Thursday, July 19, 2012

Facing the Waves, Battling the Currents

If you thought that the title of this post was a metaphor, then you are absolutely correct.
If you took it literally, however, then you are also correct, and I will not proceed to call you a sucker like I would if it wasn't meant to be taken literally.
This past July 18th-19th, I spent a significant amount of time with two outbounds, Hailey (to Ecuador) and Katie (to Taiwan) at the coast to celebrate Hailey's birthday.  While I'm not going to outline every single thing we did, I will say that it was an eye-opening trip. (And I mean that figuratively. So if you took that literally, hah, sucker!)
On this lovely outing, I did things I did not initially imagine myself doing. For instance, I had always viewed the Pacific Ocean of the Oregon Coast as a pathetic excuse of an "ocean" (growing up knowing the other side of it in the tropical beaches of the Philippines). The ocean I used to visit all the time was warm, calm, and very colorful with all sorts of coral and fish life. Over here, it was always cold and windy, and you couldn't swim in it.
...or so I thought.
Those waves were totally afraid of us. 
Because Hailey is EXTREMELY rather insane, we walked out into the waves at Smuggler Cove in Oswald West State Park. I was reluctant to at first. The water was unpleasantly cold. Very cold, actually. Yet we kept on moving forward until the waves broke right in front of our very eyes, and towered above our heads only a few feet in front of us. Attempting to raise my voice above the sound of the crashing waves, I yelled at Hailey, "I don't think there will be anything as scary on exchange as facing all these waves in front of us!!" Not only were the waves cold and plentiful, there was also an undertow dragging our feet, threatening to sweep us away. But while holding each other's hands, we were able to walk against it, step by step, continuing forward to face larger waves. Lesson learned from this experience, as applied to my life - there will be things on exchange that can't be under my control, and there will be waves to make me feel cold and uncomfortable, waves to intimidate me. But I know that with a mind determined to conquer them, and my feet firmly planted in the sand, or on the ground, I can face whatever challenges come at me. And with friends at my side, it can even be fun. Yes, I can be cheesy sometimes; get over it. (Mostly directed at the me in the future reading this shaking her head, scoffing.)

Something else we did was go on this hike with no trail but a small river that we followed, hoping to find a waterfall at the end. I don't consider myself an outdoorsy person, but the journey there, however muddy and foliage-covered, was worth the destination.

Hailey and Katie, at the waterfall just beyond Indian Beach.
You're probably expecting me to relate this to my exchange, aren't you. All right. So here goes - however much I don't like the process of attaining a certain goal, all I have to do is keep the end result in mind while focusing on each individual step. (Throughout this hike, Fun.'s song "One Foot" would play in my head...)

Now I just have something miscellaneous to share that I won't bother trying to connect to my exchange, but it's a cool piece of information nonetheless. On a beach by Fort Stevens that we visited is a shipwreck. Because tangible history like that interests me, I looked it up later today. The ship is called the Peter Iredale, and it ran aground on October 25, 1906 en route to the Columbia River. Hey guess what. OCTOBER 25 IS MY BIRTHDAY! HUZZAH! I found it pretty cool when I read about it.
All that remains of the abandoned ship.

Me within the wreck.

So yeah, that ship died 89 years before I was born, to the day.
Speaking of days, I have less than 40 before I leave.

Here's a final word, just to describe everything so far, that I found myself using quite often on this beach adventure.
TTFN, Ta-ta for now!

No comments:

Post a Comment