A Beach Confession

I’m just going to come clean and say the thing that elicits gasps and open-mouthed stares. Here it is: I don’t like the beach.

Before you even ask, no, I do not hate children or puppies. I just hate sand and sunscreen, and especially the combination of sand and sunscreen.

Also, I look stupid in sun hats.

I know, I know, I’m a horrible person. Send your hate mail here.

I Tend to Avoid Early Mornings and Sand…But I Don’t Regret Getting Out of Bed for this Sunrise.

Seriously, the responses that I get when I confide that I’d prefer to sit poolside rather than beachside are so strong that I tend to keep my beach hating on the lowdown. On a recent trip to Cancún, I had a moment of understanding with an awkward, pre-teen whose father found him in a chair next to me at the pool.

“What do you have against the beach?” asked the father while waving incredulously at the sand and the waves just 50 feet away. “It’s the beach.” The boy then walked meekly to a sandy beach chair, because, well, who can argue with that logic?

So, it is with great trepidation that I reveal my deep, dark secret. And, because I’m no fool, I come prepared with an olive branch.

To all beach lovers: You are right (sort of).

Beach Conversion Therapy

It’s often hard for me to admit when I am unhappy but, as I look back on the past 12 months, I concede that this has been a tough year. A bright spot (pun intended) are the three trips that I took to different sunny beaches with many of the wonderful women in my life.

All three trips were for reasons other than (only) fun in the sun. I traveled to San Diego with a group of girlfriends to celebrate the retirement of a friend from the Navy after 21 years of service.

My Friend Lizz Retires from the Navy

I traveled to Florida with some of the same crew to visit one of our own who moved to Fort Lauderdale. I traveled to Cancún with a group of once strangers – now friends – to find peace at a yoga retreat.

A Cancún yoga retreat brought all of these amazing women together.

Post-Yoga Photo-Op with My Cancún Yogis. Photo Credit: Leslie Sisomboune

During that yoga retreat, my teacher Allison English asked us to reflect upon a time that we felt real joy. One moment immediately popped into my head: an evening spent dancing on the sand to a reggae band with my girls as the sunset on Hollywood Beach in Florida.

Sunset at Hollywood Beach

The Power of Friendship

Friendship

So, yes, beach lovers; There is joy to be found at the beach. In fact, I must admit that many of my joyful moments in the last year were found on the sand.

As I reflected on these beach moments, however, I came to the conclusion that it was the presence of my friends who brought me joy. Beyond joyful moments, these same friends brought me strength, inspiration and hope when I needed it most.

So, while I acknowledge the power of the beach – and especially the ocean – to bring me happiness, it is the power of my friendships that brings me healing.

My Girls in San Diego

14 Comments on “A Beach Confession”

  1. Well, everyone is different! I love the beach and the ocean but I’ll rarely go in! I don’t like salt water but I love that it makes my hair wavy hehe 🙂 to each their own! Looks like you’ve had nice beach trips despite your dislike!

  2. Jen you aren’t alone. I don’t like the beach either. I’d be much happier by a lake, in a mountain, or looking at the sea from afar. The beach also makes me have to vacuum my car, and I hate that.

  3. Laying in the beach doing nothing is not my idea of fun either. Walks on the beach, volleyball, she’ll collecting and dancing are fun, and friends make it better.

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  8. So why do you hate the beach?. Moving water is the most relaxing sensation in the world. It’s tranquility at its finest. It’s a living breathing element of our existence. It’s witnessing our earth reacting with the universe. Looking at the ocean is the best place to think about life. But if it’s sunny wear the hat. Better yet go at night.
    Love, Lizzie’s mom

    • Thanks for the comment Debbie! I do love the sound of moving water and that sound certainly helped me heal. I also think there is a big difference between sunny beaches and rugged coasts. I LOVE coasts. (You’ve inspired me to write about it!)

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