I am somewhat uncomfortable in my new digs; not in the inside space itself - there is enough room, and it's quite functional, and I'm getting settled in. But in the building itself, on the block where it is located, in the subsection of the larger neighborhood where it sits.
I've decided however, that it's good for me. This change. This different perspective. It's making me think about a lot of things, to question things I hadn't really considered. As well as to reflect back on all that has come before.
I moved to San Diego in 1986, which seems impossible. I've grown up here. I'm a different person than I was in the late 80s. Or am I? You know, I don't think I really am, I'm the same person with a lot more years of life experience. It took all those previous years of living life, day by day, to get me where I am right now. (Yes, to a dump in OB!)
So when I opened the Surfer Magazine that was in my mailbox, courtesy of the previous collegiate surfer tenants, I was blown away by the first article I started to read.
After myriad ads, a photo layout, the editorial credits, letters to the editors, and more advertisements, the first section of the first article featured someone I knew. Well, not knew, knew, but knew in the sense that I knew his name, and saw him in passing often, and many, many times was witness to the amazing show he would put on out in the water.
I had a crush on the boy, in fact, even though he was younger than I. He was still in high school, whereas I was a sophomore in college, but he lived only a few blocks away, one of those kids who was born and raised in Mission Beach.
|Gilley photo, Surfer Magazine, Nov 2012|
So it was both interesting and nostalgic for me to read this write up of where he is now.
He isn't very far.
No. He's right up in Bay Park, the neighborhood where my kids go to school. He's married with a daughter. He works at a local grocery store.
|Ellis photo, Surfer Magazine, Nov 2012|
The article goes on to ponder why. Was it that he never got enough money to stay pro? Or was it that he preferred staying local to traveling the world in search of the perfect, gigantic wave? Or was it immaturity and a lack of social skills that they mention in the article? There was also a very real injury that ultimately changed his surfing course.
The article made me cry.
There are so many roads in life. And very few markers. The what ifs can get pretty debilitating sometimes, which is why, of course, we should never go there.
But don't we all want to be surf legends in our own way? Don't we all have that desire, at least in passing, to "wow" the world?
The truth is that few of us will, at least in such a public way. And the truth is we might just be better off this way.
But reading this article, seeing his photos, knowing his current status made me weep for the missed chances, the roads not taken, the opportunities lost.