Yesterday I woke up with the crazy idea that I could choose my life. It was 6:30 in the morning, and I had 30 minutes of snooze time before I had to wake up for work, but I felt restless. I just didn’t want to drive through traffic only to sit at a desk and try to avoid eye contact with my everydaymorehateful CEO. I didn’t want to have to put on a cold face and a serious voice to hide what my boss calls “caring too much.” I didn’t want to go, but that wasn’t why I felt restless at 6:30 am on a Wednesday. I couldn’t shake the feeling that, despite how powerless I felt in choosing my life, I was in full control. I couldn’t block the knowledge that each day I shape my day around a job and life I find meaningless, the more meaningless my job and life becomes. I couldn’t ignore my responsibility in the whole thing. I didn’t want to. What’s worse after all? Feeling like you can’t control your life, or feeling that you can, BUT?
So I didn’t go. I woke up, got dressed like a normally would, got in my car, and went to get the mirror on my car fixed. It had been bothering me a while, and I got sick of ignoring it. I went to a yoga class, bought some delicious juice, and headed straight to the beach with a book. I jumped in the November ocean and loved the rush of cold on my skin. As I dove under a wave I thought, yes, I can choose my life, and I chose to swim in November. In the solitude of a Wednesday in November, I felt more in touch with people than I had in a while. After all, we live in our choices, and our soul is in our decisions, and I chose to dive into icy water and allow the oceanic lull to calm the adrenaline and I chose to be alive as me instead of survive as everyone else and I wanted to breathe in the water and live like a dolphin and exhale freedom and I wanted to swim away into the unknown and never come back…and walking back to my lonely towel I knew the truth – that this is why we move, this is why we progress, this is why we’ve explored new lands and discovered wonders and seek understanding – that we are powerful, and responsibility is personal, and eternity is a reply to the choices we make in the present.
I smoked and walked out onto the jetty. The rocks were slippery. That’s always my excuse not to walk out too far. But there was a pod of dolphins were playing in the shallows. The bigger ones were swimming around the surfers and the sun was setting. A baby dolphin was swimming around the bigger ones until one of them ducked under the water and flipped the baby into the air. The water was seafoam and orange. The waves were white and silver. The rocks were slippery, but those little decisions on where to place your foot next allowed me to experience instinct. If I hesitated, I would second guess myself or take too long moving my feet and get off balance. If I just walked, a rock was was always there.
I also had a bougie lunch at a nice restaurant with red wine with a drug dealer and his friends. I meditated with a hippie and ate a pistachio macaroon. I did a headstand because I felt like it would be fun to go upside down. But most of all, it was November and I jumped in the ocean. But most of all, I made a choice to be free of all the bullshit for a moment. But most of all, if freedom is a choice, we are always free, and that’s what made the ocean in November feel so good.
2 thoughts on “I Chose to Swim in November”
Yeaahhh adventure time 🙂 Inspiring stuff and awesome story, it’s good to remember that it’s so easy to take our lives into our own hands, just takes a little remembering and the tiniest of effort. 🙂 great post though!
You reminded me how it used to feel to run over the rocky shore at Otter Point, on Mt Desert Island. We went there every summer when I was a kid. When you’re running the rocks, there’s no time to think about anything except where your feet are. You are totally in the moment and on the edge. This is a metaphor for life. Move, and the way will open. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Your post plays a role in my life. Thank you.