I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know where I’m going. I find myself diving into the Pacific more and more each day, because it’s the one place where my mind stills. But on this day, after catching a few waves, I decided to just swim west… So I swam, and I swam, and I swam. I’d never swam past the OB pier before, so I reached the end of the pier, and I continued swimming, and I kept swimming until the pier became a distant object on the horizon. I stopped swimming and bobbed.
I was a little weirded out. This was the furthest into the ocean I’d ever been without a raft. I felt exposed and alone. I welcomed it though, and I bobbed some more. I realized I could just keep on swimming until I reached a point of no return. I could just vanish into this giant blue abyss. It was such a strange place. It was so peaceful way out there. I stayed there for quite some time. It wasn’t some dark place or some enlightening experience, but instead a safe place far away from myself.
I just bobbed there looking around feeling heinously exposed. What was under me? What if there actually was something down there–a creature of the deep preparing to devour me? Well, there’s not much I could do about it then, and there’s not much I can do about it now. At the moment, I remember thinking I’d rather be devoured taking chances than live a restricted life. At the end of it all, there isn’t all that much to really fear… You live, or you die–and if you live you just keep on truckin’, shit goes on. And, well, if you die I’m not sure you’ll give too many fucks about that either despite what all these old books say about the afterlife.
Fear is a funny thing. The failures we are terrified of will happen in some shape or form. The terrible accidents we spend our entire lives avoiding, they will happen in some form or shape. But when they do we won’t recognize them, because they will be a real thing, and fear is not a real thing. It’s just this fucked up catastrophic image we’ve created in our minds.
I fear my fear restricting me from being the best version of myself, and living the life I want to live. That terrifies me. It terrifies me to the point that I’d rather swim out into the ocean and never come back than allow that reality to unfold. Will I do that? Of course not!
None of this needs to be faced or solved today, but awareness doesn’t hurt.
Lawyers practice law, and doctors practice medicine. They practice because it’s constantly changing, and they are constantly learning and gaining practical experience. Life is no different. We get to practice everyday. If we practice bad habits then we lead bad lives. If we practice good, but mundane and passionless, habits, then we lead good, but mundane and passionless lives. At the core of practice is observation and the ability to relentlessly inventory ourselves, our ideals, and differentiate between the justified, rationalized, and actual.
The best part is that we have 100% control of the direction our lives go–of the direction we want to grow. Fear is the only constraint, and fear is not a real thing. We can walk, swim, drive, or fly out and start over whenever we want. People do it everyday, and they are doing just fine.
I’m glad that today I have a life worth swimming back to. I know there have been many times in my life where I couldn’t say that with much assurance.
… But that’s enough bobbin’ from me.