Finding Strength at Huntington Beach

“There are always waves on the water. Sometimes they are big, sometimes they are small, and sometimes they are almost imperceptible. The water’s waves are churned up by the winds, which come and go and vary in direction and intensity, just as do the winds of stress and change in our lives, which stir up the waves in our minds.”
Jon Kabat-Zinn

During a trip to California in September, I stood in front of this dock and watched the waves crash up against the posts. I think it was only for about 15 minutes, but it felt like an hour or more that I was standing there watching different kinds of waves roll in, hitting the poles in a varied amount of strengths.

This was my first time on the West Coast and first time at a beach in five years. The trip was an awesome adventure with a friend and her kid, and believe me, it was an adventure. We left the East Coast early in the morning and arrived in Long Beach in the afternoon. I couldn’t keep my eyes from watching the view from above, no matter how tired I was, or how much it would be nice to rest. Over the week I kept thinking about what the future holds and how I need to make a plan to travel to the West Coast, and to see some of the places we flew over during our trip.

Five years ago I was let go from my job. Fired. Yep. From a field in which I had invested my time, energy, and lots of money (college debt). I couldn’t imagine what else I would ever do that would be as important as the job I just lost, a job in journalism. It’s funny as I reflect back now, on how I thought that was the end of the world. Now I can say that it was what has brought me to this moment, and I’m thankful that it taught me that I’m not meant to only have ambition for one thing. I love doing many things, photography and telling stories is just part of who I am, but that doesn’t define WHO I am. Not only that, but also that I can still tell the stories of others, and share my own.

As I realized all of this while standing there, watching the waves crash, I realized that I’m much stronger than I ever thought I was in the past. And just like these poles, my goal is to keep standing, no matter what waves of life come along.



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