Lately I’ve been feeling the very strange sensation of actually wanting to go swim a few laps and spend time in the pool. So much in fact that when clouds are forming on the horizon and thunderous rain may be threatening, I am hoping that the pool stays open! Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt this way. It feels really good to have this desire again - and for it to be joyful! My training suit may be old and well-worn, and my equipment shows the tell tale signs of neglect, but I don’t care, I am happy.
Swimming, and being in all things water, was my first joy as a child. It was all that I ever wanted, to be immersed in the sensation of water and the ocean. Overtime, that joy became co-opted by the need to excel, to feel safe, to be accepted, the need to feel worthy or good enough, and the corrosive pull of other people’s egos, ambitions and unfulfilled dreams. By the time I walked away from swimming when I was in college, I was very sick, my body was broken, and the smell of chorine made me nauseous with anxiety. It felt like all I had to show for the many years of hard work, injuries, starvation, and panic attacks was a broken, shell of a body and of a person. I had no idea who I was outside of swimming endless laps across a pool, the penitence for my existence.
Slowly I found my way to healing, and rediscovered other parts of myself that had hidden themselves away at the onset of all of the traumas I had endured. I got off of the math and science track that was expected in my family and studied history, art, and design. By starting to practice yoga and giving myself lots of rest, my body slowly started to heal itself. I nourished myself with good food and good friends. And every year, I became more and more myself, and I happily became a wife and a mother. Joy began to become a regular part of my life as happiness and contentment took root. I learned to see value in myself simply for the fact that I was lovingly called forth into being. And overtime, I began to love myself.
Fast forwarding many years later, I’ve learned to feel joy in the water once more, to feel love and peace by the sheer pleasure of moving through it. The mysticism of it all brings me to tears. I have reclaimed something precious that I thought was long lost.
With this comes new dreams and ideas. I don’t know where this reclamation will lead me, but I know for certain that I cannot live separate from it anymore. It finally feels like I am home.