I Chose to Swim in November

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.

On Not Having a Past

On Friday I went to lunch with a friend.  He was a mutual friend, so I felt uncomfortable at the beginning.  I didn’t know what to say.  Would he bring him up?  Would he ask what happened?  I launched into nervous chatter about travel and faraway places.  That’s my go to – places I want to see one day.  The future is easy to talk about.

He wasn’t uncomfortable, and he did bring him up.  He asked how I was doing, the way most people have been asking, and I gave him the answer I give everyone now.  ”Great.  Just getting into the swing of things.”

And then he told me all the reasons why I should be happy.

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Revelations at Niagara Falls, Canada

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As we approached the mist the wind made rainbows all over the sky and rocks. It was so loud and wet and misty and big; with so much water rushing out over the falls. It looked to me like the pictures, and I wondered if I was appreciating it correctly, or if I was just seeing what everyone else sees.

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Jasmine has already seen the falls, so she and her cousin went to the gift shop to find a moose.  I sat on a rock. All of my personal problems felt so far away, though it had only been a week. My new ex-boyfriend was leaving California, and I tried to think of that future where I was okay with it. I was okay then, that’s for sure, but that’s only because the mist was soft on my lips and I was filled with that sensation that happens when you experience something new.  As I sat there, I felt this undeniable call to do something. This was my chance to break away, to truly allow myself to be truly changed instead of clinging to something else and forcing myself to stay the same.

In the past when something unexpected or bad happened, I would try my hardest to make life exactly the same as it was before, to carry on exactly as if nothing had changed at all. I never wanted things to change, so my stories have always had this weird tendency to repeat themselves — same guy different name, different title same job. It wasn’t that life didn’t want me to succeed, it was that life was trying to teach me a lesson, and I hadn’t gotten it yet. 

This time could be different. This time, maybe I could accept that it’s not going to be the same. Maybe, instead of fighting for something I’ve lost, I should go and try to find something new.  I’m not talking about a new boyfriend. That would be repeating the story — needing to keep myself in a relationship. What I mean is trying to find my own adventure for a bit. Maybe this was what I’m supposed to do anyway.

After all, this trip to Canada was booked weeks before I found out about my now-ex boyfriend.  Would it be too crazy to say it was supposed to happen, in this order? Could this be the Universe being a bit more gentle, holding my hand until I figured it out on my own?

I’m not going to repeat history, so I’m going to say yes.