I was talking to my mother about Bondi Rescue. For those who don’t know it’s a slightly chauvinistic, slightly racist TV show that shows people having their hearts restarted, and them throwing up water on the shore, interspersed with lifeguard hi-jinx.
My mother doesn’t watch it but I do, because I love to see the rescue and roll my eyes at the people who don’t swim between the flags.
We were discussing the idea that people should watch that show after the safety video, on all flights bound for Australia. Never mind the crocs and spiders, the rips are what might undo you.
I grew up by the sea. I spent every weekend at the beach, I’ve swum in surf, lagoons and been dumped into the sand more times than I can count but one thing my dad taught me was to dive under the wave as it approaches, and if caught in a rip, don’t fight it, let it take you out and put a hand up for help.
Someone will come, don’t use all your energy trying to fight something bigger and more powerful than you.
As we spoke about the show, I mentioned that it was a good metaphor for life.
When the waves are crashing down and threatening to smash your body and spirit, duck dive under and wait for it to pass.
When the rips of life pull you away from where you think you should be, or where you planned to be, don’t fight it, go with the flow.
One of my biggest epiphanies after my last bout of clinical depression was how much it was caused by my perception of how things should be, and how much energy I put into trying to bend them back into shape.
The willow bends however the fuck it wants, and if you keep pulling, pushing, demanding, the world’s gonna punch you in the face.
Poetic? Not really. I mean I’m giving you a life lesson, using Bondi Rescue as evidence.
But it makes sense, right? Well to me anyway. Swim between the flags people and stay in the flow, even when you’re panicking, stay in the flow and let it take you wherever you need to be next.