Sometimes in the Waves of Change...

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"Sometimes in the waves of change, we find our true direction."

I spent this past summer in Florida, which is an instagram-worthy way of saying that I moved back to Central Florida during The Quarantine of 2020, because life became really uncertain really, really quickly this year. I found myself trying to force healing with ‘vitamin sea’ at the beach.

 Anna Maria Island, Florida

There are basically two different types of beaches in Florida. There is the gulf, which has the most beautiful blended shades of green and blue I’ve ever seen. The water is warm and calm and feels safe. You can see your feet all the way through the water in the soft, almost sugar-white sand as you wade through waves that are barely there. It’s my happy place. It’s the perfect escape from reality and where I fully intended to “find my answers” to life’s questions this year.

Then there is the other side of Florida. Where the draw is that you can drive on the beach, because the shore is much longer and the sand is pretty tough. At times, the waves are even so big that surfers come from miles to catch a few. Unlike the gulf, it is only beautiful when you’re looking out at the view rather than standing in the water. Forget seeing your feet through the brownish-gray water that, if you’re wearing the right sunglasses, kind of looks blue. The undertow is so intense that I was walking about knee-deep through the water with a friend and they had to catch me and hold my hand to avoid being caught in it until we could get out of it. Any Floridian reading this right now knows exactly what beach I am talking about. It’s that one that you avoid with all your might during the Spring Break months, but can’t seem to stay away from. And that’s the funny thing about it, I found myself revisiting this beach way more frequently than the peaceful one in the Gulf. I didn’t like it that much, but most of the Gulf was closed and if I wanted to go with my friends and get some tan lines this year, then the rough one was our only option.

There was another time I was in the water, floating around the Shark Capital of the World just hoping that the sharks were in quarantine, too. I got hit by a pretty big wave and realized that I’d have to start maneuvering them if I was going to stay out there (or stay alive!). So I dove straight into a crashing wave, came up for air and bam, another one, another one. I couldn’t touch the ground, I was barely catching my breath when yet another one hit. If you’ve ever been to the beach, I think you have also experienced this panic before. I got out of the water panting, made it back to my beach towel and said “Oh my gosh! Can we go home? Who chose this beach! The water SUCKS!” My friend laughed and said, “Hannah. YOU wanted to go to the beach. This is our only option for a beach right now."

 

 Anna Maria Island, Florida

I’m not sure if this metaphor will make sense, but I’m going for it! In that small moment, I realized that sometimes our choices carry us out into rough waters. When that happens, we’ve got to find a way to keep our head up, avoid the sharks, catch a breath, and find a way to get back to the shore. Most of the time, the first few waves are fun and exciting, but before we know it, they suddenly become overwhelming and scary. But it’s our choice to step into the water and see what the waves are made of, or if you’re like me, get those perfectly organic beach waves in your hair at any cost, because that’s the real reason I went into the water in the first place!

What I’m trying to say is, sometimes when we’re in the thick of our choices they become too much for us to handle and we have to reach out our hand for someone to pull us up. When I was in the middle of my panic, I thought I was alone in that vast ocean. That couldn’t have been farther from the truth. There was a friend, much more experienced than I, right there to help.

 Anna Maria Island, Florida

You’ve seen your own monstrous waves this year, too. Or maybe it was that sneaky undertow that snuck up on you and you’ve fallen over. Maybe stepping into the waves wasn’t your choice at all, but you’re finding a way to surf and get back to shore.

I think it’s important to note that, I don’t know when our circumstances are going to be restored. Sometimes, you just have to let people love you on your journey in the unknown. Don’t close up and refuse their helping hands reaching out towards you. I’m not even sure my friend that joined me that really day liked the beach all that much. I know for certain that they were smart enough not to go into the water, yet they were there to catch me when the waves got to be too much for me. I’ve often questioned if the chaos from 2020 is a gift or not, and in this moment, I’m choosing that it is. I hope you do, too.
Until next time... Thanks for reading! I'm going to get back to Be Lovely's SALE happening now! Leave a comment and share your thoughts! Should I write more of these?

 

 

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