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  • El Zonte, El Salvador

Would you Run Away from Time with Me ?

How long are you here for ? That damn question…

I’ve been spinning around this globe without a fixed address for almost three years now.

Where the fuck did time go?

It passed. It slipped. It got gone, I guess…

Have you ever noticed how in warm countries the days seem to literally melt into each other?

We watch the sun disappear in the ocean almost every day, colouring the sky in a soft yet impressive way, just like watercolours. It blends.

Ayampe, Ecuador

Ayampe, Ecuador

I feel like I’ve literally lost the notion of time, in the way it used to pressure me in the city life, where you need to be ON TIME. I’m now running on Indo time or Latino time; they are both really alternative (read: unreliable) notions of time. But ironically, I’ve found that in the end you’ll always arrive ‘in time’…

On the other hand, this lifestyle means I experience an awareness of time that most people don’t; I’m always staying somewhere for a determined period of time. My life unfolds in chapters, meticulously indexed like cue cards in a box : Geographical location / Month / Year / Most important characters.

But one thing seems to be a common thread, whatever time zone your are navigating through, is the constant check in, the questioning of:

Am I doing the right thing with my time?

I’m living to the fullest?

If I ought to be real, I would say that I do feel like I’m embracing life fully — the last 10 years of my life have been filed with so many adventures, encounters, stories and achievements, that it would be greedy to have remorses.

But the thing is, I carry in my heart a strong feeling of nostalgia that I can’t seem to shake off. Nostalgia for all the sweet days that have already passed me by. I feel powerless against the impermanence of everything. Everything that once felt infinite…

“I am afraid of growing up

and things will never be as good

as they are now.

I am afraid life will stiffen

both my body and my mind.

Will make me rigid and frigid

Grumpy and empty.

I am afraid I’ll lose my ability to be playful,

To sing out loud in public

To dance with my ‘fro wiping the air

To easily embrace uncertainty.

I am afraid it will soon be socially unacceptable

To jump fences

To swim naked

To sit on the floor

To lose track of which day we are in

To laugh at the sky with arrogance after a solid face plant.

I want you to please grow young with me…”

But tell me, what does living to the fullest even mean ?

For me, it means that I’ve stopped believing that I should be a certain kind of woman, and/or should do certain things,  and rather started to embrace the unconventionality of my desires. I’ve started wrapping my arms around the strange, the wild and the realness of what there is to be experienced here now, in this one lifetime we’ve been granted. It means that I am constantly & consciously working on becoming the best version of myself. By liberating my own self, I’m hopping I can help liberate others.

As I am changing, growing, getting older, and therefore realizing that time is escaping me, I’d like to know that I did my very best at being alive.

I hope that in 10, 20, 60 years from now, I look back at my life journals, pictures, and the little videos we’ve created here and there, and I get this feeling of satisfaction in my heart. The same one you get after a really epic wave…

I’ve noticed that as surfers, we never seem to carry a feeling of nostalgia from the best waves we’ve caught;  the only thing that remains when you swim back out is the high and the feeling of bliss it did provide you in the very moment. You know deep down that your skills are always improving, and therefore there will be some even better waves in the future. This one was fucking awesome, but yet it was just a stepping stone.

Knowing that, maybe we should really learn to surf life itself: commit to give our very best performance, without ever clinging onto the highs that have passed. We are still learning, and the best experiences are probably still to come…

Nias, Indonesia

Nias, Indonesia

In any case, if my future self ever stumbles upon this text, I’d like to leave her this note from the present:

In case you don’t remember how it felt to be right now — 27 years old living, surfing and running a business in between Latin America & Indonesia — well, it feels really fucking good.

It feels like at times, I am actually growing younger. Rediscovering how to play, how to laugh at all silliness, how to stay curious about the world, and how to worry less. Way less.

It feels like life is actually quite simple and beautiful, and that we just like to complicate it way too much. It’s about trying things, as many things as we need, so we find what really makes us vibe, or who really makes our heart go boom-boom, and dive in it, fully.  Remember to make the good stuff and the lovely people a priority in your life. Those are the only things that matter after all ; the moments and rad individuals who made us feel alive.

I also feel like every day is a new adventure. When I open my eyes in the morning, I am excited about the day ahead! I feel blessed to wake up alive & healthy with a brand new 24 hours available for me to use.

At times, when I am out in the water or simply walking down the street looking up at the palm umbrellas, I kind of wanna start laughing out loud, as if this seriously cannot be real. For some reason, I’ve always carried this idea in the back of my head that life should be painful, you know…I don’t find it true, these days, these years.

Life currently feels like a savoury, colourful, and juicy mango. You get it all over you face, but it’s so good that lick your lips largely and ungracefully wipe your cheek with the back of your hand.

I think that one of the things that frightens me the most at the moment, is that maybe I’m going to wake up one morning and realize this was all a dream… 

It is weird, right? But it’s the best way I can describe it.

I feel alive, very alive, but I don’t believe everything is perfect, and I don’t think it ever has – or will be. One’s different ‘’life buckets’’ cannot all be full at the same time.

But you know what, I feel content. I want you to remember that NOW feels very satisfying. Like i’m riding a damn good wave. Whatever happens down the line, I know you’ll never forget what that feels like, at least.

Finally, I just want to say, that you should never forget that all the money in the world will ever buy you back the time, the talks or the waves you didn’t experience with all your presence.

Yours always,

-Erika xox

 

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If ever you want to connect with me to discuss / brainstorm on ideas, get some coaching on how you could design or redesign your lifestyle, get in touch ⇢ droleterika@gmail.com

About the Author:

"I believe we all have the chance to live an extraordinary life if only we follow our gut feeling and seek challenging experiences." - Cofounder of Salty Souls

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