My heart raced furiously within my chest as I stood, perched above the waves. The ocean mist stuck to my eyelashes and thickened the air I breathlessly inhaled. The cracked and hardened mound I had claimed as my lookout jutted out stubbornly from the rest of the coastal cliffs; like how your thumb refuses to be part of your hand. It hung a couple hundred feet above the pounding waves and when standing on it, I felt like the only person in the world. Completely alone. Surrounded by wind and waves.
When I lived in Sacramento, I used to dream about the ocean. My mom would tell me that if you listened hard enough to the cars on the freeway, they'd turn into the sound of waves crashing on the sand. When we'd drive to southern California for tournaments, we'd always make a beach detour and I'd roll down the car windows and breathe in the salty air. I love the smell of seaweed, the sound of breaking waves, gulls cackling high above, and the feel of warm sand curling around your toes. I think the ocean can be in your blood; the way artistic talent or personalities are somehow encoded into your genes. The women in my family were born at the beach, grew up on the beach, lived by the beach...loved the beach. And now I'm finally here too.
This morning the air was misty, the ocean was irresistible, and I was stressed. I felt intimidated, ignorant and overwhelmed. I didn't want to face the day...so I ran to the ocean ridiculously early instead. I am not a runner. I don't like running. But pounding my way down the street and to the cliffs soothed my anxious mind. Gasping for air and clutching a side ache, I took in the vast expanse of water stretched out before me. You could see the currents below the surface and imagine the life teeming below. You could smell the salty air, taste it, feel it on your face. I found my little solitary mound and sat there for half an hour. Thinking. Breathing. Just being.
A wise person told me once you have to just be. Be you. Be real. That you don't have to work so hard to prove you're worth it. You can never "deserve" or "earn" people's love and trust. It's not about how smart you are or what you do, it's who you are that matters. And as cliche as that sounds, it's exactly what I needed to hear and exactly what I re-realized sitting out above the ocean this morning.
It was a "take a deep breath, everything is going to be fine, life is still beautiful" moment.