Coming to grips with your insecurities is never an easy thing. Never. And once you’ve come to terms with one, another one pops up.
After a delicious meal at the cafe on Sangthian Beach, while Derek and Nick easily made their way into the water from the beachfront, I decided to walk a little ways away past the rocks to sit and write. It was beautiful, as the waters of the gulf gently crashed against it. The water also made it extremely slippery where the rocks were submerged. But there was a spot I had eyed that jutted out, and I had to sit there to write. In order to sit there to write, I had to walk on those rocks where, in some places it was dangerous to cross. Well, at least in my mind, it was dangerous.
After judiciously navigating my way through the rocks, I found my spot. I sat down when the gulf began to talk to me. It beckoned me into the water; and so I nervously did so. I had to be extremely careful cos the ground underneath the sea was even more slippery than the rocks I had walked on to get to my spot. But I got in, neck deep, with my back against the rocks behind me, and my feet on somewhat sturdy ground. I loved it. My friends are sixty yards to my right. I don’t know if they would be able to hear me. I can’t swim.
A lot of things pop into your mind when your in the water. And that’s when I thought of all these things I’d never done. All these things for which I am afraid. All these things that feed into my insecurities.
As a kid, I never did anything. I was a model student, usually at or near the top of my class, and earned straight A’s for much of my scholastic career through high school, except for that one C in penmanship (which was a crock, cos my handwriting is pretty darn amazing) and one C in economics my senior year in high school (which I totally deserved). I was a classic bookworm, a nerd with horn-rimmed glasses. My brothers and sister, however, were different. They were fearless; and I always admired them for it. I never did anything.
(I would rather draw, read, write or study.)
Anything that took any sort of coordination or athletic skill, or even the remote possibility of it, I avoided like the plague, unless I was forced to do it.
And so I realize, all these things I want to do as an adult are things that many of my friends have already done, and in some cases, are experts. After another foot massage to start off the day this morning, Derek, Nick and I decided to motorbike through the island. I had never driven a motorcycle, motorbike, or scooter before; I hadn’t even driven a moped ever. I do know how to ride a bicycle.
And so we rented motorbikes for each of us from the hotel for 400 baht for the day. The calipers on both handlebars were the brakes. (Make sure to grip both at the same time; otherwise you skid or you fall forward.) The right handlebar was the throttle.
Within fifteen minutes, we were ready to leave.
Which were the brakes again? I thought as I stepped onto the bike.
It took me about fifteen seconds and thirty feet for my first crash. The bike on its side, landing on my left leg as I lay on the ground. I was dirty and scraped and sore within seconds. I stubbed my right toe. It hurt. I cut my right palm. It hurt. Nick cleaned and bandaged me up. In actuality, I wasn’t hurt bad at all; but my ego was bruised considerably. I know someone out there is going to get a really good laugh at my expense.
A minute later, we were off.
We rode the entire length of the island, stopping of at a few lookout points. It was simply beautiful.
And now I am alone in the water at Sangthian Beach, my friends a distance away, contemplating all my insecurities. And how everything I am doing seems to be the first time I’ve ever done it.
“Why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”
Go Adventure. Go Travel. Go Live
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