We are two weeks in to 2018 and the start of the year has been a bit slow here. After a nice Christmas with the family and a hot NYE I’ve slipped in to a nice groove for the start of 2018.
I took a bit of a break over the holiday period to catch up and think carefully about what I want to achieve this year. Last year was a year of real personal growth for me and I want to continue that growth through 2018. I’ve been particularly thinking about what parts of my life are adding value and whats parts of my life I need to let go of. Friends, activities and possessions are all on the table this year. As I get older I’m learning that letting go of the “stuff” that doesn’t make me happy isn’t an act of selfishness it’s an act of self preservation.
I’m lucky this summer because I don’t have to return to the UK for some time yet and that means I get to enjoy the full summer here. I know I go on about the pool but I don’t think I have ever explained why it’s so important to me.
When I was a teenager the pool was the one place I could go and be completely safe. Nobody bullied me in the lap lane, I never had to make awkward teenage conversation with people I didn’t know and the only person I had to rely on was myself. Black line fever was an escape for me.
In year 8 when I was 14 I won the school swimming medal for my year. It’s the only sporting award of any significance I won in school and it was a wonderful moment. Swimming was my stress relief and my alone time when I processed all the crap that I had to endure during that day and at the end of it Mum would make a big pot of spaghetti, Mum made awesome spaghetti.
It wasn’t until later that I discovered the allure of my speedo clad classmates and then after that realised that my own speedo drew attention from other men at the pool. The smell of chlorine on a Speedo still makes me hard.
So the pool for me is more than just a summer treat, it’s more than a lazy afternoon bunking off from life. It’s the place where I go to be alone with myself, to think, to read and yes to take selfies. The bullies no longer bother me but it’s a shelter from the rest of the world and an important part of who I am and where I come from. It’s no wonder I go crazy if I haven’t been in a while.
My happy thoughts almost always involve water and laying on my back, the sun on my face and water lapping at my sides.
Have you got a place where you go to be yourself? leave a comment and share your favourite place to destress.