Day 2 to Day 7: The First Week Is The Hardest!
This past week has taught me a lot about the importance of setting up a process.
#The100DayProject can seem impossible, especially if you go reverse cold turkey-- one day you're just an aimless Instagram user, the next day you are pressured to write 99 more posts! But how! So I put a lot of thought on a "method," or any means of structure/schedule that will help me sustain this project. Because we must create beautiful things.
And so I'll make it a point to post in batches: 1 collected blog post of 7 posts on Instagram. Per week. A weekly digest. Voila! Let's see how long I can keep this going.
2/100 → Everything has its place. Today, we were introduced to new cups for drinks to be added to the menu: this one for a long black, that one for a cortado, and so on. The difference in volume per cup translated to an optimization of flavor, a test of taste-- that this much coffee with that much milk will make the perfect drink.
I love this imagery of cups and characteristics brought about by corresponding containers. That if you drank this coffee in another cup, it just would not be the same. I think of where I am and if this will translate to an optimization of my life. I ask whether this is exactly where and who I need to be, at this precise time, in this particular day.
Today, H and I surfed a break a few meters farther than our usual lineup and we were surprised to find punchy little lefts, chest to shoulder high, fast, forceful, frontside. I remember one wave where I was perched on the pocket, cupped by the wave, face-to-face with a beautiful blue wall after months of backside periphery. In that instance, I knew that this was my cup-- this beach on this coast, where I go home to this house, get in this car, work in this shop, pat this dog's head, wake up next to this boy. That if I changed even just the tiniest thing, it would not, could not, ever be the same.
3/100 → I was ready to write about something else for today but H and I started talking about the dreams we had over the past couple of nights, and he blurted out something unintentionally enlightening. He said, that the thing he disliked about dreaming, was the helplessness in all that shape-shifting. You walk into one house but walk out of another. "It's like trying to hold dry sand."
He said that. He, who would not open any of my poetry books, said that. He said that, and had the faintest clue how he made the bluebird in my heart sing, how I felt hopeful and a half, how universes and their reverses were dared to be disturbed, and how nobody, not even the rain with all the smallness of its hands could have ever made all the poems in my body come to life.
4/100 → I don't have a picture of today's thing of beauty because my phone had died early. Instead, I am posting this photo of the windmills in Bangui because my grandma mentioned wanting to see them. My uncle's family had come to visit me here in La Union and we planned a midnight bonfire to usher in my grandma's birthday. "I'm 87!"-- she'd beam proudly-- even though she was only turning 82. We rolled out picnic mats and roasted marshmallows and hotdogs. We watched waves break under a kind, yellow moon. We counted down to midnight and sang and clapped and laughed, mouths filled with mallows. Everyone was happy, especially my grandma. At one moment, she announced: "What a day! I didn't get bored at all." Tomorrow, she will begin to forget all of this in the same way she has forgotten many other things. She will continue to forget many names and faces, and places and time will be forgotten too, until all that really remains is the feeling of never getting bored. That's my grandma's gift-- she has forgotten how to be sad. From now on, she will continue to have happy days as if it was the first time. Always, the first time.
5/100 → Some of tonight's music got stuck in my hair and now jazz is gently seeping its way into my dreams. I remember Manila when I hear jazz. I remember how, once upon a time, I was enamored with that city and all its taxis tuned in to late night jazz.
6/100 → Sunday mornings might just be my favorite time at the coffee shop. No matter how cramped the space is, people still stop by to have one more cup of coffee. I like how @elunion has become the last stop, last taste, last happy memory of La Union for some people, and that somehow, we at the shop have made a difference to their vacation. It's bittersweet (like coffee?) each time people have to go home while we remain. I've met so many people since we started working here, and it's true-- people do leave-- and their absence is something that we feel. But it can only mean that the next time will be better. Because when you build memories and friendships in a place like this, you will want a next time, maybe next week, next month, someday soon.
7/100 → "You've got to want it more than you are afraid of it. / If you can take it, you can make it. / It's better to just go. / Pick a wave that scares you, and go."
This is what it sounds like in my head each time I start second-guessing myself in the lineup. Surfing asks so much from the mind that I easily get more exhausted by five minutes of this than a full hour of paddling against a current. I am hard-headed and difficult to convince. My brain is the hardest thing to train, most of the time.
A lot of things scare me out of the water, too. I find myself wanting to turn away from making decisions I don't like. I ask too many questions. I begin to doubt. But no matter how hard my head gets, or how absolutely afraid I can be, I remember the litany: want it more than you are afraid of it, take it, then make it, so go.
It took me close to an hour before I paddled for the wave seen in this picture. I have to remember how good, how deeply good, it felt to have made it then, and so every time I become doubtful or weak, I'll have proof. That life can be easy if you only let the thrill of making it be greater than the fear.
Photo by Surfing San Juan