I’ve been meaning to write a blog about the end of the summer for a while, but honestly it’s been really difficult. Asking me to blog about the last three months is like asking someone who found faith where they found it at, and what it looked like. It’s not possible for me to do it any justice at all. I have had so many new experiences over the past ten weeks, so this is a list of what I’ll remember most and why. We rented wetsuits with the intention of learning how to surf.
At one point, I did manage to ‘catch a wave’ (with the help of one of our very patient instructors), but only while lying on the board on my belly. I definitely had a moment though where I realized why surfing would be cool if I could ever figure out how to stand up. Instead of living in complete denial of my limited balancing abilities, I decided to give up the surfboard, accept my limits and just float around like a little fishing bobber in the ocean.
Everyone deserves to float in the ocean as a little buoyant being at some point in their life. The way the salt water holds you up, you just become a part of the massive body of water surrounding you- it made me feel completely in tune with the universe. Like there was no line between the water and me. I understood how it would feel to be a drop of rain. I know pouring salt in wounds is supposed to hurt, but the kind of wounds I’ve had- the emotional ones, for some reason the salt water seemed to heal those.
Then there was the Fourth of July barbeque at Molly’s (a good friend of FosterClub). During it I remember thinking, “Wow. So this is what a barbeque looks like.” There was plenty of food, hula-hoops, and happy people. The weather was ideal, women were wearing bright sundresses and the babies crawled around safely, parents knowing that undoubtedly someone would be there to look after them, and they were right. I envied those babies a little bit. I thought about what it would be like to live in the aura of that day forever- one of complete safety and contentedness. I’m glad days like that happen.
Knowing that you have at least one friend who would be willing to go get ice cream with you at any time is one of the benefits of living with 11 other people. Sitting on the beach, having conversations over mint-chip waffle cones with no concept of the time is the coolest. We were each other’s priorities- I only had them to get home to and vice versa. I’m going to miss it being like that. Having 11 people to treat like ping-pong paddles, bouncing ideas off of them whenever the mood strikes me.
I’m going to miss knowing them so well I could spill and probably tell them things they didn’t know about themselves yet. I plan on getting a good long-distance phone plan though, so at least the conversation part won’t have to end, and I’m sure long-distance ice cream eating can be arranged as well. I’d never been on anything resembling a motorcycle prior to coming out to Seaside. Mariah and I spontaneously decided to rent mopeds for an hour one day and it was so worth it. Speeding around a gorgeous beach town, feeling safe despite my body being exposed to the elements, and potentially the pavement. For me it was an example of believing in myself, my ability to lean and tilt when necessary, and to steer myself in the right direction all while having fun.
When I saw sea lions on the pier, I laughed like a fool. I had to pinch myself! I could not believe I lived in a place where sea lions were the regular, so much so that some people found them annoying! I found a starfish on a hike, got up close and personal with some sea lions on a dock, saw a huge school of anchovies swim past, and watched a bunch of sea anemones try and eat little barnacles. These are experiences I never thought I would have outside of a zoo or a tourist attraction, and it was powerful to see them just existing out in the world, without any human influence. We went clamming with Molly sometimes early in the morning when the tide was low. It was beautiful, finding perfect sand dollars washed up on the shore, and then catching our own meals.
The way the world provides for us is mind boggling to me. Sports aren’t exactly my forte. I haven’t been on any sort of athletic team since middle school, and even then it made me uncomfortable. I wanted to break out of some of my predictable unhealthy life patterns here in Seaside, so with some resistance and much coercion from my fellow all-stars, I decided to attend water polo. Water polo is exercise you can’t just give up on. When swimming, it is usually a bad idea to stop staying a float, because that commonly ends in drowning.
I’m pretty sure 2 other All-Stars and I have attended over half of all the water polo games this summer, and it’s been fun, other than that one time I got kicked in the nose. Water polo is something I never would’ve done had I not come to Seaside and had bosses who were intense water poloists (that’s not a real word, but I think it fits). It was nice to have stretched myself, and it’s cool that it ended up not being an epic failure. I didn’t score any goals or anything, but I think I may have had a couple assists, and even if I didn’t, I tried something new, and that’s a win in itself. Two things that we did pretty often during our free time were have bonfires at the beach and go to Funland arcade. Our journeys to Funland were usually comprised of air hockey tournaments, taking silly pictures, and pinball games.
It was the perfect way to end more highly emotional days- laughing and being plain goofy. We even went there to celebrate Kita’s 22nd birthday. We walked around in plastic vampire fangs we had won with our tickets, and played shoot ‘um up games acting as each other’s back up. I know there are arcades everywhere, but Funland will always be a bit special in my mind. Bonfires on the beach are so fun. The guys got to feel macho, starting a fire and we all roasted—in most cases burned as many marshmallows as our tummies could fit. We didn’t sing classic campfire songs, instead we would opt to (badly) sing top 40 hits from the nineties, covering Backstreet Boys, Disney Classics and Spice Girls all in one evening.
Living in the same house, working together, and hanging out together, these people have seen every aspect of me, and I love that about them. I love being around people who understand me, who have seen the deepest corners of my soul, but who I can also be light, fun, and joyful with in a completely un-superficial or surface way. Yes, that is my all-star family for sure. This is just some of what I felt and experienced over the summer, I thought maybe it would give you a little more insight on why I’m going to miss it so much. I am beyond grateful to have been given these kinds of opportunities, and I know that just like the close friends I’ve made here, they’ll stick with me forever.