I Want More

Posted by: on Nov 2, 2011 | 12 Comments
katrina costedio

photo Scott Braun

I love birthdays. All that cake and attention. This Sunday I will be thirty-three and despite my excitement, I’ve been unable to escape the inevitable self-reflection that accompanies the passage of another year.

Experience has taught me that if I’m not a little scared, I’m not getting anywhere. This relationship between fear and success is a thread I’ve followed throughout my entire life. It plays out in the water, at work, in CrossFit, and I explore it in my book. Fear, risk and reward are inextricably connected through a complicated calculus that exists beyond my comprehension. Pushing forward through fear has yielded the most amazing rewards. The fear is always real. The risk, however, is not.

This past year has been scary and full of triumph, bringing with it more of the things people want more of (serenity, money, friends) and less of the things they don’t (drama, worry, disease). I find myself facing thirty-three grateful, hopeful and just a touch melancholy.

But with Love, I can’t master the fear. It’s the same thing I confront in the water. The wave comes to me, I make a firm decision to commit, turning around to paddle hard. As it catches me, I stare down the drop and am immobilized with fear. In truth, there is no real risk involved. I’ve been tossed hundreds of times—the threat of bodily harm is minimal where I surf. What is it, then, that makes it so hard to act? Intellectually, I know there is nothing to fear, yet I am still afraid, so much so that, at times, I can’t get past it. The same is true of Love: I know there is no real risk. My life will go on, with a broken heart or a brimming one.

But perhaps what makes love the ultimate risk is its potential to yield ultimate rewards. I possess the courage to make the leap, but I can’t fully overcome the fear. I find myself staring down the drop, so to speak, and I’m suddenly unsure of who I am. Incapable of being myself. Questioning how to behave. What is really at risk here? I don’t know. But I’m afraid. I fear the loneliness inherent in not being loved back and I fear what might happen if I were.

As a surfer I’ve learned that there are some things you just can’t muscle through. You cannot control the wave through sheer force. Some things are not attainable by effort alone. Experience in the water, learning to trust myself and the ocean, this is how I overcome that immobilizing fear. Familiarity leads to comfort.

When it comes to love, the calculus breaks down. Risk, fear, reward; they coalesce. There is no function with which to derive love. I can’t achieve my way into it. There is nothing to be done, but to commit to the drop and let go of the outcome. Just like in the water. It’s terrifying and it makes me very uncomfortable, but I do it anyway because I know what is possible.

My birthday wish this year is to find someone who can see past my fear and discomfort long enough to let me love them. Someone who can laugh at me while I try to mitigate the risk and struggle with the fear; to see beyond the flailing into my potential. All I can do is try, and I want to. I want to try.

I’d like to thank everyone in my life who has contributed to such a wonderful year. You know who you are. I’d also like to thank the 4,000 unique visitors who have read this blog in the past two months. Publishing this is one of the scariest things I do every week, and it is also one of the most rewarding. I couldn’t do it without you. Here’s to a great year ahead for all of us!

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12 Comments

  1. Michael Schneider
    November 2, 2011

    Wonderful. My birthday wish for you is that get your wish. (And, while I’m wishing… I’d like it, too, please.)

    Reply
  2. E.Alland
    November 2, 2011

    Happy B-day sister of the sea
    May Neptune grant your B-day wishes to thee

    Reply
  3. Siesta Key Lei
    November 2, 2011

    Happy Birthday from a fellow Water sign )(
    The Ocean is Life. The Waves are its Heart Beat.

    Reply
  4. Elle
    November 2, 2011

    Beautifully said K. I second what Michael said.

    Reply
  5. matt
    November 3, 2011

    nicely written, and happy birthday! You are a much more profound thinker than me- my birthday wish last year was that the weird rash on my arm would go away (which it did, so that worked out). I hope your thirty third spin around the universe turns out to be as eventful, rewarding, and profound as mine was, but with less skin problems. Love is out there,and you’ll grab it eventually. The thing is , love is like that Asian kid in Sixteen Candles. It’ll just jump on you and start yelling in a language you won’t understand, but if you ignore your instinct to run away and instead stick around long enough to see what it wants, it’ll eventually make sense and become a wonderful story.

    Reply
  6. Neptune
    November 4, 2011

    Tomorrow- 4-6 ft. and offshore. HAPPY BIRTHDAY

    Reply
  7. Tim
    November 4, 2011

    Love is like the sea….always there, all around us, never still, constantly changing…stirring in ways that are unexpected. Like the perfect wave, it comes when it does. One dances with it, but it can never be anticipated, only appreciated and enjoyed. Since it is the very fabric of life itself, we are never without love. It is only our immediate sense of the conditions in the waters right around us that is limited.

    Katrina, I appreciate the craft with which you are setting down your thoughts, and the design sense you bring to your pages. I look forward to reading your book as it evolves.

    Reply
  8. J.C.
    November 16, 2011

    Happy B-day. I’ll be turning 37 the day b4 yours. Still ookin pa nub myself. Don’t feel alone… cuz yer not. But when there are goods waves around to surf, at least I can focus on my other love… sitting on my board waiting for the next juicy set to roll in. Peace.

    Reply
  9. Joe
    November 17, 2011

    Keep in mind a certain anmount of fear is healthy and keeps you safe… in the water and out. Do not fear love… you have to remain open to it at all times. Its the old saying,”oppotunity exists around every corner”. Happy Birthday, wish I was 33 again.

    Reply
  10. Cassi Fergason
    November 18, 2011

    Many thanks for your blog! I’ve just subscribed to your news feed.

    Reply
  11. Alonzo Lazares
    November 24, 2011

    Hi dude! I really respect what you’re providing here. Keep going that way.

    Reply
  12. Victoria
    December 14, 2011

    finally made it to your blog…well said…keep going….

    Reply

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