Seventy Three: Rowing against the current

Hey, I love the album/artist against the current…

So I wrote this last night at 3.36 am when I was bored. I promise I slept last night! For a couple of hours before I woke up and a couple of hours after. I don’t know how much clarity my rambling journaling will have had at that hour. I guess if this make sense to you I’ll be lucky. I’d love to hear!!

I don’t know how many of you have gone boating in the ocean. I went (boating in the ocean) twice. It is the most awesome experience ever. Or, for me it is! Being on the water….. the freedom. If you haven’t ever done it, put it on your bucket list.

When I went boating, at some point I had to turn around and come back to shore to return the boats. Boating in the ocean, in a dingy little manual boat, having to reach the shore, else stay stuck out at sea. I’ve been kayaking and paddle boating. Paddling back, trying to reach dry land, I paddled, and paddled. The fear was intense. For, I was going against the current. I was out in the ocean trying to go against the waves and get back home, yet however hard I paddle/rowed, however much effort I put into it, I couldn’t see any difference at all. It was like I was fighting something way way bigger than me….. I remained terrified when paddling until I could see via the landmark that I was actually closer to shore than I was previously.  For I knew then that I actually was moving forwards. It helped abate the terror a little. But it didn’t help much. I was so tired of trying to reach shore. Trying to get there. And needing to rest. Yet I couldn’t stop rowing/paddling for if I stopped putting in at least a half hearted effort until I got my second wind, the waves would just – and did – send me back out again, and all the work getting closer to shore (instead of just loving the freedom of being out there) would have been for naught. I’d have to do it again. I wonder if next time I go boating on the ocean I won’t feel so afraid….

The hardest part, what made it scary, for me, was the inability to see that I was getting closer. Until I COULD see it. Otherwise it was just putting in the work, and, I couldn’t see any results. I couldn’t see that I was getting any nearer. I couldn’t see that I was building muscle and giving myself the ability to row/paddle with more strength in future. I finally got closer to shore, and eventually reached dry land. As evidenced by my writing this.

I spend my time seemingly fighting all day. The fight can be fun in and of itself. The second time I went boating I went without a life jacket. Bad idea! Especially for someone who ain’t the worlds greatest swimmer. I was convinced the boat would tip over and we would drown. I don’t know if I really thought I’d drown, I was freaking and screaming at the person paddling with me to be quiet, not to stand, not to sit, not to move, to get us back… you get the picture. Yet it was such fun! I loved every moment and the fear actually made it all the more fun.

I’m living life. The fight itself, to just live, can be ‘fun’ too. In its’ own way. (Although it’s usually anything but). It seems completely endless. Even if there is dry land in the distance – which there never seems to be – it is so far away as to lose it’s significance. I lose sight of the fact that it is there, and often – it’s actually mostly – forget what that dry land looks like, why I’m rowing the boat so hard, or trying to get there.  I wonder if I ever saw the dry land to begin with. If it was real or just my imagination. And I can’t let go of the oars ever. I have to continue fighting. Or not fighting, but rowing, moving. For if I stop, for me the ocean at the moment is the path to suicide and self destruction. Using painkillers to mess with the idea, and/or using enough to end it (however much I would use to mess with it, how much I have used, could do that in and of itself, although I don’t usually acknowledge that. I like to pretend I don’t have enough to end it at hand. I like to think I’ve half the amount – enough too – that I do. It’s okay, cutting off is something I’m great at). So I can’t stop rowing the boat unless I want to go back to that fight. Which was never a fun fight to live through. It often seems endless and there is no way to see that although everything looks the same, the boat actually has been moving forward. Until I’m in line with that rock. Until I see that, hey, I’m reacting in a way more present, centred way. That although it’s so hard, part of that is because of things I want. I want to be more present in the world. And I am. And of course I don’t know how to deal with it and it’s way too much and I hate it, but this inability to deal is actually due to something positive…

Holding the landmarks I have passed in view helps a little. To remember that although I can’t stop rowing unless I decide to give up the journey, it is worth it. It still seems endless. It still often (at the moment it’s usually) feels like a path not worth it in its’ impossibility. Yet, we’re inching ever closer. If I could see the change, yeah, it would and does help. The change is there even if I can’t always see it. The differences are there even if they aren’t noticeable until suddenly they’re evident. And, even if no matter how hard I row or paddle the boat is staying in exactly the same place, I’m still building muscle, and the ability to row/paddle with more strength soon. Besides that the kayak must’ve been inching closer even when I couldn’t see that it was, for I’m not stuck out at sea still. I’m here to tell the tale.

Boating against the current….

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