Riding the Waves


United States
25° 41' 42.2268" N, 80° 24' 17.3916" W

Feelings are a matter of perspective.

We can dwell on them, allow the waves to crash over our lives in crescendos of pain, euphoria, anger, and fear.

Or, you can see the world as a relative place; after all, we are all born and all die, and torturing yourself over adversity won’t help you progress in your story. 


Most don’t pick the former;

While riding the waves is thrilling, and the sun seems brighter on the other side, there is always the chance you might be pulled out to sea.


Many don’t pick the latter, either;

While no one enjoys picking weeds, they shouldn’t be avoided. One day, you’ll look around your garden to see an infestation that has left you barren of flowers, and a mess that seems near impossible to clean up.           


Most people find a balance in between the two.

The idea is to deal with your emotions as they are dealt to you, neither letting them over power you, nor letting each one accumulate to the point where it becomes a crippling burden.



I throw myself to the waves, let them pull me under and toss me from one ocean to another.

While it’s easy to be dragged in too deep, I’ve also been up higher than most people get the opportunity to go, feeling both ends of the extreme quiet often.


The approach which tends to avoid emotions altogether knows that such affairs may slow down the progression of your story,

But why live a mundane life with only the possibility that you’ll peak at the end?

How do you know the view at the top is better than all you could have seen if you didn’t take the safe route?


I think those moments when you are riding the crest of the wave are worth falling into the water once in a while.


How does one create such large, powerful waves?

How do I prevent myself from drowning?


We all fall victim to uncontrollable and controllable factors.


Uncontrollable factors come in the form of luck and misfortune.

They include death, disease, wealth, natural disasters, and so on.

Uncontrollable factors do influence us, of course.

But the effects fade.


It is the controllable factors, and how we deal with the factors we choose, that determine the height of our waves.

It is these controllable factors that can both drown us and lift us up.


I let my controllable factors tether me.

I allow them to let me swim toward the sun.

I allow them to show me that there are beautiful things in the water, even when you are drowning.

While they may not be worth the burning water in your lungs,

You will carry the image of those beautiful things with you when you rise up.


My controllable factors, my tether, the beautiful things in the water, the moon that controls the waves themselves, are all people.

Not specific people,

But the complexity of each human themselves.


Humans are dynamic forces, each one so intricate.

Many things that happen to us, both good and bad, are circumstantial.


While they may affect how we feel, we will eventually accept that the outcome was predisposed.

Hurricanes don’t choose to prey on the bad.

Lotteries don’t favor the good.

But humans do.


We are joyful when someone acts positively toward us, as this means they had reason to do so.

This subconsciously reinforces the idea that we are good.

It is this same reason we are hurt when people act negatively toward us.


People are risky.

We don’t know whether they will lift us or drown us.

They are neither inherently good nor bad.

In the real world, there are no protagonists or antagonists.

Everyone is fighting for what they believe is right,

Whether that be surviving,


Or furthering a greater cause.

These fights may be selfish or selfless;

It depends on what helps each individual achieve what they want from life.

But no route necessitates good nor evil.


People are the factors in our lives we choose to let in;

Once we let someone in, we have accepted that their thoughts are of value to us.

They choose their actions dependent on the situation.

They get to choose how much they value you,

Their opinion of you,

Their actions toward you.

And if you let them in, and you’ve placed your self-value in their hands,

Their praise has the power to make you feel great, while their outlashes have the power to drown you.


When the waves are drowning me, I know that I will always be tethered to the shore because people tether me there.

There is something amazing to be found in people.

Years of memories, turmoil, experiences, and thoughts has created a unique individual.

They each have something amazing about them, something to appreciate, whether it be their honesty, strength, humbleness, courage, selflessness, even self-actualization, and these can be seen in their actions, whether their actions are lifting you or drowning you.


There is an internal trait all humans possess, the conscience, which makes it difficult to do act badly, even if it would be beneficial to them.

Even if it puts more weeds in their garden.

Even if it pulls them out to sea.

And yet, many still choose to do the right thing, to allow negative, controllable situations into their lives.

I like to believe that our experiences change us.

Those who feel the worst would do anything to prevent others from feeling the same.

Those who feel joy would like others to experience it as well,

And that’s why people may take burdens upon themselves, those associated with such negative emotions, in order to prevent another from falling into the water.


And yet, others, those who you’ve entrusted with your emotions, those who you believe see you as you really are, lash out.

When all humans are effected by their conscience,

When all are supposedly working toward their benefit and not the harm of others,

Why would someone look down upon you?

Lash out?

Act negatively?

It is these occurrences, these people, that can drown us,

Because if people are effected by conscience,

If their experiences allow them to understand what effect such actions can have upon us,

Then it must mean we ourselves are bad to have such a person, someone who knows they have been entrusted with our emotions, act negatively toward us.


Yet it is not that simple.

It is the “why” that is complex, and it is the complexity that is beautiful.


While we each make these choices-

Whether to pick the weeds in our garden, whether to sink or to swim, whether to ride the waves at all-

Everyone else is making these choices too.

Yes, it is true our experiences affect us.

But while they can, for example, cause us to help others,

They can also cause us to lash out to protect ourselves.

And perhaps the actions of someone who is entrusted with our emotions may hurt us,

They themselves may have been hurt in the past, when entrusting themselves with someone else,

And they can’t risk being hurt once more at the chance of drowning completely.


While this may cause you to drown in the process,

Such simple realizations are lessons you will carry through life,

Helping you understand the ever growing complexity of the human being.


And still, amongst all this, in a world filled to the brim with negative occurrences and situations,

And people desperately trying to find happiness and keep their feelings intact,

Some people will look over to you and see the beauty in you too.

And it’s quiet amazing when such a complex and busy being, one who would progress so much faster in their story if they were to focus solely on themselves,

Such a wonderful creation who has such intricate though patterns and processes, and such high aspirations, decides to put aside time to hold that tether.

And knowing that such wonderful people deem me worthy to give their time to

Makes me think that I too may be worthy of them,

And that, by default, means that they see something amazing in my life too.

Such thoughts lift me higher than most will go,

Because while most know they are good by the deeds they commit themselves,

I know I am amazing because wonderful people believe that I have value too.

Knowing that I entrust my heart to such people, knowing that they will always see something in me, knowing that I hold such a high position in their eyes, must mean there is something innately beautiful in me as well,

And that will always keep me moving forward.

This poem is about: 
My family
My community
Our world


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