Today I tried swimming against the ocean’s waves. You see, they were taking me to the opposite side from where my people were seated at the beach. And the last time I was in the ocean and followed the way of the waves, I found myself brushing shoulders with death( stories for another day though). So this time I was cautious. Don’t swim to far from where I’m familiar with.
But swimming against the waves, though necessary at times, is hard work. You are practically going against nature. Each four strokes forward is in essence two after the waves pull you back. So finally you do get where you are going, but the journey was unpleasant to say the least.
I figured a way to actually swim comfortably with the waves. And immediately you could feel the relief my body felt. Swimming alongside the waves had its technicalities too, but I could let go knowing that the waters will take me to the beach anyway. I could rely on the waves to do the actual swimming for me while I just floated.
And as I looked at the waves, I realized that my life can be squarely described by the above scenario. I’ve tried swimming against the waves in almost everything in my life. The end goal were things I thought I should have achieved or gotten by now. Things my agemates were doing. Things my parents drew my attention to when they looked at their peer’s kids who are my age.
While the waves are my life. Which I rarely understand. Its like me and my life are never on the same page. I start working for A, life offers me P. And should I insist on getting the A no matter what, I find myself struggling times two or three the required effort.
Its hard to take a break and realize that life is never that serious. So what if I hit 30yrs of age without achieving the dreams I have? Will I die? What if I start at 40yrs? Will that be too late? What if what my peers are achieving now, I end up achieving in 10yrs time, will that make me a useless fellow? What if I end up living my dreams at 70yrs , will it be less worthwhile than at 23yrs?
No. Its okay. And I’m giving myself permission to swim alongside the waves of my life. They are certainly not what I expected, not what I prayed for, not what I wished for, but they are here. And my life is mine. So I’m extending kindness to myself. That though I swam against the waves and got heavily bruised in the process of moving against wherever that is my life is taking me, its okay.
I pick up myself, close my eyes, and float blissfully to where life takes me. I don’t know where and neither do I have control over it, but I’ve tried going against the unknown, I’ve tried going for what I thought was best for me, and though there have been one good thing or two, it has been an uphill task. So i’ll let my life be. And extend to myself grace while at it.
I’ve come to realize that sometimes in the middle of nothing, life offers me things I desired. When this year started, like almost the whole world, I penned down my wishes. They seemed mostly impossible given my life circumstances as of now. And they didn’t necessarily belong to 2018. Just when life offers me the opportunity. And so it has been a pleasant surprise when two or three of those dreams I desired came to pass in the middle of the most unlikely circumstances. Sometimes what we want comes wrapped in ways we can’t recognize.
But above that, life has offered me people or things I didn’t think I needed, but were totally necessary for this period of my life.
I think the above just shows that either way, if I let my life waves take me to wherever it is we are going, its not the end of me or dreams. And on top of that, its the addition of things I didn’t ask for but I needed. The waves provide a force that pushes me steps ahead. No one asks for that. It just happens.