even keel

I saw a shirt the other day that said “surfing is my religion.” I really, really wanted that shirt. Not because I’m a surfer-girl in the strictest sense of the word – I’m not. (Mostly because we have no place easy for me to learn here and I’m too chicken to brave the sea urchins and rough conditions where the surfable waves do occur). But still…I think of kitesurfing as close enough to make me sort-of a surfer chick.

Anyway…the shirt is spot on for me these days and I’m still searching for one for myself.

After two full weeks of kite beach craziness (first the course racing which stressed me out because I was responsible for so much stuff…then a week of “spring break party” craziness on the kite beach thanks to the wakestyle kiteboarding event), I finally got back on the water last night for a nearly-solo sunset session. The beach was deserted, except for Island Boy and another local who was practicing on his surf board.

So I hit the water and just rode. Not worrying about whose line I might be riding. Or whose kite was where. I just rode and turned and jumped and did whatever I wanted. No stress. No worries.

And gradually remembered just how much riding keeps me centered and calm. Even when I try a jump and don’t land it perfectly (or, as is more often the case, crash spectacularly), it still is an amazingly chill feeling to simply be on the water. Just me and my board. Hearing only the wind in my lines and the sound my board makes as it slices through the waves. Watching the wake left behind as I move forward.

And sharing this space with an occasional turtle or dolphin isn’t so bad, either. But that’s it. No people. Nobody’s problems or issues encroaching in my space. No ringing phones. No text messages. No drama. No demands. Nothing. Just me and mother ocean.

I used to have the same feeling when I solo hiked in the mountains.

I know myself well enough to know that being alone with my thoughts is a really good place for me to be. I’m  an introvert, and too much time surrounded by the white noise generated by others eventually makes me crazy. And then I lash out and become a person I really dislike. The racing event put me back in that icky place for awhile – a place I hadn’t truly been since I left my old life.

But now that I have time and distance (and solitude), I am getting back to normal. Well, my normal anyway.

And after a really chill kite session, Island Boy surprised me with a nice dinner out. Al fresco dining, framed by moonlight and water. And his undivided attention. Finally. Because, despite my introverted nature, I do still need to feel important to the few people I choose to let into my very small circle. And last night did that for me. So, thanks, Island Boy. You do seem to know exactly what I need, exactly when I need it.

So I am back in my happy place. Centered and relaxed. Finally. Enjoying my work and my time on this little rock. And not seriously thinking about a new adventure anytime soon. (But seriously thinking about finding and attending a girls’ surf camp someplace…)

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