During our mid-life it’s easy to get too comfortable and kinda stuck in a rut of easy and same. But this is not particularly fulfilling. Sadly it’s usually some life push or change that shakes up out of this rather than simply recognising it and taking action. As it was in my case life gave me the push to do something different and shake things up. This is how Surfing saved my life.
Whilst I love my life, and thought I knew myself, Sometimes it takes leaving your comfort zone – which for me is a world of elegance and decorum, with a side of silliness, to find new sides to yourself…and what could be more stylish than exploring all sides to your beautiful multi-dimensional self, so that you sparkle and shine like the beautifully multi faceted diamond that you are, because let’s face it, no one wants to be a cubic zirconia when you can be a diamond!
Sometimes – especially at mid-life- we reach a point in life where we are perfectly comfortable in many ways, yet there’s this niggling feeling of ‘is this it,’ of the relentless gentle whirr of the everyday, whispering try something new, life’s too short, there’s more to life, there’s more to YOU.
And sometimes it takes one of life’s pushes – that could be death or divorce or illness, heartbreak or even menopause, to reignite that fire and release new forms of inner twinkle. And for me that was about temporarily abandoning my ideas of polish and everyday elegance, to the wildness of the pacific waves, the savage beauty of the crashing waters and the deep mulch of jungle vegetation.
I’d never been in the deep ocean before…as a city dwelling Fashion and Culture editor and creative director living between paris and london, paddling in Cassis or just off the Croisette in Cannes was more my thing.
Early encounters with chlorine laced pools, stinging eyes and freezing cold oceans with mysterious stinging méduse in them, had put me off the unknown depths of the sea. I preferred being up on a sail boat, or catamaran, apparently gliding through the oceans, as well as life.
Yet here was one of life’s mysterious whispers…My father had just died, and a client cancelled, so in need of distraction and a long held secret desire to surf, even if unable to strongly swim, I spontaneously headed off to Costa Rica.
On the first day, my kind surf teacher walked me into the ocean, and As I took a sharp inhale anticipating the frigid icy cold waves of childhood, the warm white waters tickled my feet, whilst the monstrous waves crashed before me. It felt terrifying and exhilarating. And that was just the start.
Physically and emotionally I had hit rock bottom – I’d loved my lifestyle fashion job to the point of exhaustion. And that summer, swallowed up by the depths of the ocean, plunged deep into the unknown, spiralling and swirling down down down ‘out back’ covered in sea snot, I emerged smiling. The meditative qualities of wave watching, and the immediacy of the present – of not drowning, of balance and finding a new love and respect for my body, were life changing.
I’m still a terrible surfer, and right now following surgery my core is a long way from getting back on that board. But the thrill of new baby waves, and the voyage of discovery they bring is intoxicating.
The little pinkie ring with its wavy fléur du lys, from Sabine Gettys former jewellery line that I wear everyday, was a gift from the female members of my family after my fathers death. It serves as my pinkie promise ring, a physical reminder of the need for change, openness and curiosity – of not being stuck, but of at least trying and exploring new dimensions to myself. Of the ebb and flow of life and the choices I make in that. Of surfing through life in diamonds, in spite of being occasionally engulfed by the waves.
Lots of love xoxo Aleksandra