Crankypants

Posted by: on Dec 23, 2011 | 12 Comments

When I was with Brad (before I surfed), I used to pray that the ocean would be flat on Christmas. For Brad, waves trumped Holiday (and Katrina). And while I still wouldn’t ditch my loved ones on Christmas to shred, now I relate to the desire.

It’s been flat here, I’ve been too busy to travel and the last time we did have waves, I was chained to my desk being responsible. Being out of the ocean too long causes a pervasive dissonance. An unnerving feeling that something is not quite right. Over time this feeling grows, like mold, into what could only be classified as depression. My shiny world looks tarnished and dull.

And my world is very shiny; It’s perfect, in fact. I wake up every day to the lyrical chatter of the world’s most awesome kid, drive him to the world’s best Montessori school, and return to my desk to do precisely what I would do all day even if no one was paying me (but they do pay me— handsomely). It doesn’t really get much better than that.

Yet here I sit wearing my crankypants, mired in daydreams of glassy, head high barrels, wishing things were, well, different. This worries me. There was a time in my life when I would drown unwelcome feelings with Jack Daniels. When I got clean, I learned that actions can be dangerous, but feelings never are. So these days, even though I don’t reach for the bottle, if I find myself wanting to change the way I feel, it’s a red flag that something is amiss. I don’t want surfing to be just another Jack Daniels.

I don’t want to run from my feelings or my life. I want to be present for all of it—good, bad and indifferent. It’s hard work, though. Lately, I’m realizing that the good feelings can be even harder to handle than the bad ones. Sometimes, it seems like I’ll go to any length to push away the things (the people) I want the most. The irony is not lost on me.

For today, I’m going to accept the way I feel without trying to change it. I am going to focus on what is right in front of me, and let everything else take care of itself. I will surf again; sooner than later, I’m sure.

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12 Comments

  1. elle
    December 23, 2011

    Great post. And congratulations.

    Reply
  2. MS
    December 23, 2011

    Beautiful—the writing, I mean, right now—and, as is true more often than not lately, inspiring.

    Reply
  3. devron l
    December 23, 2011

    love the last line in that story, gives me a little something to look forward to living in west florida>

    Reply
  4. John
    December 24, 2011

    Needed this. Thank you!

    Reply
  5. Alexis B
    December 24, 2011

    Inspiration!

    Reply
  6. Mike420
    December 25, 2011

    AMEN!

    Reply
  7. fbc
    December 29, 2011

    hey I saw you scopin’ out VSJ yesterday morning

    Reply
  8. Doug
    December 29, 2011

    Pervasive Dissonance!! Sounds like a good name for my new band! Love it! Its exactly how I feel I have twice n the last 2 months things are out of sorts!! Wed. before Thanksgiving great day glassy waist to chest hardly anyone out still warm and then a cold day in Bradenton 40* front Dec. 8 not a bad day… but U have had better! Happy New Year Katrina!!

    Reply
    • Ezeilo
      April 10, 2012

      I have never commented on a site like this but I am coelpled to do so here. I am a 54 year old surfer that lives in Irvine Ca. I started surfing in the 70 s. My heros were not football or baseball players they were Gerry Lopez, Rory Russel, BK, Jeff Hackmak, Rabbit, Shuan Tompson, etc. I taught my kids and all their friends to surf. We would go every weekend from the time they were little. Almost all vacations involved surfing. When I heard that Andy Irons had passed I was really hit by it. So why would a 50 year old out of shape has been really feel this loss? I know its cliche but the surf world is really so small. Which is why I am sharing this story I was in Kauai in the summer of 2004 or 2005 not sure exactly. I do know Andy Irons was the World Champ at the time. An unusual swell hit the north shore of Kauai in August and I happend to be at Pinetrees with my family. The surf was head high plus really good. Other than the surfers in the water we were pretty much the only people on the beach we were just going to surf for a while and hang out. My son was 11 or 12 at the time and spotted the board first with all the sponsorship stickers and then the signature black and white plad Billabong trunks running across the beach toward the water. It was Andy Irons running right by on his way to the water. (My son and I went out and bought those trunks the next day still have them.) My son was beyond stoked. He idolized Andy Irons, still does. He is 20 years old now and was in Kauai when Andy passed he called to tell me the news. He was devistated. The only thing I can really compare it to was how I felt when I heard John Lennon had died. Anyway back to the story My son got to paddel out that day and hang out in the water with his hero for a few hours even caught a few waves. He was so excited he stayed in the water until Andy got out. We got to sit on the beach by ourselves and watch Andy Irons put on a clinic. No big camera lenses around no crowds just Andy Irons and a bunch of other guys out in head high surf in the afternoon ripping it up with the Druary family sitting on the beach. It is one of my favorite life moments. Still have the photos we took that day. My son and daughter still talk about it. We surf at Trestles alot so seeing the pros out in the water is pretty common but us regular dudes don’t end up in the water with guys like Andy Irons often. Some would think this is kind of silly but anyone who surfs knows how cool this was for me and my kids. Andy Irons never even knew we were there or that he had any impact on these folks from California that just happend to be lucky enough to be in a right spot at a right time. My guess is that there are a million stories out there just like mine people saying yea remember when we saw him or meet him etc. He will be greatly missed by the surfing community and I am sure by the people like you guys that were lucky enough to hang out with him. We got to for one afternoon. AlohaBob

      Reply
  9. n8
    December 29, 2011

    Love that you often compare surfing w/ lifes challenges…they are one in the same I think. Both naturally propelling us. Whether rough or smooth, the joy is in the ride. Hey Katrina…SURF LIFE!

    Reply
  10. Michael Jones
    January 6, 2012

    The following words are a very eloquent and thorough summation of my pschye. Thanks:)

    “Being out of the ocean too long causes a pervasive dissonance. An unnerving feeling that something is not quite right. Over time this feeling grows, like mold, into what could only be classified as depression. My shiny world looks tarnished and dull.”

    Sucks ass being a gulfter at times.

    Reply
  11. greener grass
    January 17, 2012

    I enjoyed your writing for sure and can certainly resonate your longing for that feeling surfing gives us. however, it must be noted that the flat days are what make the days with waves that much more special. I mean if it were the same and perfect everyday would we eventually crave some kind of change? would we get bored? would the surf no longer give us that feeling? I guess the point is the wait is part of the satisfaction.

    but yeah it sucks ass sometimes being a gulfy.

    Reply

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