Surf’s Up

“Ride the wave. One day it will be over.”

The world is an ocean. It is wide, vast, and infinite. Sometimes I feel like we get thrown into this ocean of a world with no tools, no lessons, and no metaphoric flotation devices. Just like an ocean, the world has incoming and outgoing tides. There are times when the waves seem insurmountable, and there are times when they seem small enough to walk over; but the one constant is that life will have its waves.

People tell us about the waves that life can throw at us. They have no problem explaining the potential difficulties we may encounter, but they neglect to tell us what to do when we encounter them. They tell us that all of life’s waves will one day end, and to simply ride the wave until its end.

Which, for me, begs the question: How can I ride the wave if I was never taught to swim?

Before parents let their children swim in the deep end by themselves, they enroll them in swimming lessons. They prepare them for the dangers that the deep end can possess. I think there is something to be said for preparedness. I think that it makes logical sense that people are better equipped to swim through the deep ends of life when they have been given the proper tools and training to do so.

Like the ocean, life is an unpredictable beast. It can throw things at us that we never even thought possible, it will try to drown us. But would we not be better suited to handle these challenges if we were given proper tools? I understand, the unpredictable nature of life makes it hard to prepare for the unknown. I don’t even think that’s what I’m suggesting. It’s impossible to prepare for the unknown, that’s the very premise of unknown things. But when it comes to things like death, and grieving, why are we never taught how to cope? Why are we never taught to swim?

I look at my life and there are times when I would love nothing more than to simply ride the wave. The problem is that the world never taught me how. They never gave me floaties, swimming lessons, or a fludder board. They sent me into the world’s ocean and told me to ride the wave. But I never learned how to swim.

 

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