Perhaps it’s my inner mermaid that always yearns for the happy oceanic life, which is funny considering I’m not much of a swimmer.
Did I ever tell you the story of when I almost drowned?
My mom, another lover of water with an immense fear of the water, loved to take us to the lake. She’d pack ranch and bologna sandwiches, potato chips, and water in a cooler, she’d pile towels plus four kids (occasionally adding a few tagalongs) in her car. Once we were situated at the lake my mom would sunbathe under the sizzling Texas sun. I can smell the coconut now, she always smelled like sweet coconut on lake days. I love that smell.
One day while at the lake (mom, siblings, and my brother’s friend, minus my dad who was deployed to Korea at the time), I wanted desperately to swim with the big kids, so that’s what I did, sort of. I felt so free in the water, rising high and low, my feet barely touching the bottom of the lake. It was fun being light on my feet, almost magical, BUT that fun and magical feeling turned into a panic.
It felt like certain death..
High and low became bobbling and fighting to see and to be seen. I gasped grappling for air. I cried for help, and thankfully my heroes arrived. My big brother and his friend ran to my aid. They saved me from what felt like certain death. I was about eight, maybe seven. In that seven to eight years of being on earth, jousting with the water felt like the fastest and longest time of my life all wrapped into one.
My mom’s eyes were different after that. She must’ve changed. She had to change. She sent me into the water, she felt like she was somehow responsible, but really it wasn’t her fault at all. But as a mother I now know why the color instantly drained from her face that she was working unrelentingly to gain color to. I believe that memory is stuck in my subconscious and it’s why although I feel the calmest near water, I’m also terribly fearful of it. I worry for my kids who aren’t super strong swimmers like their mama. (Yes, they have had swimming lessons.)
Battling the Riptide…
Anyway, the incident didn’t keep me away from water. When I was younger I wanted to climb mountains, jump on glass, and swim the deepest waters. I had no fear, despite looking death in the face. I wanted to return to light feet and open waters (pools worked too). I thirst for that free spirit. I thirst for the days when fears didn’t set me back. I want to quench my thirst with all the dreams, leaps, and breathtaking magic that life has to give. But the riptide…
When things seem to be going swell and life is back on track the riptide comes out of nowhere and tries to pull me in. I feel myself taking in the water once more bobbling, heaving, grasping on to life, trying to steadily find my way out of the current. The vicious current. FEAR.
Life lately, has been me fighting little currents, mini riptides, that want to suck me in. I’m begging my younger self to set me free, let me be brave, strong, and carefree again. I don’t want to coast, I want to… Michael Phelps (?) 🙂
You know that feeling when you KNOW you’re destined for more… dare I say greatness, but something holds you back? That’s the feeling I’ve been having for the last two years. It’s the feeling I’ve wrestled with and won, but then there’s a rematch and I lose. I’m in a sick battle of ping pong. (Can you tell I’ve been watching the Olympics lately?)
Does anyone else feel this way? Am I alone? Half the battle is revealing my fears… right?
© 2016, Dean @Mrs. AOK, A Work In Progress. All rights reserved.