Jan 8, 2010

Jumping Back In

I swim.
 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
 dropping classes, 
failing classes, 
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 
‘big girl’ 
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
 of deaths, 
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 watched. 
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
 choppy water 
and add more things to your life,
 I sunk.
 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 health, 
my happiness, 
my free time, 
my JOB. 
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
 bad fit 
for everyone involved. 
The job that provided me with
 financial security and 
health insurance 
and a 401k. 
The job that I quit right 
before Christmas
 despite the job market 
and economy 
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. 
Thank you
 for sharing your 
I Believe 
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 
biggest weight 
I was trying to hold onto
 and salvage. 
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


Corie said...

You GO GIRL! That is so great that you stood up and know that the track you were on wasn't the RIGHT one for you! You will find your way again! After all, we are pansies....always smiling!:) MUCH LOVE! xo

jess said...

that was beautiful. i love you!

Sandy B. said...

i am so happy that you jumped back into the pool. and i will be waiting at the side yelling very loudly for you to keep going and to do your best. you are the most beautiful swimmer i have ever seen and your face is so bright when you come up out of the water. so as long as it takes i will be there with a nice clean towel that smells like tide and bounce and is warm from the sun. i A D O R E you my swimming girl.

Anonymous said...

go tay tay!!! ilove you, keep swimming!

Robert & Vanessa DiCarlo said...

That was beautifully written. I'm glad you are jumping back in...it takes courage and strength. Sending you good thoughts- Vanessa (and baby Emi)

Unknown said...

My Sis: I am swimming right along with you -- we both have challenges to face in this coming year and I am ready to take the plunge right along with you -- I am proud of you and your courage --YOU are my special star -- my hope -- my special girl -- go for it -- you WILL find your dream and I will be right there, beside you!

nicole said...

such a beautiful posting, so glad you've made the first BIG step in changing, its super scary (i know) but you have to believe that everything will change for the better now xx

Julie Kiefer said...

Beautifully Written! I love you, my Tay. Just promise me no no-breathers anymore. Those are scary! I will be here whenever you need a relay partner or lifeguard, JAK

Kathy said...

I've always been able to see your bright light.
That was a very inspiring post, and you are very lucky to have so many people who care about you so much. Good luck Tay!!

Phoenix said...

YAY! Oh Tay, this was such a beautiful post! May you always, always be a fighter and a swimmer, never giving in to the dark...may we always be able to see your light shining from afar.

Congrats on a huge step in the right direction!! I am so happy for you, girl!

Unknown said...

Hey Tay!

Missing you. I love that you are following your heart.

Love ya!

Norma & Rocco

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