December is the best month ever. Christmas, my birthday, and winter swells all happen in December. For me at least, it really is “the most wonderful time of the year.” San Diego got hit with its first surf-able, real winter swell this past weekend. I had a late night Friday (i.e. 5 a.m.) and didn’t even think of paddling out, but I went and took pictures of my guy friends’ waves (pictured).
All the great surfers paddle out in waves like the ones SD saw this weekend. These guys fly. It’s around this time of year that a surfer’s relationship with surfing changes. During the summer, it’s strictly fun and games. The waves are small, the water is warm, and there are so many people out there who don’t know what they’re doing, it’s not like you’re going to piss anyone off. Surf-wise, you have nothing to worry about. In the winter, the waves double-triple in size, the water temps fall into the 50’s, and only the big boys and girls (wet)suit up. From summer to winter, the ocean changes from friend to foe. You could die out there. Some guy came in from the water carrying a broken board. The waves weren’t that big, they weren’t really board-breaking big, but they were definitely bigger than I wanted to surf in my hungover state.
At the risk of sounding unoriginal, the summer/winter wave cycle is like life. Cliche, but true? Sometimes you’re totally comfortable, you can take out a longboard and ride care-free, having fun, and surfing totally unafraid and in control. Other times, the waves throw you. You try to duck dive under them, but they suck you back and topple you over the falls. You get worked. You might finally get to the outside, but you are so spooked at the wave height and strength, you just look for a way to get into shore. You’re out of control and out of your element.
Bob Marley said, “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, only ourselves can free our minds.” I think our mind states are applicable in this analogy. How do you like your mind? Are you always in control? All LB days? 3-4 foot surf? Is it all rainbows and butterflies in there? I’m going to guess that answer is no, but maybe I’m wrong.
I used to think I was the only one who struggled with controlling the resources of my mind. People probably think I’m insane anyway so might as well just out with everything, eh? I’m exceptionally hard on myself. The people closest to me tell me I worry too much. My family has a history of insomnia, mental illness, and alcoholism. My grandfather died in a bar. Lots of members in our family have addictive personalities. We’re also smart, brave, and loving. Too much? Why am I telling you this?
I think often people feel like they’re alone in how they’re feeling. But everyone struggles with stuff. Everyone finds themselves in scary situations in the “water” sometimes. Out of control.
What if your girlfriend broke up with you? What if you are having the worst hangover of your life and made bad decisions last night? What if you had a one night stand you don’t feel good about it? What if you just don’t like your job? What if you lost a major case or client? Shit happens. Are we supposed to be even keel all the time? Good news is, you can feel better about things. Half the time, we get stuck in our heads too much. We blow things out of proportion. At least I do.
Five tips for when you’re in waves you shouldn’t be surfing in:
1. Write down 10 things you are grateful for.
4. Do good a deed for someone else.
5. Try to keep things in perspective.
*6. Watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Any Christmas movie!!
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a happy girl. I’ve got plenty to be thankful for, and as I said, December is my favorite month. But I don’t think it’s fair to always pretend like life is perfect, because it’s not. Christmas is awesome. Holidays = happy times. But if you aren’t happy, it’s okay. It’s natural. It’s all good … dude.