So I made my decision. And in the end I went with my gut feeling. I followed my nose and sniffed out a couple of factories, fingered the boards of great shapers and made my decision based on which felt the rightest. I don’t understand the mechanics behind it but it’s like this …. I had an image in my head of what I wanted created and I went with the person I felt most likely to produce that image. It was a gamble, but I felt happy because then it became a case of seeing and waiting rather than worrying I made the wrong decision. I knew I'd made the right one. I still know. I just didn't know how exactly the board was going to turn out.
But this is the part of the creative process where we have no control, I could only communicate my needs and offer as much guidance towards my vision as clearly as possible. Unless I became a surfboard shaper, it was out of my hands. It's a case of letting go.
In this whole mini journey I have faced some difficult decision making which has encouraged me to study decision making and the creative process in general.
First off, I had to make peace with not buying an eco board. I feel so guilty. Surfboards are toxic. But the decision to purchase a tradition fibreglass board over an eco one was overridden by complete and utter desire. I so want a traditional log. So this is the compromise… this is my last surfboard that is not sustainable and eco friendly…. (OK possibly my second last one). It's my second surfboard I have ever had made, and my last one lasted 10 years. I'm planning on turning it into a shower, so at I least get to embrace some sort of sustainability project with it.
But this is the last time I indulge in such unearthly behaviour. And I will live with the guilt. Because that desire will be fulfilled when I’m sliding along tiny waves on the nose and that guilt will hopefully be transformed into “Thank you thank you thank you!”
I also had to be prepared for disappointment. Not get my expectations up into the clouds somewhere. It was just a board. Keep things in perspective.
Finally, I had to remember to not get too attached to my creation, because she was going to age and certainly wasn't going to last forever. She was made to be ridden and was going to encounter dents and dings. And if I was going to be pushing myself and progressing as a surfer I couldn’t be afraid of what might happen when doing so. The board was designed specifically as a tool for fun, so I was going to have to be ok with it being used properly and one day potentially falling apart.
I nearly cried when I first saw her. She was perfect. And I can confirm that every time I take my new board into the sea I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Today, after a particularly gleeful slide, I exclaimed out loud: “This board was made for me!”.
And the choices, decisions, knowing, creative control, attachment, lessons and approach all filtered off into the distance because it just came down to one thing - pure joy in that moment.
I once told my ex my dream of owning a rainbow nose rider… His response was: “You can’t! You'll look like an idiot!” I was a little bit crushed. I’m a sensitive soul, yet I hadn’t realised just how much those two little words truly impacted my self esteem and dented my confidence on the path to pursuing my dreams - albeit materialistic ones.
Possibly something I had heard before - from parents, teachers, friends, family, authority - these two words represent every negative influence or intangible barrier ever erected, eventually forming and reaffirming the resounding voice that becomes responsible for denying us access to our dreams.
So today I smiled as I glided past him on my rainbow nose rider. The point is - nobody else gets a say in what you dream. And even if they do, don’t listen to them - because it’s your dream. Today I saw the evidence : I CAN. And whatever your dreams… You can too.