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.