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In the Groove

I'm not. In the groove that is. Not yet.

The past year held so much change for me. Grief and loss, job change, flexing family responsibilities...it has felt very much like a rolling sea.

 

I spent a week at the ocean last week. A sunny, warm vacation in the middle of winter gave me a lot of head space to consider all of these changes. I spent a lot of time watching the waves, the foam and mist they stir up, and the rolling horizon. Just like my thoughts and feelings, the ebb and flow was constant.
 
It is such a contradiction for me. I am drawn to the ocean but it so often terrifies me. We snorkel a lot on these vacations (it is an annual event with friends.) I'm not an accomplished swimmer; in fact I'm horrible. So while I am magnetically drawn into the water, I am equally terrified to swim in it. It happens every single year. The first time in is the worst. I put on my mask and adjust it carefully, and wait for a moment of calm in the waves to start swimming. And as soon as I put my face in the water I gasp for breath. I start to swim to establish a rhythm, in my movement and breathing, but I'm close to hyper ventilating. (Yes, I have actually done that in the past.)
It takes me about 3 min of mentally fighting the fear and intentionally calming my breathing before I am good. I hate that part. But I know if I can fight through those few minutes, I will be rewarded on the other side, with a WHOLE WORLD beneath the water. I establish a rhythm with my kicks and my breath and suddenly I feel completely calm again. And everything around me is absolutely gorgeous. I've seen colorful fish, coral, sea turtles, rays, octopi, and even some nurse and reef sharks. I would miss it if I let the fear win.
Coming out of the past year of turmoil I realize is the same. I could sit here, in the middle of fear and apprehension. It feels safer but not good. I'm drawn to move forward but I know those first few steps are going to be terrifying. But, just like snorkeling, I know there is also a lot of beauty on the other side of this if I can fight off the fear long enough to witness it.
 
So my focus over the next couple of months is to find my groove, my rhythm, just like swimming. This year my journey as a full time artist begins, and I am currently hyper-ventilating. But pretty soon I'll calm down. And I know it's going to be beautiful.

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