A couple of summers ago when I was doing recreational rowing, I was scared to tip the single as I didn’t want to fall into the lake and get wet. I also thought tipping meant that I was a bad rower, so I tried hard not to tip. Little did I know: tipping happens to everyone, regardless of their abilities. I used the pontoons way longer than I should have, because I wanted to be safe. It took awhile, but I finally took the pontoons off – my coach insisted. You know what? I didn’t tip that night! It took another couple of weeks before I finally did tip. Tipping wasn’t so bad. Yes, I was drenched; but it was a hot summer night, so I felt refreshed. Now, I’m not afraid to tip. So, I go out on the water with no fear. I should have just tipped at the beginning so that I wouldn’t have wasted time and energy being unrealistically fearful.
It is ironic that I had a fear of tipping my boat, because if you know me – I love being in the water. My fear that summer is symbolic of how I had been living my life. I was staying in the safe zone, wearing my pontoons, so I wouldn’t tip. I wanted my life to be on a safe course, on the surface of the water, without risks. I was focusing so much on not tipping that I lost focus on the things that mattered and the shining light inside of me.
However, sometimes you need to fall into the water to realize that being dunked isn’t scary at all. Yes, you may panic at the initial shock, but once you settle in the water, you realize that the water is just fine.
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Dr. Seuss
I used to be part of a crowd where you only talk about successes and things – putting your best foot forward. They didn’t want to hear about your “struggles” – so ,you withheld the truth and only told the good parts of the story. Life was a competition. You could only talk to them when you had everything, but if you were struggling – these individuals would be nowhere to be found. I’m tired of wasting that energy talking only about successes and not talking about the journey and the obstacles along the way. It would be like a gold-winning Olympic athlete talking only about their medal winnings and not sharing their defeats.
I feel like I’ve spent so much time in my life trying to measure up to others’ expectations and wanting others’ approval.
Now, I want to talk about the successes as well as the defeats, the obstacles, the heartache, and the pain.
I rocked the boat and fell in the water. It has changed the course of my life. I know that I can get back in the boat.
Sharing life with other people - isn’t that what life is all about?! Life is not all about the happy times; there are struggles and obstacles that cross our paths. Lessons aren’t about just learning the facts, but about the emotions that underscore these experiences.
Be Real. Be Open. Be You.
Hopefully, you will jump into the water with me! The water’s great!