I was floating on my back, rays of sun shining down on the ocean waters giving me warmth. My mind was blank, clear, just filled with the peace of knowing how much the ocean gives me serenity. It was then that I knew I had to share this moment with others.
As my family and I drove to the Del Mar beach, all I could do was look out the window and admire the mountain views SoCal gifted me. Knowing I was going to spend the entire day at the beach took away any unwanted, negative feelings I could have.
There were two sides of the beach — one part where the waters were calm and the other part separated by rocks where waves formed and crashed and tumbled into the shore. My cousin warned me how California waters are chillier, but I knew that wouldn’t stop me from embracing the sea.
After letting the sun warm me up, I grabbed the bougie board and caught the waves. I’ve never experienced waves like this before — one after another, that made that part of the ocean non-swimmable. I won’t lie, it was intimidating, especially after getting knocked over here and there, but the feeling of a wave pushing the board and moving me on top of the waters released endorphins and I couldn’t help but stop and smile.
As I took a break, and wanted to capture this moment, I danced around in the waters where it was only ankle deep. My mother was snapping pictures. I stepped further into the waters and opened my arms wide and let the waves crash into me, feeling the power it had only waist deep. It felt like a scene in a movie where the main character is shown in slow motion laughing and smiling.
There were multiple moments on the SoCal trip where I experienced this: walking around Westwood, crossing the street onto Rodeo Drive, dancing the night away at my cousin’s wedding, exploring wine country or playing in the resort pool and being surrounded by the mountain scenery.
This trip was one to remember. It was more than just visiting family or being there for my cousin’s wedding to walk the newlyweds' dog down the aisle; each day was filled with a new adventure and something new to see and experience. I did more in eight days than I think I’ve ever done in a week.
But the thing that made it special was taking the time to enjoy each moment, each new adventure, and not just going through the motions of plans. I think there are times where you can take all the pictures in the world and plan out the best trip filled with events, but if you don’t stop what you’re doing and actually let your brain process and embrace what you’re doing, you won’t fully enjoy the new opportunity you’ve been given and the memory won’t be as prominent as others.
Logan Huntzberger said in “Gilmore Girls” that, “People can live a hundred years without living for a moment.”
Sometimes you have to stop and just float in the water. Let your mind be cleared of all thoughts except you and your body being embraced by the ocean and enjoy that very moment.
Natalie Fitzgibbons (she/her) is a junior studying journalism with a minor in American Studies.