Three of my very favorite things all combined this weekend: the ocean, adventure, and friends that are very dear to my heart . After much talk and failed attempts to execute our plans, one of my best girlfriends and I went parasailing in San Diego this weekend. I have a healthy fear of heights and was uncertain of how the whole experience would go. I knew it was a safe outfit but the unknown made me nervous. We laughed (mine slightly more shrill and panicked than hers) as the boat sped forward and we were lifted in the air.
This friend and I met under strange circumstances. We have weathered some of life’s strange blows together somewhat unexpectedly. Although we were close off and on before both of our lives changed 180 degrees, sharing these experiences has given us a new appreciation for each other.
On this sunny day, we coasted above the deep blue sea and talked about how proud we were of one another for being brave, for rising above those ugly days that threatened to steal our sunshine. We had decided what we needed in our lives and were willing to stand for a period of time with empty hands and broken hearts. We were willing to do the work to be happy again. We reveled in the fact that we were the type of people that actually DO things, that make change happen, that parasail on a Sunday afternoon simply because we could. As my friend Cooper said earlier this year “You have no inertia. Do what you want to do!” I could not have heard the truth in that as clearly as I did trailing that boat by 300 feet of cord.
As happy as we are I think we are both caught off guard when there are tough emotional days. It is as if the sea should calm once the storm has passed. Having flown above it on that day, I can say with certainty that the churning of the sea is what keeps it alive. In our lives we are still going to struggle. We will question our progress, we will lose sight of where we are going and more importantly how far we have come. Those super sucky days are just part of the churning of life. If it all stopped, we might stop with it. Instead, we have to keep our eyes ahead, for that light of a new day on the horizon.
“While it’s true you’re haunted by your past, it’s truer that you’ve traveled spectacularly far away from it. You swam across a wide and wild sea and you made it all the way to the other side. That it feels different here on this shore than you thought it would does not negate the enormity of the distance you traversed and the strength it took you to do it.
It’s no wonder you thought you’d feel that other, purer way. That reel is playing in a lot of our heads, planted there by a jumble of sources, both mercenary and benevolent, none of which are very much help. We want to believe that on the other side of whatever crap we had to swim away from there’s a crap-free beach where we can lounge in the sun at last. Free and at peace. If anyone deserves that liberation, it’s you, honey bun.”-Dear Sugar
Today had potential to be especially painful. A bitter reminder of a landmark day not met, of an unsuccessful challenge. I had been dreading it for weeks. I had prepared for the worst, for that “punched in the gut” feeling to settle in. By God’s grace and an unexpected turn of events, I rose this morning with a smile, with joy in my heart. How far we have swam, indeed. There is so much light in this new day and while the beach is certainly not “crap free”, the sand is warm, the sun still shines on it, and the waves crash against it to remind me keep on going.