Did you ever think about why you were born? I am sure you have and so have I and so has everyone else in this world at least once. I think life is kind of like the beach and here is why. I don't know about you but my first time at the beach was very exciting. My American grandma took me to Panama Beach on our road trip to Alabama. I had never seen the ocean, so you can only imagine my excitement. Oh and mind you, I was born and raised in the largest landlocked country in the world. I could not wait to see the ocean in all its glory, whatever that meant for me in my imagination. Well, when we got to Panama City Beach (this was in mid-January), the ocean was much to be desired. I was expecting this romantic and even somewhat spiritual experience and my hair flowing in the wing and the sand between my toes. And what I got was a cold wing, bunch of loud and obnoxious surfers, smell of marijuana and Ron Jon store signs on every corner. To say the least, I was disappointed.
Now fast forward to a few years later, I started dating this cute Brazilian boy in Nashville. It was almost Thanksgiving break time and his family invited me to spend the holiday with them in Boca Raton, FL. I was super excited for the trip and nervous all at the same time. I have always been a bit of a people pleaser and even more so when it was my boyfriend's family at stake. They planned a trip to Orlando, FL before driving back to South Florida. We had a lovely trip to Disney and Islands of Adventure and I was thoroughly enjoying my time with them. We drove to Boca raton in their cute family van, all very exhausted from our adventures at the parks. That night my boyfriend took me to the beach late at night, just so he could show me the beautiful ocean he always talked about, especially during the winter months while cuddling under the blankets. He loved the beach so much and I loved the way he talked about it, too. It was so passionate, so joyful and had so much sentimental value for him. How could I not love the beach? We went to the closest pier we could find somewhere near his home in Boca. I remember taking off my $3 flip flops from Target and stepping onto the sand. It was kind of cold and wet, but felt undeniably amazing. The wind was blowing my hair just the way I wanted it to and boy, did I feel like a heroine from a romantic novel! It was a special moment and perhaps even one of those "defining" ones in my life. I was holding his hand so tightly and I did not care about a single thing in the world. The ocean sounded so scary and looked so dark, but there was a sense of piece within that fear. It was a truly magical moment.
Life can be both of these experiences, the good one and the bad one. It is always up to you to create a memory that will last a lifetime. Sometimes the beach can be so busy and crowded and you don't feel like anything special is happening in that moment. But it can also be pretty magnificent and you can experience something truly unbelievable. I hope you take life just as it is with its good beach days and not so good days. I hope you learn to navigate through it by making the ultimate choice of being happy in every situation.
Update on my relationship with the beach: since that trip in 2010, I managed to move to Orlando and make a home here with my darling and my puppy boy, Polo. We are happy, healthy and beachin' perfect! I have converted into a beach bum myself and I take much pride in the way my tan develops and the things I can do with my hair after it comes into contact with salty water. I have learned to keep my mouth shut in the ocean and to never bring fancy sunglasses to the beach. That's all for now.