“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
― E.E. Cummings
Sitting in a life boat, shivering, tears running down my cheeks, I was waiting for the next few minutes to get over as soon as possible. All I wanted was to place my feet on solid ground.
The waves were big this day, windy as it could be, drenched in salt water, eyes burning, I tried to look and hide behind my life vest at the same time. I saw only blue waters and from time to time rest of the group of jet ski making their way (easily and not so easily) but following the boat as instructed.
Why was I here? There were thousands of thoughts in my mind at that moment. I probably hadn’t felt this low in a long time and definitely haven’t felt this feeling ever before. The feeling of giving up. I was unsure how to feel, and how to handle my emotions at the time. Was I angry with people who didn’t have a problem? Was I angry at myself for giving up too soon?
I couldn’t articulate anything. All I knew was I wanted to go and hide myself.
As I saw all the jet skis going in circles for pictures, some more tears ran down my cheeks. I wanted to be there. And not at the same time.
So what really happened?
About 20 minutes before this moment in time, I was riding a jet ski for the first time. Never had I been in open waters this far and neither had an idea how to surf with and against the huge waves. Within the first 5 minutes, I lost the boat I had to follow and all other 9 jet skis. Didn’t accelerate at the right time (not at all at first) and of course went out of the course. Thinking of Atlantic ocean in my head, the first thought is Titanic. Next is all the sharks. Followed by how many thousands of meters deep this is. Well, all these are personal fears, or were. Nonetheless, these took toll on me. I feared the big ocean.
After 20 minutes or so, after being signalled to go faster and follow, they asked if I would like to get on to the main (life boat) boat. I said okay in a blink. Got off the ski and sat there.
About forty minutes later, when I got back on my feet at the port, I just looked at the blue massive ocean ahead of me, and I lost all the words I had, even in my head.
Next few hours I really didn’t have the courage to see or rather talk to any of my friends there. But why? I was still unable to figure out what I felt, and why this terrible?
Before the return flight, had a small talk to mumma. She in my first ‘Hello‘ asked me what’s wrong. I just tried to explain between all the tears and told her ‘I felt like a loser because I got off my jet ski after 20 minutes‘. Her reply took me back a step, she said – ‘It’s good you left it’. I still didn’t understand what she meant.
She went on to explain in the most simple words – ‘Charu when you’re heart isn’t in something and if you’re unsure, there is nothing wrong in accepting that. Giving up sometimes in life is needed. When you are fully ready to do something, try again. But if not, don’t. You don’t need to do everything all the time. We love you. And you have all our support. Don’t feel bad about anything.‘ Although I was still crying, these words hit me hard.
My most simple and loving mother gave me such words that left me at loss of words for minutes after that.
My father, in the most fatherly way told, ‘Don’t worry, after all these years I am still scared to get on a roller coster. Everyone is scared of something. Try again when you are ready, if you like.‘ I smiled a little at this knowing how exactly he reacts to even think about sitting on one, when I used to and still run to every possible coster.
Although I wasn’t still completely fine immediately, but after reaching Stuttgart back, next day back to work, this was left somewhere at back of my mind.
Next few days I kept reading about jet skiing, how to learn, things to know and watching videos of good and bad jet ski drivers. Then I realised, it’s but another sport. And one cannot be good at all sports in the world. Trying was good, but giving up, still unsure… Busy in my thoughts, I received an email from my brother.
He, yet another gem of my life, worded the essence of his thoughts so easily.
Out of many other points, he had one simple point – the courage to accept my failure. Sharing it with loved ones. And also deciding to try it with better preparations again, it needs courage.
Till this point, I hadn’t realised that trying and then accepting that I was scared, took courage.
Sometimes in life we do things to keep our heads up. Wondering what will ‘people’ talk. But this day I was happy to accept my not so bright side.
This one particular recent experience leaves me with so many thoughts, memories, and yet another beautiful part of my this chapter of life.
More importantly, my definition of courage was broadened. Courage is not just trying things which you’re scared of, but also accepting when you can’t.
So, it’s okay from time to time to feel low, and as if you’re maybe not as good in something. It definitely brings you forward and more than anything, makes you stronger. Or so I’ve learnt 🙂
Keep smiling and stay strong… 🙂
P.S. Like and share with anyone whom you think might be happy and motivated after reading this 🙂