I used to have an irrational fear of the ocean. When people find out, they usually ask "how is that possible, you grew up in Panama!".
Well, I'm not sure how it was possible but it was. For the majority of my life, I stayed away from the ocean. It didn't matter if the waves were 1or 12 feet high, I simply could not be near the water. It made me anxious, uneasy, just could not bear to be near.
As you can imagine, my vacations were not centered around the beach. I guess that is a good thing, as I've traveled quite a bit and seen many different places. It wasn't until a couple of years ago I finally faced my fear.
The time came to take my husband and kids to my home, to see the place where I was born, where I grew up. While there, I promised my daughter I would take her to see the Pacific Ocean.
I made good on that promise. It was there, standing in front of 12-15 ft waves, on the beach of my beloved Panama, where I faced my demons. I let the ocean speak to me, and calm my fears. It wasn't easy, I would be lying if I said the fear just went away in one instant. But the anxiety went away and I was able to actually enjoy the beauty of the ocean.
The following year, our family vacationed in Navarre Beach. Our first official beach vacation and one I'm glad we took. The water was gorgeous, white sandy beaches, and I was actually able to enjoy the sound of the waves.
Little did I know all of that would come in handy this year. I'm now rotating on a regular basis to the coast, to work on the oil spill response. Needless to say, if I hadn't gotten over my fear, I probably would have had to ask to be removed from this assignment. I definitely wouldn't have been able to drive along the coast, or get on a boat.
So I'm now back in my office and feeling landlocked. Wow. Who would have thought I'd miss the sound of the waves!!! But I do. I have come to enjoy driving along I-90, or just staring at the bay out of the office window.
Yeah, I miss the waves. If it wasn't for those pesky hurricanes, I would even consider moving closer to the water.