From east coast to west, I've lived almost my entire life (not counting the 4 awesome years land locked at PSU) no more than 1 hour from the sea.
The sea is my happy place. My safe space. My reminder to reset and refresh; to humbly recognize I'm just one small piece of an infinitely mysterious world.
This weekend I had the great fortune of spending an 80 degree October day at Stinson beach with 2 friends (God bless Northern California fall days); soaking up the sun, being playful and childlike on the sand (limbo with drift wood anyone?) and even plunging into the freezing cold Pacific.
It never ceases to amaze me (though I know it really shouldn't) how when you put out genuine, heartfelt, honest, good desire into the Universe and then let go and trust the process how quickly these desires can manifest. I had *just* said last week on this blog how badly I craved a swim in the sea, but was too much of a chicken to swim in such cold temperatures. Then, just 2 days later, a Stinson Beach day popped up randomly and I accepted. During the drive our party discussed the possibility of swimming, but even then I was more of the "only if I get too hot!" scaredy pants mindset.
This mindset lasted about 5 minutes after pulling into the parking lot.
We arrived at the beach, plopped down our belongings and headed straight to the water to "test out the temperature".
Encouraged by the male in our party (encouraged = threats of being thrown and dunked) I decided to say f*ck it and go all in.
Squealing like a teenager I dove into the next wave....and immediately lost my sun glasses. Major bummer! Man, I loved those sun glasses (and MAN they were not cheap). After a few swear words, desperate dives to try and recover them and a joke about sucker punching a shark in the face (sharks are known to frequent Stinson Beach) if I see one wearing my Ray Bans...I let it go. What else was there to do, really? I didn't want it to ruin my lovely day and they were, of course, just a material object.
I love this picture; tangled, messy sea hair and all. We had just come from our swim (where the water never felt a degree warmer after splashing around for a half an hour...brrr!) and I was reflecting on some tensions of the past 24 hours.
To summarize; I really dislike when I misrepresent myself. Don't you? When you act a certain way out of fear or insecurity or anxiety or discomfort and after wards you're left thinking ugh, what the crap, that is so not me. I hate that I did/said that. These moments will happen from time to time and it's probably one of the biggest sources of frustration that exists in my life.
But, what can you do? You move forward. You take the lesson learned (patience, young grasshopper as my bestie would say) and apply it to life moving forward. Does it suck to learn the hard way; to feel like there's no real way to completely smooth things over or take back what happened? Absolutely! There's no doubt that certain behaviors can leave you cringing for some time. Coulda, shoulda, wouldas can be a real bitch. But that's where we have to learn to take a deep breath, forgive ourselves and vow to do better next time. And you (I) will do better next time. Was diving into a big ol' wave still wearing my fancy schmancy shades the best idea? Nope. But now I know not to do that again. Do I wish I'd handled discomfort and worry differently the night before? Yep, for sure. But now I know a) not to panic if this kind of scenario crops up again and b) that if it really is an "unsmoothable" situation, it probably was an unsustainable friendship in the first place. Which, is OK to be bummed about. And yep, I'm definitely bummed and disappointed. Sometimes the Universe steps in and does our dirty work for us--whether we like it at the time or not. Fortunately, everything and anything can turn around in an instant. Life, like the sea, is constantly changing and flowing. Which is why we must always move forward with as much forgiveness and patience with ourselves and others as our little souls can muster.
I've said it before--time is the great equalizer, but it is also the one thing you cannot rush.
A life by the sea is the life for me. I don't know where I'll end up years down the road but I truly hope and pray I'm never more than 1 hour from the ocean. It's my favorite place to come back to myself.
If a pair of Ray Ban aviators happen to wash ashore in your neighborhood...would you do me a decent and ship them home to me? I'd appreciate it :)