One fish said to another, “I’m looking for the ocean.”
Being saltwater fish, they were already swimming in the ocean.
So the other replied, “What do you mean? You’re already here.”
Exasperated, the first fish replied, “No, this is water. I’m looking for the ocean.”
I often catch myself waiting for life to begin, hurrying through each season to get to the next. Waiting on the job, car, house, or partner that will finally signify I’ve arrived.
But life isn’t linear with a destination. It’s cyclical, rhythmic even. Like the ocean, it flows in cycles of tension and release, ease and challenge, strain and rest, hot and cold, dark and light.
Dissatisfaction comes from expecting calm waters in a season that’s supposed to teach you how to navigate a storm, or wishing for big surfing waves in a season that’s supposed to give you rest.
Slowing down enough to feel alive—with all the highs and lows—to feel the waves, the storms, the calm days and the windy ones. These are the things that remind us we’re in the ocean and not just water.
Just water doesn’t rock your boat. Just water doesn’t change the tide on you.
Only the ocean ebbs and flows. Only the ocean is choppy then flat, crazy then calm.
But only the ocean gives you stories to tell. Only the ocean forces you to grow.
So all we can do is smile through the storm, ride the waves, and in the wise words of my girl Dory, “just keep swimming.”
Note: I heard the opening fish story while watching Disney’s Soul.