Lake Tahoe is my favorite place to go when I need a little break from the Bay Area landscape. Sometimes I just need a bit more of a majestic mountain summit and a beautiful blue lake in my direct view for a mental reset. This is a First World problem, I know. I grew up skiing and snowboarding in Tahoe during the winter, and in the summer, lake time is still my favorite. I just recently discovered the enjoyment and relaxation element of stand up paddleboarding, or SUPing as the cool outdoorsy people would say.
However, due to my brain being on overload lately, and summer coming to a close, my subconscious mind decided to give me the gift of a dreamy blue nightmare. The setting? Just a short 3 mile drive up north to my most happy place.
The SUP rental was paid for and ready to go. In a matter of minutes, Lake Tahoe turned into a treacherous, swelling ocean with 100 foot tsunami-grade waves reaching up over everyone. What I was most concerned about wasn’t saving my own life or helping those around me. My daughter was tucked away and safe with someone else. My son was a stuffed animal. I think he was a Tsum Tsum, swaddled and sleeping. My husband? Accounted for, I think.
The waves reached up. Way up. My only concern was being totally bummed out about wasting money on the board rental. I continued watching the Mavericks-style waves, in horror and amazement. Someone, (maybe it was my dad?) suggested that I wear a life vest when I finally decide to go out there on the SUP. Good advice. I never went out on the board though. My hard earned make-believe money was wasted.
I don’t recall much more, but when I woke up, I instantly identified the scene as a stress induced dream. It was kind of cool to watch those waves though.
So what did I learn?
The mind works in ridiculous ways, especially when you’re stressed. It can take you for a ride. It’s beautiful. It’s strange. It’s weird. When you stand up against the 100 foot wave, and you’re not sure what to do, you learn that you are human. You are small in comparison to the rest of the world.
The nerves will bubble up on Monday on my 14th first day of school. I will visualize my stomach as a creamy coated, animated Pepto-Bismol pink after the first bell rings. But I will know that it’s all okay. I will stop, drop, and embrace. Breathing will help too.
I will not wear pink on the first day of school. I will wear blue in honor of my favorite (calm) lake.
■ Elementary Educator for Equity & Cultural Responsibility
■ Collector of Small Moments & Thrifty Finds
■ Wife & Mother
■ Bay Area, CA