This I Believe

Adriana - San Diego, California
Entered on December 8, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: nature
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Few Things In Life are Certain

I’ve been known to disappear for hours at a time, even in the middle of the night, usually when I’ve had a particularly stressful or upsetting day. On these occasions I am always headed in the direction of the nearest beach, because I am seeking the healing powers of the ocean. I believe in wave therapy.

I’m not a surfer, shell-collector, or kite-flyer. I am a woman who finds life-lessons in the simple sound of the waves crashing on the sand. No matter how great my problems seem to be, they are nothing compared to the greatness of the ocean and its waves, nor do they hold as much power over my life.

When I was a little girl, I learned to fear the ocean after getting caught in a rip current. I discovered that you have to pay attention to where you place your feet in this world, or else you might get caught up in something you can’t save yourself from. As the lifeguard pulled me to safety, I learned to savor the sweetness of air and the ability to breathe.

When I was a teenager, I learned to fall in love with the ocean and its promises. Growing up is a fragile process, and when you are thirteen it seems as if everything is changing weekly, from your boyfriend to your bra size, and you’re never really sure what to expect next. You learn from experience that even the best of friends can hurt you and let you down, but the ocean is still going to be there, as steady and consistent as ever. It is going to continue to pound the shoreline. It is going to be there when you show up after everyone ditched your eighth grade Halloween party for the star of the football team’s Bat Mitzvah, and it is going to remind you that, no matter what, it’s waves will continue to roll in and your life will go on.

As a young woman twenty-one years of age, I am still attempting to find my role in this inconsistent world. I am more aware than ever of the mistakes I have made, and continue to make. I struggle and I bend and sometimes I break, often forgetting that life is much bigger than I think. And so whenever school or family or relationships are getting overwhelming and I am struggling to place one foot in front of the other, I put on my blinders and race westward. The comforting roar of the ocean and the pattern the waves create on the sand are a better form of therapy than money can buy, and an everlasting reminder that this too shall pass.