Still water, untouched and unmoved, almost appearing as glass, reaching far beyond the horizon into the unknown. Clear blue skies enable you to see the shore and the wind feels good on your skin. Everything is perfect as you sail out to parts unknown. You can still close your eyes and envision the crowd of loved ones cheering you on as you set out for another quest. Life is good, until it isn’t.
You are suddenly awakened from your dreams by a rush of frigid water soaking you to the bone. You spring up, franticly trying to find your bearings but it is too late. Your little ship has been completely tossed around the sea as a storm engulfs you. The glass, shattered. The blue skies, black with streaks of silver, grey, and green. You struggle against the wind, fighting against your every movement. You try to scan for land, some sign of safety, but there is none. You are lost, alone, and fighting against the biggest challenge of your life.
Recently, I’ve been struggling with being caught in between who I was years ago, who I am now, and who I am supposed to become. This middle phase, this awkward adolescence, feels painful, lonely, and confusing but is so necessary for the future. In this sea of life, how do you survive the crashes and turmoil from the unexpected and the unknown?
One answer that often fills my mind is to go back. Head back home where it will be safe and nothing can harm you. Close your eyes and pretend it doesn’t exist. Make a life back home away from struggle and strife. You may have challenges but you always know that you are safe.
Another option is to stop where you are and wait it out. Be patient and just try to stay alive. Bide your time. It may not be best, but at least you can find some semblance of comfort and know what to expect, but you might run out of rations before the storm lets up.
Your final option is to push forward, ride the waves, and not surrender to this storm. It can’t last forever and if you can make it through this, you can fight anything! At least, that’s what you hope.
I’ve been struggling with these choices as I’ve been processing my life. More than any point in my life, identity has become a question I’ve been trying to solve. Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? I can’t even see where I came from. What do I do now?!? The mist from the rain, and the salt water from the sea mixes with my tears. The concoction burns my wounds as I pull together the entire boat with will alone. I cry out to God, asking why me?
A bolt of lightning crashes down in the distance. Winds intensify. The battle rages on into the night.
To Be Continued…