I’ve been going down to Galveston to watch the sunrise on my birthday, on and off, for the past six years. (Mostly on, by the way.) I always intend to really write about it, but when I get down there, I’m always in awe of watching the smallest sliver of a hint of red start getting redder and then orange, and then yellow, as the Earth’s rotation turns, and so, even with the best of intentions and notebooks at hand, in previous years I haven’t ever been able to get my thoughts down on paper about the event or the previous year.
This year, however, the sun was being a persnickety bitch. I didn’t see her until she was a fully formed orb, already yellow, and slowly peeking out from a cloud - not the horizon line. It was, as if she was in collusion with the universe, in telling me, “wait ‘til you see what I have in store for you this year…”
To say that this has been a difficult one to go through, would be an understatement, but there have, in all fairness, been a lot of difficult ones. Someone told me that my 30s were going to be the best years of my life. People also said that about my 20s. I’m now halfway through the 30s, and I hope they get better, but I have a new found philosophy on that, anyway.
I almost didn’t go this year. I woke up, disoriented to my alarm, feeling that it was an obligation, not a desire. People that know me well, know I do this: I go to the beach to watch the sunrise. It’s my “thing”.
Halfway there, my sinuses started giving me a splitting headache. I thought coffee would help. It did not.
And, then… something just happened. I still can’t really explain what.
Before last year, I routinely went to one spot. In fact, in the years I went to said same spot, they have turned out to be the some of the best years of my life. Overwhelmingly so.
Last year, my favourite spot was under construction… For simplistic purposes, I’m just going to refer to it as “my spot” from now on. As a result of the construction, I drove further down the sea wall and ended up closer to my Aunt’s beach house that she had recently purchased. But, as I was heading to last year’s spot, I saw that “my” spot was actually, rebuilt. Better than ever.
Not to tempt the fates, but if that’s not symbolic, I don’t know what is.
My spot, is also only slightly symbolic in that it’s at 47th Street with the following new signs erected:
1947 being the year my Father was born and the fact that he was born in Tennessee, home of Davy Crockett.
I turned around and parked, next to my dolphins:
and looked for the pathway to my spot on the beach, only the way I used to get down, precarious though it was, is now impossible and blocked. I guess, you could say that’s symbolic, too.
I managed to make way down from the sea wall to the beach. It was so lovely because there was this beautiful wind, and though it was technically humid, something about the wind, and probably the Gulf’s waters, cooled the air. It just has never been that windy before. It also has never rained on my birthday in the last six years. With the way my sinuses were acting and the clouds at dawn, I thought it surely would this year…
Anyone that knows me well, also knows I have an incredible fear of deep water. I think, it’s partially derived from my asthma. In an asthma attack, you kind of feel like a fish out of water - gasping. I can think of no other traumatic way to die, than to drown. But, I also hate the feeling of floating when you can’t touch the ground - something tangible - floating along in a vastness - something about it, just freaks me out.. and yet, one could argue I’ve honestly felt like that’s what it’s been like the past few years. A lack of dry land… no island. I’d think I’d see the shore, only to be carted away by the current or, it was just this mirage my hopeful mind was throwing. - A distraction.
So, as I started towards the water, where I put my feet in, and almost nothing else, the symbolic and weird just kept pushing forward. I would wait for the water to rush over my feet with the tide, only to have it just miss me when I stayed safe… and, when I ventured just one step further, a rush of waves would crash against the shore, driven probably by storms in the gulf, the wind: but general circumstances - life - chaos. And, I would inevitably, back away. I began to see the microcosm being shaped in front of me.
All of this was a reminder that, you have to be careful in your pursuits, and things that scare you don’t always knock you down…
It was also a reminder that it’s necessary to take chances… throw caution to the proverbial wind.. because, when I actually stopped to think about it, every chance I’ve ever taken has always paid off. Maybe not in the way I wanted it to, but it has always changed my life for the better… or allowed me to learn something to help someone else. Chances aren’t supposed to be scary - they’re supposed to be a part of life.
So… I began to just think about things, and very early on, I realized perception is getting in my way… and a few other things, too. While I enjoy spending time online, it’s also kind of a hideout. There are necessities to me engaging here, professional and personal, but as I disengage from it, my world opens up - it becomes a hundred times better. The difficult trade off, is there are several people that only exist in this online world that I’m terribly fond of - like Mr. Redjeep, Fistaphobia & Exit417, and Supertzar. So, I miss them terribly, but I’m kind of on my own little path here… and I check in with them where I can… (and more than they probably know or realize). These past few weeks, though, as I limit my time around here, have been some of the best weeks of the last few difficult years.
Whatever happened this morning, began on my drive to the beach… I remember early on, demanding that life give me a better year this year… Those that know me, know I’ve more than earned a better year… but, I quickly realized in the asking that it was ridiculous. No one deserves a good year… deserves a break… A resounding theme in my life this past year, has been that you have to make certain things happen… go after what you really want… make it work, make it happen… Not force those things to happen, but really define things and work for them, accept setbacks, never defeat… and define them by your perception. You have to ask yourself questions in order to make change happen… you have to have goals and be willing to put forth your best efforts, lay it all on the line - take chances - and walk away, no matter how hard that may be, if something is not working for you. If you want to be happy in life, if you want to make changes, if you want to see positives… it all starts with you… and how you view the world and the situation. Is this a playbook for everything or everyone? Nope.. It’s a guideline. But it’s how my happiness comes about.
I resolved, early on this very necessary outing, that from now on, if I wanted this year to be better, I had to make one change - just one.. and that is, I will wake up each day and ask myself, “how can I make today better than yesterday?” If I remember to do this every day, that will make the year successful enough for me.
This is a healing year… and I’m not going to tempt fates and say that it’s going to be my best year ever… because when I say that, it crashes and burns. What I can say is, it’s now apparent to me that resolutions are lost on New Year’s Day. They belong on your birthday… and if this birthday has been any indication of how this year is going to go? Then it will be an extraordinary year…
…but, it’s just beginning to peek through the clouds…
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