White Water

I’m not a kick ass surfer.  In fact, on this trip out to Hawaii I couldn’t seem to stand on a wave.  I spent all my time in the water fighting white water.

I did everything I knew how–looked for a channel, waited for a calm between sets, sat back on my board, you name it.  But the big waves, the relentless sets, and the endless white churny water grabbed my board and me and tossed us both around.

I haven’t really tried to surf in a long time.  For one, I had a year long shoulder injury that has (finally!) healed.  And for another, working on getting pregnant meant lots and lots of drugs and lots and lots of gentle activity resulting in a rounder, less fit Jane.

The problem with a less fit Jane is that my mind seems to have gone soft, too.

In Waikiki I took a look at those big waves arching high in front of me, and I just wanted to run.  Or paddle.  Away, far away.  Instead I kept getting stuck in the impact zone and spent whatever time I had on the outside, underneath, board flipping, flying, yanking my leg, dragging me down.

This was not the easiest week in Hawaii and the white water and my inability to catch any waves seem to be a pretty good metaphor for what’s happening personally, physically, professionally.  Just when I thought I couldn’t feel more beaten, I got a call this morning from New York and apparently I’ve ‘done it’ again.  Stepped on more toes.  Failed to properly communicate.  Upset folks in the Timbuktu department.  And not being fit, mentally tough Jane, I just started crying.   “I’ve done my best,” I said.  “I’ve given you everything.  I don’t know how to be less, or do anything different.”

By the time I hung up, it was time to go to the airport and I felt like I’d been smashed by yet another big set of Hawaii waves. 

Out in the ocean, when it’s big, Surfer Ty tells me to paddle my hardest.  Charge it, he tells me, don’t give up.

Damn.  He makes it sound–and look–easy.  Of course he can paddle through huge waves.  He has mile wide shoulders and seize-the-balls confidence.  I don’t.  No, I just have heart.  A lot of heart.  But I’m learning there are times when heart isn’t enough.

Maybe it’s good I’m going home.  I’ll stop paddling for awhile.  Stop trying so hard.  Maybe just being quiet little writer girl is what I need now.


  1. Sorry to hear you are going through a rough patch, Jane! Just know that there are lots of us out here that love you and what you do!!!

    Sending many hugs!

  2. If you need a diversion and just want to laugh, ring me up for coffee. I’m always here for you, Jane! Just remember ALL the people who love you and support you no matter what. That’s what really matters and anchors us during these trying times. You’re the BEST!! Sending you a virtual hug! 🙂


  3. Hugs, Jane! Wowsers, woman, you were trying and that’s what counts in my book! Good Lord, just the thought of surfing sends me into a panic attack! And you were out there giving it your all! You’re my heroine, believe me!
    Wishing Surfer Jane and Writer Girl all the best,


  4. Well, I agree that you should paddle harder. paddle. but relax. you know? don’t stress it. chillax. sometimes waves are your friends… but sometimes they aren’t… and you just totally wipe out. But you get back up. you’ll get back up. Just take the deep breath and inhale the good air… exhale bad air.

    and… you can’t really please EVERYONE. I try to do that and it disappoints me in the end. But at least you know you tried. =)

    Chillax. read. write. listen to music. be yourself.

    and of course there is yoga!

  5. JANE!!!

    I agree with Mitchy–you can NEVER please everyone, don’t set yourself up for that fall. Still, I know it’s a killer sometimes. You have so many wonderful things/people in your life, focus on that. In fact, chunk the rest out on one of those &*&%$* blasted waves and let it go!

    In the end, the heart matters! The rest is small stuff. And don’t forget–you have all of us loyals here! We love ya! Hugs!


  6. Jane, Just sending out big hugs to you. Sounds like you are being too hard on yourself. Take a breather and remember why you do what you do. As others have mentioned, you can’t please everyone, but nor should you. You can have your off days, we all do. You just have to remember to pick yourself up and go on being true to yourself. In the long run, that’s all that truly matters.

  7. Hugs, Jane. You definitely sound like you’re going through a bad case of the blues. Understandably. But keep your chin up, you’ll eventually catch that wave!!

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