She felt she couldn't be denied the water, and found herself packing the dusty box of journals into the trunk of the car with the ocean on her mind. If she were searching for freedom, she wasn't going to find it in captivity. She still had a good few hours before the day faded away, and she intended to use it.
A smile tingled at her lips as she drove away. A sense of purpose kept her hopes alight because for once it was for her own good. No, more than that, it was because she wanted to.
The street hummed as if to wish her good luck on her mission, and went in time with the nervous tapping of her thumb on the steering wheel.
Her mind now began finding the soft spots in her plan, warning her of failure and self-disappointment. If she failed, she would crumble into even more nothing. Her foot slowed on the pedal. But the thought of failing punched her deep inside. She wasn't about to give up for fear of failure. Not trying was failure. She was on this quest in the first place because she let her life be controlled by fear. She wouldn't be able to sit at home alone in the shady comfort of confinement and feel proud she ran from her fears. The anger for even considering postponing her mission fueled her speed, and she tore through the distance with an abundance of self-hatred.
The ocean in sight made her soul relax. She felt her eyes begin to crinkle in the beginnings of a smile she hadn't intended.
Slamming the door to her car, she looked out across the ocean. It called. Wind pulled her in the direction of her calling and she went with it. But something was off. Even acknowledging the hidden tension caused unease to rise, chocking tears into her throat. She realized it was because she was still so contained. She felt the urge to remove her shoes because she couldn't feel the earth beneath her feet. In the distance she could see a couple mid argument, and she felt their gaze drift over her followed by judgment. She shuddered. She couldn't do this. She had ugly feet and adults didn't act like children, they had a reputation to uphold. There was a strictness that comes with maturity. She tightened her jacket, and fought the wind pulling her towards the waters. Her long hair whipped past her constraints, ignoring her will to run to what she wanted. She just couldn't do it. She was being watched. They would care.It wasn’t right.
The self-hatred was like a deep punch to the dwindling flame of self-esteem. She hated caring about other's judgments. It had ruined her childhood. She remembered only hours ago scoffing at her old self not being able to be herself and give others a reason to love her. Yet, she found she hadn't changed.
But then she remembered the pigtails. She had looked dumb then, and it had felt good to check something of her life's to do list. This was something she needed to do to rekindle her youth. It would feel good. She controled her reality, she could make it possible.
She slowly bend down to remove her feet from their caverns. The world didn't explode. Now as she walked along the sand, looseness eased through her and she was proud of herself for freeing her feet to their fancy. Barefoot, the small stones rolling beneath her heels made her relaxed. The journey to the waters edge was short, and nothing kept her from tiptoeing into the tide, a joyous feeling overwhelming her as she struggled to maintain the cold.
She ran along the water's edge. Water sprayed up her back, and she felt alive under the cool sensation trickling down her back, and flavoring her hair, which was now dripping. A fleeting thought to jump in snagged her attention and she shot it down out of habit. It was too cold, and she wouldn't be able to handle it. Then, realizing she had killed a passion of her past, she regretted it. She wanted to, but she couldn't. She would be cold all the way home and it just didn't make sence to get all sandy and salty. The waves rolled over themselves, waiting for her. She felt as if it were begging, and missed the brave soul that would have striped off her her raced in, but she wasn't that person anymore.
Self hatred again rose within her. She was too old. She had lost herself forever. She was too weak to be the person she wanted to. As she walked away from the water's edge, tears came to eyes, and she found herself grinning. Her tears were back! She wasn't completely hopeless and shut down; but growing. The thought that she hadn't lost herself completely made her turn around and look once more at the begging waves. They wanted her. They wanted her to prove to herself she could do it if she wanted.
Before the disappointment could settle, she ran waist deep and submerged herself. Happiness overpowered the cold, and she felt bubbly, renewed with energy. She did it, and it was fine. A smile danced at her lips and she embraced it, baring an unveiled happiness that was unknown to an emotionless society. She threw her back into the water, and bobbed in the rising and falling tide. She felt lke a the little girl she never was, and had always wanted to be.
She dove under waves, and leaped through them. She grabbed dirt from the ocean floor and watched it disolve in her palm, and she clapped her hands under the water to feel the bubbles squelch between her palms. It didn't matter if anyone was watching. They should be proud. She had found the strength to love herself as a fool.
Now unconstrained, she felt content with herself. She had overcome her own judgment, and now no judgement mattered. It was something she had never been good at, and the tug of self-appreciation felt soothing. There was no regret or longing nagging at her insides, and she felt free to leave the water as she pleased. As she made her way up the shore, the water laughed a crashing booming laugh that made her love her own laugh as she accompanied it.
She felt as if she were redoing her life. Her childhood had been tortured by judgment, and now that she was finding her backbone, she was finding her youth. She was allowing herself to grow young. She burst her arms up to the sky with energy. She was finally living the life she had deprived herself from for so long. It was never too late to redo the past.
She skipped along the sand on the way to the car, empowered. She had checked more things off her true list. She was going to make her life count. She was earning her right to happiness.
Now opening her car, she pulled a towel from the trunk, and pulled a passage from the box. She was ready for her next challenge. She was unprepared for what flowed from her journal.