The beach is my happy place.

July 5, 2020: Gulf Shores Public Beach with my daughter.

July 5, 2020

My happy place- warm sand and forever blue horizon. My little girl screams and laughs as the waves crash into her. My husband made this moment happen for our family. He sacrificed and bought us a condo by the beach. I start chemo again tomorrow. I don’t want to go home. I don’t want to do this- to go back to reality. But I will have this place to come escape. The beach will be my refuge- somewhere to hide from ice baths and anxiety and trade it for warm, turquoise water and calming sounds of waves. I want a life free of cancer and this is the path I have to take to get there. At least I’ll have the beach waiting for me. 

Let’s take a look at dreams. Not those that happen when you sleep, but those ambitions you think about while you are awake. Webster defines to dream, “to consider as a possibility.” Seeing something as a goal coming to fruition in our mind or something reachable if you choose to possess it. Sometimes we don’t chase our dreams and that’s ok. We let them drift to the back of our minds and get comfy while life is busy passing by. But others won’t leave us alone. They refuse to settle. They wiggle their way back to the top, annoying us for attention. They are like a sliver in our finger pestering us to examine it- pluck it out. 

Many of us don’t think of dreams as pestering. Dreams have a pleasant connotation. We don’t tend to think of all the hard work it will take making it come true or maybe we do and that’s why we tuck it away.  But, if we choose to have the dream come to existence, there is a fear that goes along with taking that first step. What will people think of me? What if I’m not good enough? What if I fail? So, we leave it alone. Afraid of the pain we might cause ourselves or our families. But the longer we leave it, like the sliver, two things will happen. 

1.Our body will grow, push it out and forget it.

2.We will not be able to ignore it any longer and have to face it. 

July 5, 2020: Gulf Shores Public Beach with my husband and daughter.

This is where reality makes a debut. No more hiding behind rainbows, we must walk through the rain. There is an honesty in facing ourselves and the decisions that come with it. Guilt, worry, and failure consume us but that doesn’t fix the sliver. It is still there, waiting. 

You make a decision. You want that sliver out. You make the conscious choice to remove it. You’ve gathered the supplies but now you are sitting there with tweezers in hand. It will take concentration, time, and determination. You inspect your finger, plan for the best angle, grit your teeth and begin. Similar to our dreams, we won’t one day wake up, say we will do this dream and poof it will happen. No, it takes concentration, time, and determination. We need to plan the best course of action, set goals, take that first step, make the commitment and then start.

Many possibilities may happen once you begin. Like getting out a sliver, it might slide right out with little resistance. Others might break off in little chucks and you have to work on it a little at a time. And some, well, the angle is all wrong and you have to ask a friend for help. One way or another it will come out. The important part is you take the first step and just begin. 

This past weekend I ran my first mile on the beach. I took the first step. Running on sand is different than running on concrete. My heart rate sky rocketed and my breathing was heavy but it felt so good to be out there. Waves to my left and the sand to my right were my encouragement to keep going. I finished my mile in 10 minutes and 9 seconds. I walked back to the car, sat down and out of no where got emotional. “This is real. I am doing this. It’s ok be proud of myself.”


Today I dream of my body being stronger than cancer, listening and pushing every part of me to do amazing things. I dream of being strong enough to run 32 miles in my happy place.

One thought on “The beach is my happy place.

  1. Shannon, your writing is as beautiful as you are. As beautiful as your photographs and paintings too. Your light is shining so brightly even through the dark times. You’re touching lives is such a special way by sharing your heart and your story. Thank you! You are very loved! ❤️

    Like

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