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Finding your way by the waves
Posted April 25, 2008

Jennifer Gilderman
Copy Editor

While people may be very different, there are many insightful characteristics that we all share. We all have questions; we all want answers and we individually deal with situations differently.However, in the end, everyone has their own story, which is written through experience.

I contemplated for a while on what to write about.I debated whether to discuss my horrible Subway experience, where they asked me if I wanted lettuce in my salad, or how inoperable the male gender can be or those annoying commercials like freecreditreport.com and how addicting the songs are.

But why complain about these tiny issues, when there are bigger problems in the world? So while I thought, I found myself at the beach takingin my surroundings.

I buried my feet into the sand, had a blanket wrapped around me with my Starbucks at my side and my notebook in my lap and began to write.I realized that I go to the beach for comfort, to destress and to do some of my biggest thinking.

So while we all have questions, we use different resources for answers.

Some might refer to textbooks or Google, some turn to family and friends, others find solace in the Bible, and I look to the ocean.

I realized that the ocean is so much like life, and the people who surround it all have their own stories, all have their place of serenity to escape to when they need some alone time.

So, I sat, I thought and I watched.

What caught my attention first was the couple who showed too many displays of affection.While many would think, “go get a room,” I realized that they expressed the meaning of love and compassion.

Then there was the child who was fascinated with his bucket and the thought of digging holes and building sandcastles. His creativity and innocence expressed imagination, which many of us lose by the age of seven.

There was the street juggler on a 10-foot unicycle surrounded by an audience.He flaunted his talent and the need to make others laugh.

Runners on the boardwalk demonstrated athleticism and motivation whilesurfers showed risk as they put their lives in the hand of a wave.

Even the homeless man on the corner showed that everyone will experience hardship in life.

It was then I looked out into the water and made the connection.

Just like life the ocean can have smooth and calming seas one day and rough waters the next.The waves may trample and rock you around. But just like the hard times in life, you struggle through and find your way back to breathable air. It’s inviting yet cold and at the very bottom lies its secrets.

The water is polluted just like our brains, while people and the ocean are also beautiful in their own way.

Coincidentally, when the water gets choppy around 3 p.m., so do people and we run to the nearest Starbucks.

This may be a turning point for us graduating seniors, a scary transition in life without knowledge of what storms and waves are yet to come.

But we all have our own stories, and while many people may influence us throughout our life, in the end we write our own novel and sail our own ship.We are the skipper making the decisions which way to turn to lead us to our destinations.

Jennifer Gilderman, a senior communications major, is copy editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at jgilderman@ulv.edu.