One of my biggest loves is swimming. This was not an immediate love, but a love that grew out of fear. Fear is from the unknown and not in our control. Love grows with learning and living.
Throughout my late bloomer swim career, I’ve gone through many swimsuits that have stretched and sagged from chlorine and goggles that have fogged up and cracked. One item that I had for as long as I could remember when learning and loving swimming was my pastel pink swim robe that had squares of blue and yellow on the front. I do not remember where I got this robe. I just knew that I had it from the beginning of my newfound fear-turned-to-love affair with swimming. It was a sort of ‘security blanket’ for me that was always in my swim bag. I wrapped myself in it in warmth after the blast of frigid air hit me from a rejuvenated swim.
As I grew up and minimally taller, I failed to see that the robe was falling apart. The colors were disappearing. The fabric was fading. The pockets were coming undone. It was even starting to get a bit rough after being washed so many times. Someone once saw me folding the tattered and pitiful old thing after it came out of the wash, and asked me: “Why do you keep that thing? It is so old and worn out. You’ve outgrown it.”
I clutched the fabric to my cheek to inhale the earthy and fresh laundry scent. Memories of all my happy aquatic times came back to me from when I was 10-years-old first learning to swim after fears that came from two drowning episodes. Never in a million years would I think that a fear of swimming would turn into the ultimate love and therapy for me.
I remember looking at the sad swim robe. A wave of melancholy hit me because I knew this person was right that I had, indeed, outgrown the robe and I eventually had to part ways with it. So, why was it so hard for me to let go of something that I had clearly outgrown? That was truly a part of my childhood and not a part of my adulthood? With great difficulty and attachment issues, I eventually and despondently threw away this robe that had always comforted me and made me feel like a champion on the pool deck. Since then, I have never found a swim robe as good, sturdy, colorful, and simply me to wrap me in warmth after a great gift of a swim session.
There comes a time we need to live by ‘out with the old and in with the new,’ but the burning questions become when is that time? We all eventually outgrow certain parts of our past that were soothing and must let go of them to make way for our futures. While we embrace and love being ‘creatures of habits,’ being stagnant and same is impossible and suppressing for us in the long-term and in the big picture of ourselves and of so much that life is and offers to us. As my father says, we all eventually lead and live our own lives and our circle becomes increasingly smaller as we become older. Whether we reach a point where we have no choice or we are faced with difficult crossroads choices, it is inevitable that we eventually must leave the parts of us (whether it is things or people) that hold us back and prevent us from propelling forward and helping us into new. Never put your life on hold for anyone or anything that holds you back
We eventually outgrow certain people and things from our past in order to make way and go forward with our futures. Have you ever had a ‘security blanket’? What was it and when and how did you let go of it? When have you had to bid farewell to something that represented your youth to adulthood? Who or what have you put yourself and your life on hold for? Do you feel like you are in the same place as you have always been and are unable to let go of the past for your future?
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,