Something About the Ocean

The sound of crashing waves echoed through the night. The ocean churned, rushing for the shore and touching the sand before being pulled back out to sea. It kept up it’s constant rhythmic breathing all through the night and into the early morning.

HeavenlyAs the sun rose the ocean waves continued to crash. In the light of day the rolling, tossing sea could be seen. The water curled, crashed, whitewash spraying as it advanced toward the shore. And the ocean never stopped breathing. No matter the time of day the soothing sound of the ocean could be heard.

The hotel sat on the boardwalk, facing the ocean. Every night I fell asleep to the crashing waves and every morning I woke to them. The salty sea air blew in through the open screen door and some mornings I was torn between staying in bed and getting up. But the ocean always called me, pulled me, and I wanted nothing more then to be down on that beach before it became crowed with the day’s beach-goers. So, really, there was never a choice to be made.

Every morning I walked the beach with my camera. I took pictures and collected shells. The water was so rough that it was difficult to find one that wasn’t broken, but even the broken and chipped ones were beautiful. I walked under the pier, continued along the shoreline and dragged by toes in my water that would rush up and over my feet. There were only a few times where I walked in deep. (Once I walked in up to my knees and a wave came and pushed water up my shorts. I laughed, not really caring, and knowing Sand, Shells and Stonesthat my pockets were already full of sand from the shells I had picked up.)

There was a place on that beach where it seemed all the shells would wash up. Some were broken, some were shattered, some were in one piece. I had never seen anything like it, but where there should be sand there was a stretch of shells. They laid on the beach like a blanket. There was no way around them so I had to walk on them. I didn’t mind. I was looking for shells. Plus, the way the sun was bouncing off the surface made the shells look like they were glistening.

One day, I went down with my camera, but instead of walking along the water’s edge like all the other mornings, I climbed into a lifeguard stand and simply watch and listened. There’s something about the ocean. Time stops. The crashing waves wash away all worries, if only for a moment. Waves barrel and rush toward the shore, keeping the sound of rhythmic breathing. The smell of saltwater and the gentle sea breeze while the sun warms your skin is wonderful. It pulls me, like two opposite ends of a magnet coming together. Much like the ocean always find the shore, I can’t resist the ocean. There’s something about the ocean and I wonder, even though I’ve written about it many times, if there’s any words to truly do it justice.

And I can’t forget about the boardwalk with it’s many shops and eateries. I love the soft pretzels and how their always warm, the funnel cake and all its confectionery sugar and I think I found one of the best pizza places the boardwalk has to offer. One place I always go is the taffy shop. I’ve tried a lot of different taffy in my lifetime, but Ocean City, NJ has Evening Wavesthe best. (They also have really good chocolate.) There’s also two arcades and two or three amusement parks, one which has been around since 1929. For shopping, there’s even more stores in town which are worth exploring.

The ocean is one of my favorite places in the world. To me, the ocean is many things – feisty, calming, dangerous, strong, beautiful, alive. It’s one of the places I want to go to find peace. The reasons are almost indescribable, but it’s natural, like the rushing of waves to the shore. I also believe the ocean is one of the purest places on earth.

To see more pictures from Ocean City, NJ please check out my photo page by clicking here.

Crossroads

Life is not only made up of moments, but a series of choices. And maybe it’s our choices that help define these moments. It’s like the Domino Effect – each choice affects the possibilities of the next choice and so on.

Recently, I had to make a tough decision. I had to decide if I was going to stay at my day job or leave to pursue my passion. There were so many reasons to stay, but an equal number of reasons to leave. In the end, my gut told me leaving was the right choice, but in the back of my mind I still felt like I was, somehow, letting people down and leaving people behind. In the time I had been there, I made friends and built bonds. And it was the little things I always did that I thought of when I put myself in the shoes of those I felt like I was leaving behind, disappointing, because it’s those little things that are noticed once they’re not done any longer. I’m not only talking about the work related things, but also the jokes I would tell, my silly ways when people were having a bad day, being there for people to talk to or vent to, being a cheerleader for some, the laughs – simply being there. But it wasn’t just the things I did for other – it’s the things others did for me. (Maybe, sometimes, without even realizing it.)

No one said life was going to be easy. (Although, I have a theory on this – maybe life is easy and we, as human beings, complicate things.) There’s no manual, no easy button, no hints or clues on how to live life. It’s something we all figure out as we go.

I always thought, and still do, that the people who are my friends and who truly care about me will follow. That is, I’ve always thought that those are the ones who will stay in touch. Sure, it might take a little extra effort, but, really, I’m not going anywhere. I’ll admit that things may be a little different, but I’m still me and I’m not going anywhere. All I’m doing is following my passion.

So here’s what it comes down to – don’t ever be afraid to follow your passion. It might seem scary, the road may seem unsure, but don’t ever be afraid to pursue what you love. Don’t be afraid of leaving people behind or disappointing them because those who care about you will always support you.