Surf. L1fe …and Everything in Between (a recent rant and realizations in life)

Surf. L1fe …and Everything in Between
Edu Alawi
August 26, 2011

My recent surfing experience (an epic fail) taught me about Surf, Life, and Everything in Between…

4 years ago, I have written a blog, or a journal if you may, about my surfing experience (here -> ).  Reading back, I am amazed that after 2 years of absence in the waves, most truths for me still hold true -  People don’t change, they just find ways to put layers upon layers of lies to make it seem they’re all that and a bag of chips – and a lot of new discoveries and learning about life was made possible.  We don’t change, we just find means to move forward, and in the process, if unchecked, we become sharks in the water, ready to cast hell.

The Absence. 
Five years ago I had a very successful career as a training specialist in one of the biggest malls in the city, but it was the darkest days of my life.  My sanity, literally, was in the ropes and had lots prescription meds to stay afloat.  Twice a month, I would sneak out of the office and go someplace to play with the waves.

I resigned and co-owned a pet shop business that did not run very well.  The experience taught me about cut-throat means to stay significant which turned me into a worse monster than I was in the corporate world.  Sanity check – my board on the truck looking for a wave.

Personal relationships sucked more than ever and a relapse was inevitable.  Waves were inconsistent here in the city, I was too floored to pick myself up and go up north.  Craving for the cut prescriptions to make me sane (damn that doctor, this was all I could think of before), the rollercoaster ride called fucked up life… Boards hung on my wall, and all I could do was stare and reminisce… that gave me an escape for a few minutes out of my life.

I needed a diversion… I remembered one thing that made me ‘lost in the moment’ when I was doing it since I was a child – photography.  This started a wonderful journey, reviving an old passion, reviving that hunger for landscapes and sunrises and sunsets and everything that the light of life touches.  For a moment I was perfectly sane again.  In fact I could call it a very successful intervention to my falling out.  Board on wall, dust-covered, and a bunch of stories told about the days that were…

The Recent Journey.

The first few years of photography was bliss.  I learned a lot about seeing not just with the cam but with my eyes.  It opened a door for me, where I am whole again.  Then came the DSLR madness, I had to have one, joined the bandwagon, and for a couple of years experienced a lot of new things – got published a few times in a local magazine, did commercial works for a couple food chains, and covered events.  It was all good, at least for a moment.  Along the journey I met quite a number of people…  Few, I really cherish upto now, simple people, fellow passionistas, clients we bonded over their events, smiles, laughter, sincerity… This is just one side of the coin… the side I would love to always remember.  The flipside - Never had I thought that the very catharsis I had became a thanatos I never wanted.  New relationships fell out, caught on cut-throat ponti schemes all over, shallow relations over true friendship, lies, motives, masks… layers upon layers of beautiful lies… still, lies.  I realized all I had were my eyes, I am still the same guy who loves the beauty of being alone, not caring, not pleasing.  With the madness of the new world, I drowned.  The new surf I am in pounded me like hell that no waves have ever done to me.  Looking back, it was all good – it made me discover a lot of realities in life and in people.  That’s why we were made only with two hands and ten fingers… one hand to count real people with, one hand to put up and stick the middle finger with towards those who are so caught up with hubris and fallacies.

…board hung on wall… staring at it… brought it for a shoot… and all I had near surfing is a photo of me with my board.  What had I become? A POSER!!! I despise this photo of me. I hate it!!! Surfing is not about a board or a wax or a leash… it’s a Lifestyle… it’s L1fe. 

I am NOT a good surfer, heck, I cannot even call myself a surfer, I just enjoy riding tiki, and enjoying the lifestyle.  Suddenly, I realized I was so far away from myself like a surfer pulled out by a strong current so far away from the beach.  I had to paddle back in, with all what’s left of my wits and sanity, I had to paddle hard back in, or I will live a life that I do not want.  I am still the old dude who enjoys the surf, sand, and sun.  I am still the old guy who only needs enough to get by.  I am still that old wandering soul looking for the spot I can call my own.  I am still the same ODD dude who loves being alone, capturing life through his pen and through his lens, I am still that old dolphin who considers the water and surf as his closest connection to a god that he never knew.  It’s not that bad coz it’s my life that I must live… and only true happiness comes if I stay real and trash the layers and masks that I began to loathe.

My recent journey brought me back to the water… board untied, waxed, and brought to play.

The Present

Woke up late this morning and found out that surf is up through some facebook friends.  Grabbed my board, went through the Indian pass of nagging at home, arrived at the beach with bloodshot eyes.  Beautiful souls playing in the water, a friendly smile of an old acquaintance a sudden warmth, then I am off to surf.  Then like waking up to a bad day, the waves came pounding and pounding at me, I couldn’t paddle out, I swam, walked, pulled my board, and when I came to a spot I was tired and wasted that quick – wipe out after wipe out I found myself floating, grabbing my surfboard, thinking… it’s like all those 4 or 5 years came to flash in my mind. 

The tears of god had once again swept me… it’s like waking up from a bad dream.  In the end, no matter how I connect, I am still alone… just me and the waves.  No one can ever make me ride, no one can ever paddle for me, no one can stand for me, ONLY ME… and so is true with my life.  At last, I am alive again!  True that surf here in the city wouldn’t last the whole year, but still I will be in search for those waves… it keeps me grounded and real, it keeps me alive.