While stumbling around in the dark, trying to find a way back to life, I found somewhat of a shortcut: writing. But as with everything else swirling around over the last few years, I couldn’t reach out and grasp a way to even begin writing again. The idea of it was concrete, but I just couldn’t see a way or a place to start.
Then, yet again, one of the books my friend recommended for me said to sit down and simply start writing. It sounds simple, but what a huge impact! You sit, with no sense of what’s to pour out, and you just start with a sentence, a visual, a smell, a memory, anything. That sentence will always lead to the next. That’s the jump…that first sentence. It’s the releasing of the dam.
I started free writing back in the fall and it has been a wonderful use of my time. The more I get lost in my head, collecting all things to flow out of my hand onto the paper, the lighter I have felt. The more grounded in the here and now I have felt.
Another thing that has been neat about this experience is how something will happen and it will remind me of something that poured out in one of those random writing sessions.
Today several things collided: a new song I heard this morning, which brought up something I had written, that led me to a very vivid memory I have from many years ago.
For as long as I can remember, I have loved music and how it ties us all together. Looking back over things I have written since I was in high school (I only have this stuff because by some miracle, it was published in my high school’s magazine), the common thread always seems to be the ocean.
I grew up in South GA, the ocean was only a few quiet backroads away. Yet I was twelve before I ever saw it. Talk about a core memory.
It was Jekyll Island, with its murky, Atlantic waters churning up the crushed seashells. My very first glimpse was through the backseat window of my parent’s car. I remember my eyes going blurry from the tears. It was the most incredible thing I’d ever seen. On that day, my lifelong love for the ocean was born.
Since then, it seems everything I experience I relate in some way back to the ocean, and every time I get to physically be there, my soul is in awe of its power and beauty.
This morning, as I was hurriedly starting my day, I was simultaneously trying to catch up on what new music had been released last night at midnight. This is something I try to do on Thursday nights, but that didn’t happen last night.
The first song that showed up in my Youtube feed was Ed Sheeran’s latest song, “Boat.” I was already intrigued because it’s Ed and I couldn’t wait to hear what he had to say about a boat. I highly recommend watching the video and hearing those lyrics if you haven’t already. I was so happy to later go back and see the video and the fact that it matches perfectly!
I tried really hard to pay attention to the lyrics, but it just wasn’t happening. So, I decided to wait until I got into my car (yep, to head to therapy–great timing, might I add) to be able to really listen.
As it played, I found myself with tears again. I had so many thoughts flooding my mind at the same time, but before I could digest what he was singing about, I realized I felt very similar to how I felt when I was driving to a job that made me miserable when I was probably nineteen. It was Switchfoot’s “Meant to Live.” That song came on the radio that evening and had such an impact on me that I had to pull over and have a good old cry right there on the side of the road. Again, it was a small town, so that was ok to do.
Once I pulled myself back together, I ended up driving to work and quitting (not something that is typical for me). My managers were so nice that they wrote up that I was quitting to attend college in case I ever needed to come back because I’d never called out and had always worked hard. I was so grateful because I did not have a backup plan.
Somehow, I never had to go back.
Everything today brought me to pulling out one of the notebooks I’d been writing in lately. I figured this was a perfect place to share one of the pages:
While I may not be able to write like Ed Sheeran, I am so grateful “the waves won’t break my boat.”