I’m not sociable. I’m not an extrovert. When I’m around people I don’t know, I often feel shy. That’s not to say I don’t like people or don’t enjoy their company. People fascinate me. I’m just one of the more reserved kinds. I know this of myself now.
There are a few exceptions, however, to my introversion. I know this now, too. When I am with close friends and family or surfing, my introverted qualities melt away. When I find the feeling of home, I am comfortable and feel free to be the me I am in front of myself, the person I am in my mind, the person I am in the mirror when I’m getting ready. We all know this feeling of peace and comfort at certain times.
When I moved to the small surf town we live in now, I began surfing at the spot right in front of my parent’s house. I found immediate comfort out there. The people were my people-eccentric ocean lovers. We learned more about each other through surfing; watching each other catch waves, many times surviving the biggest ones and the stormy days together.
While I was surfing on Sunday, another surfer asked me if this was my first time surfing this spot this season. I actually laughed, because the concept of surfing other spots during different seasons had almost become foreign to me. I have surfed this spot almost religiously for the past five years, and, in doing so, have met people more unique than ones I’ve met in books. Despite the fact that I love this wave, that it’s right by my house, and that being by myself while surfing it has led me to many self-discoveries, I think the people are what have made it my favorite because they have made it my home.
After surfing on Sunday, we went to a gathering at our surf friend’s house. He is one of those characters, one of those unrepeated ones, and so are the people in his family. His brother caught some abalone in Sonoma County and battered them up right on their deck overlooking the favorite surf spot of every guest that stood on it. We were happy with our bare feet, like others were happy in their swim suits and mix-matched rash guards, and we were happy being our selves with each other.
Where do you feel at home?
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