Everyone loves their alone time. Mom’s love to sneak away for a manicure, dad’s don’t mind working on the car all day (or at least that’s what we’ll keep telling ourselves so we don’t feel bad for making them fix it) and college kids love wasting away mornings (and evenings… and afternoons… and all day, everyday) watching Netflix in bed with a bowl of cereal (preferably Frosted Flakes). It helps us to recharge so we can be better humans when we’re around other humans. Not to mention a little more patient…
And I, just like everyone else (… I think I just referred to myself normal…), love my Megan time. Hence, I have a blog and constantly have an excuse to lock myself in my room and claim that I’m being (semi) productive. Not to say I don’t love a little TLC, but it’s nice to hear my own thoughts every once and a while (if you lived in my apartment, you’d understand). The only time I don’t love alone time is when I’m at practice. Rowing in a boat. All. By. Myself. You can imagine it to be a quiet and serene time for meditation as you’re pushing your blades through the water, leaving your negative thoughts and energy behind you, right? Wrong. Well, formerly wrong.
The first time I ever rowed in a single (a boat with just one person), I cried. I couldn’t shake off my frustration with my lack of technique, and panicked the entire time I wasn’t holding onto a somewhat stable platform (aka, the moment I left the dock until the moment I re-docked after practice). Mind you, I’m deathly afraid of the ocean. And where do we row? The ocean. (I didn’t quite think that one through before I committed.) And the smaller the boat, the less stability you have. So it’s not completely unnatural that I would be scared to row by myself! Less stability, and no one else to calm my fears. Literal nightmare. (Insert sympathy here.)
Today, I met my maker. And it wasn’t the ocean, or the boat, or the big sharks and whales that were waiting deep, down at the bottom of the ocean to eat me. It was just me. Plain, old, stubborn Megan.
I rowed in a single for only the second time ever, and I absolutely loved it. My strokes were smoother than they’ve ever been (not much to compare it to, but still), and I was as calm and collected as a cucumber. What made today so different? I told myself today would be different. I sat in the boat, pushed off the dock, and as I went to take that first stroke I thought to myself, “Meg, it’s going to be a great row. Make it happen.” So I did.
It wasn’t the ocean that I was scared of. Okay, let me rephrase that: I’m always scared of the ocean, but that’s not what was causing my anxiety the first time I tried rowing by myself. I was scared to challenge myself, because I was afraid of failing. But what is failing, really? Falling in the water? Maybe to some, but I don’t think for me. Flipping my boat would have meant that I made a mistake in the stroke, but not that I failed. I failed the last time I went out in that boat because I let myself down; my attitude failed. I was destined for trouble the moment I put that boat in the water because I didn’t believe in myself. It had nothing to do with my inability to row well, but had everything to do with my inability to trust myself. And if I can’t trust myself, then I’m going to have a really hard time trusting anyone else.
By giving myself a chance today, I allowed myself to be surprised–to be inspired by my own abilities. And more so than my quality row, I’m impressed with my attitude and my positivity. I kept my head up and kept on going, even amidst the (literal) wakes.
As far as my personal life goes, lonely and not so much lovin’ it. But thank goodness for my beautiful and sweet mama who arrived this morning for a weekend visit. A girl is never too old for some motherly love (or cooking).
You’re your own best friend and your own worst enemy. You decide which one you’re going to be today. (Considering it’s a Saturday, I’d take the easy route and decide to be friends–we’re all tired.) Whenever you doubt yourself, know that you can do it. But only if you think you can. So put your mind to it and do it. Plus, I’ll always believe in you, so that should count for something, right? 🙂
Keep doing you. However, regardless of my incredible row this morning, I don’t advise rowing a single in the process (if you do: stay positive and bring some dry clothes).