On my first full day in Los Angeles, I decided to take things slow and begin with a beach day. As in love as I am with England, there’s a magic about sunshine days; feeling the sand give way to your weight, waves gently meeting the shore, a soft breeze playing with your hair, the sun providing you with a blanket of warmth (its more harmful effects always protected by sunblock). Given that it was early afternoon on a Friday, excepting a few cheery dog owners, the odd family or two, and a handful of sun-tanners, the beach was mine for the day.
It’d been so long since I had dedicated a whole day to the beach. As such, my body and mind slowed to match the unhurried pace of the nature surrounding me. A horde of seagulls carefully watched the sea for reasons I don’t know. They were in no rush, half of the group comfortably nestled in the sand. I exchanged friendly conversation with fellow passersby, all of us enjoying our own worlds and politely acknowledging each other’s.
The sea-salt air cleared my mind of daily stresses. Worries that add into your mind like building blocks, until it feels as though there’s a force pressing you into the ground. In fact, during the walk I felt silly for having some of the concerns that rent a small corner of my mind. Surface insecurities, problems that won’t matter in the grand scheme of things, all called themselves out to me, pointing out the uselessness of holding on to petty issues. It is surprisingly easy to cling to negativity, to see the bad, the difficult, and the nastiness in life. This is much easier than contemplating the common factor in these situations – you. Sometimes, there is nothing you can do to change people, or situations. What you can change is your attitude.
Fitted with a small, sunny smile, my mood was significantly lifted and all of the challenges ahead of me seemed much more manageable.