I was sitting in bed during a power outage recently, amazed at how still, how quiet, how dark it can all be.
There isn’t a moment when I’m not moving, whether physically or mentally. I’m a busy person, an extremist, a “go-getter”. A mentor of mine thinks I occupy my time and energy so I can run, run, run from my feelings, but the truth is that I feel them all too deep to actually escape them. You might not see it from looking at me, but the thoughts, the worry, the happy, the silly- it never goes away.
But in the darkness of my 650 square foot apartment, in the stillness of a neighborhood that’s in a black out, in the quiet from the lack of the dull hum coming from the AC, I found the usual noise in my mind subtle and shouting at the same time.
Embracing the stillness, finding calmness in the calamity- it’s a mystery I have been working on solving for years.
Over the weekend, I took a trip with my friends to the beach. We went with no plans. We didn’t have an exact time to leave, and we didn’t even have a place reserved to stay for the weekend. We just went.
After getting there, the first thing we did was take a walk along the shore. It was magnificent. The lights on the pier danced against the waves. I took off my shoes, and in the darkness of the night, in the bustle of boardwalk rides and children laughing, I took a step into the sea. Before I knew it, I was knee deep, and I was free.
I can be a fearful person. I hate to admit that, but it’s the truth. I spend a decent amount of my time worrying or trying to control the outcome of a situation. My anxiety can consume me to the point where I can’t breath, my body trembles, and my thoughts won’t slow down. It’s rare that someone will experience this side of me, but it’s a part of me that is real and I’m working on it.
But to step into the dark ocean, to explore into the unknown, to fully let go and be immersed in the moment, was one of the most therapeutic experiences I have had. I didn’t worry about anything that could go wrong. I didn’t think about the fact that we didn’t know where we were going to sleep that night, or what could be lurking in front of me in the water. In that moment, I just existed. In that moment, I experienced total serenity.
My best friend joined me, and with hands held, we jumped blissfully into the night waves. Fish were flipping around in the water, the shoreline crept further and further away, and I allowed myself to experience life with my friends. I jumped and swam and floated in the water, free as could be.
I found calmness in the chaos of life this weekend. And it was truly beautiful.