Tuesday morning I woke up as soon as the alarm went off. I hurried out the door gathering my swim suit and dress to get as much time as possible on the beach.
I’ve always been a water person, drawn to it just as much as I am drawn to the desert. Each has its own function at times when I am needing it most. Like balancing myself out.
I set out down the beach, walking passed the resorts, the boat excursion huts, families and couples walking and playing on the beach themselves.
I walked for a good hour before coming to a spot that was empty of workers and tourists. The water pure blueish, green. Clear. I walked in, hanging out there for a good minute holding back my tears.
Even though this trip had its difficulties I am still grateful for it. If it weren’t for the job I have there wouldn’t have been a way for me to do this. If it weren’t for the choice I made, a hard and painful choice, I wouldn’t have been standing there in the Caribbean ocean on an Island far from home.
A choice I made last year, a choice that I am reminded of every day I go to work, every day I go somewhere for myself, to visit family, to visit friends.
I was reminded again of it as I walked along the beach and there, a couple close in age to myself with a young daughter. The father and daughter were getting ready to head out together on a paddle board, the mother standing back along the sand watching them. At the sight of them I smiled. As I got closer the women looked over in my direction and seeing myself smiling had smiled back. It was that happy smile, the big content happy smile.
And I wondered, could that have been me? Could that have been us?
Choices are sometimes hard to make but I also know that at the time there was something I needed to do. Like another life that I needed to live. To add onto my other lives. I needed to become who I am now, today.
Perhaps there might have been another way. I’ve laid awake at night wondering about this. I’ve sat on planes wondering about that. What if I would have just gone?
I needed time. Time to be stronger, time to be more confident, time to create my own security. Gain things that can’t be given by someone else.
Even if that meant letting go of a relationship.
I got out from where I had stood and after saying my own little prayer. I started my hour back walk up the beach. Here I thought about perceptions, that seems to come up a lot for me, especially of late. As I looked around, I had finally relaxed. Finally saw that water for what it was. It was still clear even with the seaweed floating along and sand mixed in. It’s living ecosystem. How I had initially saw it all had to do with my own disappointments that first day.
My mother has always warned me that I have too high of expectations of people and of myself. My perception of what reality should be to what it really is and where I realize my expectations on others are aimed into a false reality.
It’s taken me a over year to mull over everything that has happened that last two years. Something now that I am realizing that I had needed but didn’t realize and sadly what I hadn’t allowed someone else to do out of my own fears and high expectations on others and relationships.
When I got back to my original starting point, I walked back into the water and finally dove in. It was to me, be baptized, a reminder of the summer, of clarity, of my choices, of expectance.
When I walked back up to the beach one of the beach servers who had served us drinks a few days before, congratulated me on the swim. Asking and reminding me that my time was slowing coming to an end. He had asked when I was heading out and said I was leaving soon. Before I left he stopped me and grabbing out a coin and handing it to me, told me to go make a wish and toss it in the ocean. I asked him if this was a tradition. He told me it was.
I stepped back up to the water and as much as I could I threw the coin in. Watching as it flew in the air and back down into the water.
I wonder if throwing coins into oceans work better than throwing stones or seashells?
As I walked back up the beach and to the apartment he told me that he hopes to see me back on the island again and that he hopes my wish comes true.
And to let him know if my wish came true when I see him again.