Last Tuesday was hard to get through. The school year had ended at the ballet studio, but the Spring Showcases hadn’t premiered yet. As much as I enjoy more quiet and fewer interruptions, one of the perks of my job is being around tiny and mid-sized humans, so my energy and motivation were low. It was hard to be confined by wooden walls and corridors when I just wanted to be behind my Godin or stand wind-whipped in front of the ocean.
I’ve spent what feels like many years feeling ‘behind’ my own culturally influenced, desire guided, somewhat arbitrary Schedule. But lately I’ve been thinking to myself – you’re not even thirty yet. Looking down at the giant calendar on my desk, I noticed the sizable ’27’ printed a few days away from the weekend. Suddenly, it felt clear to me that on some level – in some realm – I haven’t even been alive a full month. And then I started to think about seasons of life as days in a week. That liberating feeling had quite a calming effect on my angst for the ocean.
By Thursday I had managed to find my way back into the days I was actually living through, instead of anxiously hurrying through being alive to get to Friday and a corner table at Java Beach. And then, the day came. Walking down the multipurpose path between La Playa and Great Highway, I moved slow like the snail I’d come across on Wednesday and thought about how much more enjoyable the latter half of the week had been than the first. Not just because I’d worked mom hours instead of puttering around until 10AM at home, then checking and rechecking work emails in the office until 6, and not just because I’d had nachos at lunch with my Sensei. It was better because I was aligned with the day’s agenda.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been considering as a ‘consolation’ the fact that Raleigh/Durham is only a two hour drive from the coast, which is about as long as it takes me to get to Ocean Beach riding BART and Muni. This Sunday I decided I don’t want to feel stretched across highways and trying too hard. In the cool air and fast approaching grey, I walked far to my secret park bench and thought about how I’m going to miss the late night golden hours and California sunsets this summer. I’m literally not going to be here to see them. But probably for the first time in a whole half decade, I will see thunderstorms and fireflies and fireworks not faded at all by fog. There are far, far better days ahead than any I leave behind. I can only imagine what the days ahead must be like since the Lord has dealt so bountifully with me here.
One of my few concrete life goals is to live in a beach town by the time I’m thirty one. I’m not turning thirty for another two years. The beginning of ‘the weekend’ is at least two ‘days’ away. And while I do have grand plans to explore the coastal towns of North Carolina, I don’t have that feeling of striving that I started out with. There are lots of beautiful unoceaned things that North Carolina has to offer further inland like my family and good friends and rich blessings God has planned with which to surprise me. I don’t want to spend all of Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning and Thursday night packing and repacking my beach bag, going over in my mind all the anticipations of finally seeing soil turn to sand and deciding where to get tacos and thinking about what kinds of images I might capture. I’d rather be aligned with each day’s agenda. I don’t have to prove my love for the beach by driving down to it every chance I get. It’s fine to live through the Tuesday. The weekend is coming. I’ll get there. I’m not betraying myself or losing an identity by fully enjoying life when I find myself miles away from an ocean.
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Inland · Jars of Clay