There's nothing like being in the middle of the ocean to make a girl feel insignificant. I paddled out in waves that were way too big for me today on a ten foot long board because I couldn't be outdone by my younger sister and brother who were all gung-ho and excited about the monstrous* surf.
The final score for waves that I caught was zero, while the score for waves that got me was in the teens.
I swallowed a lot of pride and salt water before I finally made it outside past the break and found a deep hole to sit over, leaving me in no danger of being able to catch a wave.
I could see the sandy bottom far below me and forced myself to identify the moving shadows as kelp plants and a bat ray. The sun was breaking through the clouds and the water temperature was just slightly lower than the air.
Twenty minutes later I had caught my breath and was calculating how long I would have to stay out before the tide dropped and the waves got smaller, and if my toes would fall off due to hypothermia before then.
Stupid pride. Stupid need to gain approval. Stupid Merrie. I realized early on that I needed to rethink my decision making paradigm.
My dad was sitting inside hoping to coach me into some waves, and I could see him beckoning me in closer to him. I ventured inside once only to paddle frantically back to my safe spot the second I saw a set forming on the horizon.
He eventually followed me out there to reassure me.
"You know, your Mom hates to surf, and I still love her."
"I don't exactly hate to surf. I love the idea of surfing! I hate that I'm horrible at it! I'm pretty much stuck here, because I'm too scared to go back through the big waves that are between me and the shore!"
He assured me that he wasn't worried about me in the least so therefore I should have nothing to worry about and finished by telling me, "Even if you never learn to surf, I'll still love you."
Eventually I did make it in through the waves, (Obviously, because they don't have wi-fi in the lineup yet) and Dad came in with me, making sure I survived.
He walked me back up the beach before paddling out again to surf for another hour, and I sat on the beach, waterlogged and humbled.
There's nothing like being in the middle of the ocean to make a girl feel insignificant, but then, there's nothing like knowing that my significance has no bearing on how much I'm loved.
*Monstrous: 3-4 foot with occasional overhead peaks.