DIARY of a 99%-er: The Struggle Between Survival and Creative Expression

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February 27

“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

My last weekend in OC. My uncle, bless his heart has volunteered to take me in, bless his heart. My car has been fixed, thanks to our awesome mechanic, who has given me strict orders to only drive Melba within a radius of 10 miles for the near future, so I can monitor her and make sure everything is copacetic. Luckily, most of my errands to prepare for moving have already been done, so I don’t have that far to drive.

Now it’s time to create a positive, lasting memory. So, I decide to do my absolute favorite thing in this area – go parasailing. I haven’t done this in years, and while I vowed I would do it every year, it is almost impossible to fit this kind of adventurous excursion into my annual budget, as it’s fairly pricey – around $70. But it is so worth it, especially this time. The exhilaration and views are phenomenal. I ask Simon if he wants to go. He says he’ll come with me on the boat, which is good enough for me.

So, we jump in his car and head down to the Balboa Peninsula. I’m splurging on this, but I keep justifying it as a good-bye kiss, for now, to OC.

As soon as we’re in the motorboat, heading out toward the ocean, I know it’s worth it, as I feel all the stress of the last few months melt away. It’s a crystal clear day and the winds are just perfect. As they attach me to the sail and hoist me up, I start to let go of all thoughts. I feel like I’m floating. Once I’m 50-feet up, I do a long, slow exhale and a few “Om’s.” I feel so free. I close my eyes and open them to see a flock of pelicans flying by.

Then, all of a sudden, I feel some tugging on the rope. I start freaking out. I have no clue what’s going on. I start to yell, “Bring me down, bring me down” but they can’t hear me. They’re probably on their cell phones. After a few minutes of sheer panic, I just surrender. There’s nothing I can do to stop the flailing of the rope. And, it’s in this moment, that I experience sheer presence. I just take everything in. I feel connected to everything. It’s magical.

This only lasts for a few minutes before they start reeling me in. Of course, now I don’t want to come down. When I get back on the boat, they jostle me in a friendly way and ask me how it felt when they were playing with the ropes – that they always do that to try to scare people. I forgot that from the last time. At this point, though, it doesn’t even matter, because I got past it. I feel exhilarated and peaceful on the boat ride home.

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