Ride the Tide
Recently, I found myself in Valencia, Spain, a bike-friendly, coastal Spanish city on the Balearic Sea. While exploring its seaside hotspots, including the harbor and the famed Playa de la Malvarrosa, I saw women of all ages, shapes, sizes, and colors soaking up the sun and going for a stroll, sometimes topless and other times sporting thong bottoms. They didn't have a care in the world nor did anyone seem to notice, cast judgment, or harass them. They were just free to be. In taking in the city and its inhabitants on my extended weekend trip, no one seemed to be in a particular rush. I could inquire at food stalls and restaurants without being aggressively coaxed and cajoled into a meal or to buy. It's as if the city and the people moved with the rhythm, nature, and tide of life, instead of against it.
This stood in stark contrast to my American can-do/must-do mentality of seizing the day, bending (if not breaking) the rules, and making one's fortune. That same American spirit was on overdrive during my first Sunday back in London, when I was attending service at the local church I had been frequenting during my earlier jaunts. As the pastor asked those to stand who were affected or moved by the morning's sermon, I put a mental bookmark in the laundry list of must-dos I was formulating in my mind and hesitatingly stood. It was then that a woman with whom I had a passing acquaintance came, stood next to me, prayed for me, and then shared that God had a Word for me: in essence, all the doing that I had planned, I didn't need to do it; that things would work themselves out. Needless to say, her prophetic and timely words brought tears to my eyes and rendered me nearly speechless. Not too long after, when I was faced with the drama of a nearly three-year friendship - one that was instrumental in my decision to decamp from the US - coming to an unceremonious end, it's been the rhythm and tide of life, and that prophetic Word, that I have trusted; that reminded me that people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime; and that this was a new season, wherein bigger leaps, more risk, and ever-more living in the present would be required of me. While I did my fair share of venting, rather than sulk or allow myself to be absorbed, I leaned into other relationships and new avenues to connect with like-minded individuals. Lo and behold, I've started to experience synchronicity in my personal and professional life that I had been deeply lacking, especially around my innate passion and interest in the startup space. In matters of the heart, when once I would have quickly and unceremoniously called off a relationship, I'm moving with it, through the various ebbs and flows of passion, friendship, love, and companionship - in the meantime gaining clarity on where and how I need to grow to be the life partner that I am diligently seeking in someone else.
And for the first time, in a long time, despite the road ahead being marked with more uncertainty than ever before, I'm feeling okay. I'm living in the present, I'm learning from my mistakes without them defining me, I'm holding space in my life, I'm accepting people and situations for who and what they are, I'm leaning out of battles that aren't mine to fight, I'm leaning in from a place of truth and love, and I'm acknowledging my fears without letting them hold me back. I guess this is what it feels like to ride the tide.
Photo Credit: Hamman T.