A Long Walk

I haven’t written anything good in a while. I’m not sure if it’s a lack of inspiration or just a mind that is too distracted to spend time free-ranging into creativity or my inner voice that reminds me I’ve never written anything good speaking louder than normal.

Regardless, I was going through some old photos the other day and came across this one.

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It’s overcast and foggy. I’m walking towards the break on a mushy winter day somewhere in Maine a couple years ago. It’s very early in the morning and about twenty-five miserable degrees. I probably have class or work starting later that morning. The waves are questionable at best, unrideable at worst, and non-existent at times.

Looking at that photo, I flashed right back into that moment and remembered my thoughts as a plodded towards the water. I was thinking about how hard this walk is.

Anyone who’s surfed cold water knows that feeling. You get out of your warm car, don a wetsuit so thick that it immobilizes you on land before trying to drown you in the water, and slowly pad between the snow banks and sand dunes towards the frigid break. Every step only makes the realization that you can just stop, turn around, and quit that much more tempting.

But, you know you have to keep going. You know that as soon as you catch that first wave, you’ll forget that long, cold walk. You’ll even forget that you were ever cold in the first place.

That’s kind of how life has been for me these last few months. A really long, cold, walk. Where every step was a struggle to take, and the next one was even harder, but each step was a triumph. And I just had to keep walking. And walking. And I did, and I continue, to take steps on that walk every day.

I do so because I know that it’ll pay off. Every step, every challenge that’s been thrown at me in such a short period of time, every struggle, will be washed away by the joy of the waves, whatever form those “waves” may take.

The exultation that comes after breaking through the not-so-fun stuff and into the sweet stuff is so enveloping that you forget how hard it was to simply keep moving a few heartbeats ago. It makes every single tough step worth it a hundred times over, and lets you know that the next time you have to force yourself to just keep walking, you can and you will.

One of my mother’s many lessons that guide me every day is to remember that everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle. Some big, some small, but everyone has something they’re struggling against. To you, dealing with your battle, I want to encourage you to keep walking and remind you that it will be so, so worth it. Get up, put one foot in front of the other, and breakthrough.

It’s been a challenging few months for me. I’m thankful for the lessons learned, for those who’ve stuck with me through the good times and the bad, for everyone who has helped me directly or indirectly, and for every single one of those terrible steps.

Now, it’s time for me to go catch a wave or two.

Thanks for reading. Until next time,

TN

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