I’ve been swimming since I can remember.
I spent a lot of time in the pool and in the ocean as a child for fun and also swam competitively on and off from when I was 4 until I was 17. In high school I started swimming long distance. After the competition was over and I graduated from high school, long distance swimming became very therapeutic for me.
It’s my yoga.
It calms me and centers me.
When I was on my mountain, going to school, I just had to go swim and my memories of home all came back to me. I always joke with my mom that the smell of bleach reminds me of my childhood because she was so neurotic about cleaning, but it’s really the chlorine smell from indoor pools that ‘take me back’ to Long Beach.
To the indoor Olympic pool
where I spent so much time swimming laps.
I like to think of my life in terms of swimming. Whether I feel like I’m in a huge ocean trying to find my ground or whether I’m swimming laps, going back and forth, learning through repetition, traveling the same road until I finish the job. Like Dory (and Julie) say, ‘Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.’
I moved to Phoenix from Flagstaff because I was in a negative cycle in Flagstaff.
I was trying to
go to school full time,
work full time
and also trying
to go out full time
with all of my great college friends.
After a few semesters of
paying out of state tuition
and working too much I burned out.
I decided to move to Phoenix as a next step.
My goal was to find a
job and to get in a place financially where I could go back to school to finish my degree and move onto a fulfilling career in a field I really care about.
Three years later (almost three years to the day, actually) I find myself still in Phoenix (I NEVER thought I would be here that long) and itching for a change.
In the three years I’ve spent here,
there have been
storms that have made my water
dark and choppy.
There have been an unfair amount
some financial issues,
a condo purchase,
awesome friends made,
many lessons learned
and original goals have been ignored.
Through all of these changed the long and strong
(that is what my swim coach called it)
swim stroke I moved here with that allowed me to glide through the water with ease and graceful movement became short and ineffective.
I wasn’t moving through the water as easily or effectively. Then, more things happened and I just stopped swimming altogether.
I floated around for awhile.
I let the water move me where it wanted to.
I let it move me toward more sadness and anxiety and instead of swimming away from those feelings and those areas of my life I just
I became totally immobile.
Unable to look at the bad habits and self destructive behavior I was quickly floating toward,
just watching people swim by me.
Instead of starting to swim again,
I tried to distract and busy myself with more tasks.
I thought that if I added more to my life I would feel more fulfilled and needed.
I took on a part time job
and took on a huge charity project
in addition to
my full time job
and part time tutoring gig.
But when you’re in already
and add more things to your life,
Deeper and deeper
into my sadness and anxiety.
I sunk so deep that
I didn’t think I
could see the light
at the surface of the water anymore.
I stopped breathing and stopped caring.
I went so deep that others
could no longer see my usually bright light. Everything in my life has been affected.
my free time,
The job I never really wanted.
The job I have had for THREE YEARS.
The job that has defined me for those three years.
The job I neglected when
I took on so many other activities.
The job that became a
for everyone involved.
The job that provided me with
financial security and
and a 401k.
The job that I quit right
despite the job market
and my better judgment
and the guilt I feel
when I leave or say no to ANYTHING.
Today was my
at work and I feel
much better about my life.
for sharing your
lists with me.
They helped SO much when
I was sad and torn about
the decisions I needed to make.
I feel like I’ve
swum to the surface,
have gotten rid of the
I was trying to hold onto
I’ve climbed out onto
solid ground so that I can
regain some perspective
and reassess my goals.
My next accomplishment.
I don’t know what it is yet,
but I’m ready to find it
and I’m ready to jump back
into the water
so that I can get there
with confidence and strength.
I’m ready to swim.
**photo credit: we heart it
**photo credit: we heart it