The water licked her toes as she stood frozen at its edge, not quite in the water or on the sand, but caught between the two. She couldn’t decide if she wanted to step forward and plunge her body beneath the ocean’s cool depths or step backward onto dry land.
Mostly she wished she had stayed on her towel. It was nice on the towel. Umbrella adjusted so that her legs would catch the rays, but the rest of her body was safely tucked out of the sun. A new book cracked open on her lap, and a slowly warming diet soda with sweat slicked sides just waiting for her to pick it up and take a sip.
She watched the various groups of people in the water. A family down the way tossed a beach ball back and forth while the children screamed in delight each time a wave crashed around their legs. To her left a couple embraced, so absorbed in one another that she was sure they had blocked out the rest of the world. While she watched two of her friends bobbing in the waves like bikini clad fishing corks, one tilted back her head and laughed raucously at what the other had just said.
She longed to wade out to them and join in the fun. The only thing holding her back was her intense fear of the water.
She accepted the invitation for this trip as a way to step out of her safety zone. She had promised herself she would try new things this year. New friends and new experiences were the best way to say good bye to her old life. The only problem was that she had underestimated the strength of the fears from that other self.
So there she stood at the water’s edge. The fear of failure keeping her from moving forward, and the fear of quitting preventing her from moving back. Trapped in the between.
What she didn’t realize as she stood there in her indecisive state was that she was slowly sinking deeper and deeper in the sand. It had already started to cover the tops of her feet, and the longer she waited the deeper she would get.
The between is not a safe place as some would think. A person can not exist between here and there, old and new. If you reside there for too long you will lose yourself. Soon she would have to make a decision.
Forward. Or back.
One of my goals for the year is to do more creative writing. The idea for this piece came to me today after my therapist appointment. It isn’t where I want yet, but I thought I would share it anyway. I would love any advice or comments. Let me know what you think. I can take it.