynard pandora station. I sinked into the back of my seat, as I sat at a red light listening to the lyrics of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” and tried interpreted how the song spoke to me. 

There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware
I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind
I think it’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side
It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away
We better stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

The interpretation of this song  has been discussed over and over about the Vietnam War, the Sunset Strip Riots or the Kent State Massacre. Regardless of theses ideas I have a very personal interpretation. It started as I was comfortably relaxed in my car, as the wind blew in my face, and the douchebag idiots zoomed past me to get to their beach of choice. When you are broken and at your darkest you listen to more music than usual. You listen to its content and how the lyrics poetically intertwine with your words that you are trying to fumble with.

Thats where I am. I took this song and l felt resistance from the world. I felt a ball and chain from higher powers that we all must abide by. I am struggling to support society. I am struggling with staying within the lines that society has boldly made.

I am like a hyperactive child who gets her first coloring book. She takes the paper, with the printed outline of a princess being swept off of her feet by the only prince charming. I’m all like, give me blue, green and purple wax crayons… Im’a bout to fuck this “happily ever after” up. Scribbling and raking the colors across the page to my own beat and my own liking– I make a better picture. I make my picture.But noooooo any other adult is going to shake their finger and say “No, no sweetie you have to draw inside of the lines. See let me show you.” IS this your coloring book? No bitch, this is mine. I am going to draw what I want, how I want to, and at my own time. That is kind of how I feel about society at this present moment.  Society is doing a damn good job at trying to force my brain to tell my left hand how to color “in” the love story that every girl is supposed to want. Let me create my own “happily ever after” and why don’t you all mind your own business. 

I am constantly feeling this push of a “resistance from behind”. I can’t get on my own two feet.

My fears tremble at my paranoia. Without noticing, my anxieties step in front of the both of those and knock me back on my ass.

My spirit is breaking.

My views about community and society are turning and mixing at a pretty rapid rate. In order to survive we need our community and culture. But right now I need something more than to be pushed back into the lines. That’s what the song told me, that I am being pushed and influenced against what I want to try, taste, experience and love. It sucks. But what is pretty hard core is that I can recognize this. Now how do I take this realization and work for something beautiful out of it? How do I mound my spirit back without breaking it any more than it already is?

Well at this point of questioning, I had found a parking spot about seven blocks away from my destination. I parked at Cress and Mountain and took a nice little journey walking to The Koffee Klatch. I had another huge realization as these questions started to rise to the surface.

I realized that this is good for me to question myself and the world; however, I don’t need answers and I don’t need fixing.

To constantly be given support from my family and friends is fantastic. I am so blessed to be surrounded by amazing people. However, their words of encouragement is only turning into more resistence from behind. They create options to make me do things, to get up and try things at their rate. This isn’t helping me. It’s only pushing me at their tempo.

Quiet honestly, I need to go at my tempo. Low, slow and gentle. More importantly, I need to be present. So as I walk in the middle of a beautiful residental street, on a crowded day in Laguna– I become present. I take my time and I breathe, smell and listen to my surroundings. 

I came across some cute little girls who were selling lemonade on the corner of their street. I love lemonade. I love giving. I love little girls with ambition. Okay, Danika, lets go get some lemonade. 

Wait, what? That sign says $2.00 for a lemonade? Ehh, kinda steep but I’ll take it. I kindly asked the cutie pies if they had change for a 20. Two of them got quiet and I noticed how they were looking at my nail polish, bracelets and rings. One started to pour me a cup of lemonade. The other looked into their plastic jar of currency and said “uhhhhh all we have is like eleven, or wait, yeah, eleven bucks, in change is all we got”. I’m thinking, well shit this is going to be the most expensive lemonade that I have purchased. I quickly remember how some kind soul paid me and my brother a fair amount for a cup, at our lemonade stand back when I was a kid. Screw it, make theses girls happy… “Okay, I would love that glass of lemonade!”

My hands were full with my laptop and lemonade. I asked the girl to shove the change in my front pocket of my bag. She shoved in a few dollars and some coins. I noticed my change in outlook as I started sipping my extremely bitter lemonade and spitting out occasional seeds. I noticed that I was happy. Just for that moment, I was happy that I spent tooooooo much money on some shitty lemonade. Also, I was walking to the destination where I would sit and do what I love… to write.

I get to The Koffee Klatch. I get my medium latte. I finally sit down and did the math:

Latte: $2.75

Tip: $1.00

Moneyzz left over: Five dollar bill, three pennies and a dime

$20.00 – (2.75+1.00)- 5.13= 11.12 

So that means that I spent $8.88 on a really shitty cup of lemonade. You know what, I would do it again. 

What I know now, before I walked across the path of those sweet girls and their bitter lemonade is that what happens in my journey, the money that it costs to do those things, the sacrifices, pains and smiles are all worth it. To say that I regret my decisions in life sounds pessimistic as fuck. It doesn’t sound like me. That sounds like the definition of a victim, of a loser of a conformist. I am none of those things. As my spirit is broken, and as I get pushed around by this world I live in I know that my choices only help deepen me. As I continue to listen to “For What It’s Worth”, as I continue to fight to not draw within the lines, and as I float around defining my purpose, I will always, always pull myself back to recognizing MY WORTH

I am worth loving, existing and living in the world that I want to create regardless of the multiple boundaries that stand in my way. Sometimes a car ride is helpful to get from point A to point B. It helps for times of reflection and observation. Yet, sometimes you learn more if you park far away and make a journey underneath your two feet.

Slow life down.

Take the time to go at your desired pace.

Love, and embrace all of the good and bad that crosses the path that you are on.

Don’t conform.

Fuck the system and always fight for what it is that you believe.

That is what you can find at the end of a song from 1967. That is what you can find at the bottom of a lemonade. 

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