Sand breathers/ envious and bitter/ in tight skin and mottled waves/ they’ve waited their turn/ for you//
Photo supplied by Ashlee Harrison
Everyone longs for the beach. They talk about long summer days. Tans. Waves.
Not so much.
I love the idea of the ocean. I’m awed by it’s scale. It’s depth. It’s mystery. The sound of crashing waves. I love the taste of salt.
And I do like to visit the beach.
For maybe half an hour.
To stroll along while I eat an icecream.
I am mostly bored.
So the beach. Not so much.
I have a beautiful office a stone’s throw away from a gorgeous, picture perfect beach. It’s fairly wasted on me. I think sometimes a lot of wonderful things are wasted on me. Not because I don’t appreciate them. I do appreciate them in the sense that I feel grateful for the offers, the opportunities, and in that I recognize the enormous worth of every (well, most) single thing placed into my hands. Sometimes too much. But wasted in the sense that in the year I’ve had that office, in all the lunch breaks I’ve had, I’ve visited that beautiful beach once. Just once. And I think about all the people who long for the beach, whose souls are fed by its sights and sounds and who are stuck in tiny cubicles in the middle of the CBD.
I have other privileges I haven’t asked for.
I am white.
I am Australian.
And despite a less than stellar start to adulthood, I also now fit (rather awkwardly) into the ‘middleclass’ (whatever that means).
I didn’t ask for those privileges. I didn’t seek them. But I do benefit from them. In large and in subtle ways. On a daily basis.
I have a friend who loves the beach. She yearns for it. She works in remote Australia far away from the beach. She can’t visit the beach on her weekends. But she can see my Instagram photos of my visits to the beach. She can live vicariously through the access I provide. If I visited the beach more.
This is a bigger conversation I’m having with myself.
I don’t know what I’m trying to say with all of this exactly. Just that, it matters to me. Trying to find a way. To find justice. To have access. To share this light, this love, this world.
Access denied/ the way forward/ cleared with love/ words shouted into the wind/ together, or alone/ we must/ breathe//
Ashlee Harrison. Clipboard Queen. Superhero in heels. Zero to Hero CEO.
“Cut the fluff.”
Another precious member of the YSP tribe. Check out and support her phenomenal work with Zero to Hero here.
Zero to Hero delivers school based programs to empower and educate young people to effectively deal with mental health issues.
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