It’s Okay

My mind, like everyone else’s this weekend, is somewhere else. It’s at a field with a clarinet booming in the distance. It’s at a pool reeking of chlorine. It’s at a hotel lobby eagerly awaiting friends. But you know what? It’s okay.

It’s okay that I didn’t have to pack and unpack, then pack and repack 30 different outfits for a three-day event.

It’s okay that I didn’t wait at baggage claim counting how many bags I spotted with red, blue and orange tassels hanging from their handles.

It’s okay that I’m not trying to make my way up to my room, forced to stop every few steps to place a kiss on the cheek of nearly everyone I pass.

It’s okay that my room is quiet and empty instead of flooded with friends and too many pairs of shoes.

It’s okay that I’m not squished into the back of a school bus with a backpack hiding my bathing suit and a bagel for later.

It’s okay that my jersey is still tucked away at the bottom of my drawer. It comes out once a year, but I suppose not this one.

It’s okay that I haven’t squealed with delight when friends I had seen just a week or so before arrive. Feels like it’s been forever…

It’s okay that I haven’t picked up my HyePass and checked to make sure it fits into each of my evening bags.

It’s okay that I’m not buying a pack of Oreos and a Gatorade from a seven year-old manning the concession stand.

It’s okay that I’m not sitting on a curb outside an unfamiliar school waiting for a bus to pick me up again. They say they run every 15 minutes.

It’s okay that I’m not chanting and cheering, laughing and listening.

Members of the AYF New Jersey “Arsen” Chapter and the AYF Providence “Varantian” Chapter, 2019

It’s okay that I’m not frantically looking for a baseball mitt to borrow for just one inning.

It’s okay that I don’t smell kebab. Running around all day sure can make you hungry.

It’s okay that I’m not huddled together with my team, our hands stacked on top of one another counting to three.

It’s okay that I’m not standing in a dugout, my fingers laced through the metal fence chanting the name of the batter up next.

It’s okay that I haven’t developed a tan line so deep it might show through my dress tonight.

It’s okay my alarm isn’t set for an obscenely early hour after staying up past an obscenely late one.

It’s okay that I’m not pulling little black beads from the turf as welcoming speeches echo around me.

It’s okay that I haven’t slowed down just long enough to watch a group of eager kids run from one end of the track to their even more eager parents at the other.

It’s okay that I’m not out of breath from laughing too hard or running for the first time in a year.

It’s okay that I can’t hear the voices of a thousand Armenians singing and praying under an unforgiving summer sun.

It’s okay that I’m not piecing together a group to run a relay—not a single one of us wants to do it, but we will anyway. Why wouldn’t we?

It’s okay that I’m not seeking my mom out in the crowd—maybe she will stand in line for me at the concession stand so I don’t miss my next event.

It’s okay that I didn’t watch a torch pass from hand to another with care and pride.

It’s okay that I don’t need to share a hotel bathroom mirror frantically trying to get ready for tonight.

It’s okay that I’m not standing in the middle of a dance floor, awaiting the most exciting news of the weekend.

It’s okay that I’m not shocked or excited, saddened or confused at the results.

It’s okay that I haven’t raised a glass to those who have brought us so far, but who now face the curse of age.

It’s okay that my pinkies aren’t sore from dancing next to a mother with too many rings on.

It’s okay that I don’t feel the pounding of music in my head or in my heart.

It’s okay that I’m not hoping for the night to last forever. I’m not ready to return to my other life.

It’s okay that I’m not stuffing my luggage full of trinkets from the weekend—a funny slip of paper with a number printed on it, a pennant donning my favorite team plus a few medals if I’m lucky.

It’s okay that I’m not on an airplane drifting in and out of sleep wishing the next event would just hurry up.

It’s okay—next year will be all the more special because of it. 

The author’s nephews pictured at the 2019 AYF Olympics
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Arev Dinkjian

Arev Dinkjian grew up in an Armenian household in Fort Lee, NJ. She was always surrounded by art, sourced by her musical father and grandfather, Ara and Onnik, or her creative mother Margo. Arev attended Providence College starting in 2011 and graduated with a degree in elementary and special education. She enjoys teaching language arts to her students and takes great pride in instilling an appreciation for literature in her classroom. Today, she remains very active in the Armenian community, serving as the president of the NJ AYF “Arsen" Chapter, a member of both the Bergen County ARS and the Sts. Vartanantz Ladies’ Guild, and on numerous AYF central committees. She also dedicated many summers to AYF Camp Haiastan, which she says remains her favorite topic to write about.
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@ArevDinkjian

A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.
I absolutely love it when a kid refers to themself as a kid - 4 days ago
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2 Comments

  1. I agree, I too love all of your articles Arev. You have a beautiful way of weaving a story. I find myself always looking forward to the next one!!

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