Rolling with the tide

If you have ever been to the ocean, you know what I mean when I say how something about simply just being there can put you at rest, can ease your mind of all your troubles and worry and stresses that have built up over time and give you that sense of calm and peacefulness that you have been craving for so long. How the sound of the waves rising up on the shore and the soft feel of the sand beneath your feet can transform you almost into an unseemingly surreal and perfect world.

The ocean is my sanctuary, my place to go when my mind is crowded with too many cynical thoughts, and my release from the monotonous drag I sometimes find myself stuck in when having spent too much time in good old St. Charles. It is a place to let go of everything and simply just be. This spring break, I did exactly that.

While many people were hunkering down in their winter coats and begrudging the bitter cold weather back home, my mom and I embarked on a little trip to the beautiful and lovely Hilton Head Island, located in South Carolina about 33 miles from Savannah. Known for it’s vast array of resorts with anything from a hotel room to a house with beachfront views, the island itself is known for one specific purpose: to get away from it all. And let me tell you, it was wondrous.

Although the drive there itself really wore me out and got the best of me, the whole time we were in Hilton Head, my body had a chance to recoup and my mind to peacefully rest for an entire week. Everyday we would wake up, eat some breakfast, take some chairs out to the beach and just sit and read our novels while soaking up some sunshine. Once it would reach about lunchtime, my mom and I would take a short walk in one direction, then head on back up to the condo where I would take an afternoon nap before we settled in for the evening, either watching a movie or taking a quick drive to look at a certain shop. We pretty much did absolutely nothing, and doing nothing was just what I needed to do. My body was definitely thanking me for it.

Another huge plus of escaping my hometown was escaping all the questions. Do not mistake me, everyday I am immensely thankful for all of the marvelous people who have surrounded me, prayed for me, and kept up on how I am doing and what they can do for me. Often I find myself reflecting on my incomparable environment and I am in awe of what God has done for me, but at the same time, being 844 miles away from anyone who knows what has happened with me in the past year was kind of a relief. I didn’t have to be constantly reminded of all that has gone on, my health, my struggles. I just got to sit outside, live my life, and be a normal teenager relaxing on the beach with her mom. It felt great. Absolutely, positively exceptional.

Eventually the perfection had to come to an end, though, and as we began our drive back home and reality began to sink back in, many thoughts went through my head, but one in particular really stuck out to me. This past year has been filled with insurmountable blessings and seemingly unconquerable challenges. My family, friends, and myself have experienced some of the most trying of times and some of the most rewarding. Like the ocean tide, the good has risen up then silently disappeared, as well as the bad. No matter what happened though, there was always some sort of water to play in, to stick your feet into and splash around and just be silly and have fun. And there was always a reason, no matter how minute, to celebrate and be happy for.

After all of this, two surgeries, two recoveries, and many, many doctors, I have learned that sometimes, you just have to forget everything and find that reason to get excited over, to run into the water and focus on the wonderful things that are still a part of your life. No matter how far out the ocean may seem, no matter how low the tide or your moral is, sometimes you just have to take those steps and get into the water. Relax. Laugh. Stop thinking, and just be. And while you are busy immersing yourself in positivity, you just might find the water rising up around you, and filling you with the beneficence that you have been searching for all along.