My Favorite Kind of Beach, Los Angeles 2016
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When I was young I dreamt of living by the beach.

It’s funny, because on the one hand, I totally made that happen. And on the other, the life I live now is the polar opposite of the one I imagined back in those days.

I was thinking about this the other day, because we’re rapidly approaching what I’d call my favorite time of beach: the days have grown shorter, the angle of the sun has changed and there’s a distinctive nip in the wind most evenings. The colors of the sky and the sea fade into glorious pastels, the intensity of summer washed away for another season.

When I used to dream of the beach, it was in that stony, water-colored palette, wind-swept and solitary. The kind of beach I imagine one finds in places further north of here, though I have little experience of my own in that geography.

When the beach was only a dream, it was a solitary place. A cloistered sanctuary, accessible only to the most determined, a heaven-on-earth for my painfully shy, introverted, younger self. The self that found it difficult to make friends—and honestly, most of the time didn’t really want to—people being uncomfortable and messy and, well, just plain stupid a lot of the time. The self who was easily overwhelmed by the chaos of the universe and all those freaking ridiculous people, who believed that if she could only stop the world for a moment, just a moment, she’d figure it all out.

These days, the life I actually live is so far removed from that dream—the only things in common are the sand and the sea—and yet it is so much more fulfilling than I could have imagined back then.

It is fully, densely populated. It is busy and hectic and intense. It never stops. I have become someone who, once shy and terribly awkward, now makes friends by accident. I not only manage the chaos, but I’ve even been known to go looking for it. And I love it.

That being said, I still find days when it’s all too much, and I still catch myself thinking that if it would all just stop for a moment, if I could just make it all go away long enough to find the space to evolve, then, well! Y’all just better watch out.

People are messy. Being people together is messy. The world is a hard, hard place. But we’re all just trying to do our best. Yeah, even that guy. And we don’t get to put on the brakes, we don’t get to press pause. If we’re to evolve, to grow, we have to do it between the rock and the hard place.

Today, that truth is hitting me hard. And I want to shut it all down maybe now more than I ever have before. But I can’t. And I won’t.

See you at the beach.

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