Yeah, that old cliché. I rolled into Mudjimba on the Sunshine Coast last week and set up beachside with a few like-minded souls. Maybe 60 or so of us. Now, I don’t like crowds. The noise bangs through my head. However this is contrary to my nature, which is part social butterfly. But the swell of humanity at our Mudjimba campsite was comprised of people who share my dream of travelling and embracing freedom. I joined this group a scant two months back and this is my second catch-up. The first was a fizzer, let’s not go there. I nearly didn’t go back. So glad I did.
Anything worth doing is worth a second chance.
I hit the surf and it was like a washing machine. The Mudjimba waves break on a sandbar, then a second break as energy gathers and another set of waves crest close to the beach. Physics in its purest form. Not that I cared. The swirling water and salt up my nose, the sand grazing my flesh as I floundered in the froth. Nothing, and I mean nothing, makes me smile harder. The sea cleanses the soul.
A little shy and a bit new to the group, I fronted up to happy hour with a folding chair over my shoulder and a bottle of bubbles clenched in my hand. The sun was dropping but the warmth continued as I was swept into the circle. The nights were filled with chatter, cheese and wine. We played games and showed the children how to strategise. No agenda. And no negativity. It felt like I belonged.
I have to pause at this point and ponder on that last point. In my lifetime, I’ve often felt that I didn’t belong. That’s just the way it was. The invisible child. And more often than not that my existence was nothing more than an accident. So, what makes us feel like we belong? That we matter. That we have purpose. Is it being wanted? Loved.
As much as I’d like it to, hanging with people who share my core values is not what makes me feel real. It’s fun! More than that, it’s cozy. Comfortable. Safe. Hell yeah, it’s safe. But safe is not what I’m about. And it sure as hell shouldn’t be what you want from life. I’ve met enough people who play it safe to know it’s a waste of time. Stepping through life is like drinking decaffeinated coffee. You get one shot at this, so it needs to be a double espresso. With a splash of cream.
Sunday it rained. Not all day, but on and off. I thought about writing. Doing something useful. But I did not. I watched Netflix and cruised the news channels. A bit later, I wandered up to the hub and was enveloped by good humour. The games were in full swing. Back to grab a jacket and beer as the temperature dropped outside. Summer? Maybe.
This morning was bright and clear as I packed up my stuff. Another place, another me.