For some it’s getting to unbutton your pants after eating a big meal. For others it might be laying your head down on your pillow after a long day at work. It’s that moment of ‘ahh’ where you feel like you can finally breathe again.
For me, it has been- and will always be- getting in the ocean… There’s something about being weightless while also being completely immersed that gives me a sense of calmness and peace. The water could be cold and I could have had the most terrible day, but as soon as my feet touch the water all the feelings of worry, stress, anxiety start to wash away. With each wave that takes me deeper and deeper into the ocean, the things that were holding me down start to fall away as I completely submerge myself in the water.
Today was no exception. In more ways than one, I had that feeling of ahh.
In the middle of winter- when North Shore waves are at its highest- Waimea Bay was seemingly calm. Where we sat the waves hardly crashed over the sand. The water was clear blue, a little chilly, but absolutely amazing. The sand wasn’t burning your feet the way it normally does at Waimea in the summer time. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, but the sun also wasn’t too harsh that we felt like we were roasting in the heat. It was perfect. As perfect as a Waimea beach day could be.
As soon as my head came back up after diving into the water, I had that feeling of ahh. Then as I continued to swim around I soaked up as much of that ahh as I could. It felt like it could have been hours that I was floating around in the water, when in reality it was hardly thirty minutes. I think that’s what the feeling of ahh does to you. If it’s real and genuine, then it stops time and nothing else matters in that moment.
But swimming in the ocean wasn’t my only source of ahh… Getting to see my friends after three weeks of being away and giving them great big hugs was an ahh like no other. They’re my people. They’re the reason leaving California and coming back to Hawaii is more sweet than bitter. Without Paco’s jokes there would be far less laughs in my life, and without Sabrina’s mealtime questions I would never think about where else in the world I would live besides Hawaii. Being friends with any of the Coulsons is a great big ahh. They know how to make people feel at home.
If you had asked me a year ago, friendships wouldn’t be the ahh with a peaceful soft smile emoji; it would be an AHH upside down smile emoji or AHH stream of tears crying emoji or AHH girl shrugging emoji. A year ago, my friendships- the deep, soul care kind- were just beginning. They were in their early stages, and I wasn’t quite sure if they would stick. So, for me to jump a year in time and for friendships to be a sense of peace rather than a sense of worry has been quite the life changer.
There are many little things in life that bring me a sense of peace. Washing my car and seeing it sparkle in the sunlight the way Lighting McQueen’s would. Eating a piece of chocolate after a meal- or just eating a piece of chocolate in general. Then of course the ocean and getting to swim in warm waters. Those are the things I can count on- the things I know I have control over and can do to make my day a little bit more joyful. But having deep friendships, those are things I can’t always control. Those friendships take time and effort on both sides. So getting to add friendships to the list of things that bring me peace is an absolute joy.