Rogue waves – the once mythical beasts of the seafarer’s tall tale – are now regarded by science as a very real phenomenon.
They are the freaks of the ocean that arise out of seemingly nowhere. They’re the anomaly in the set. The 100ft beast in the 20ft sea. The one that is impossible to see coming. That part in the story when it goes: ‘then suddenly!’
Yet oceanographer, sailor, surfer or something other; we’re all familiar with rogue waves. They appear in our lives just as frequently and unexpectedly as they do out there in the deep blue. It could be the bill you didn’t expect. The break-up when everything seemed fine. The redundancy only two months into landing that perfect job. The phone call that came right before it all went bad. The routine check-up with your GP that led to the words: ‘we’ve found a lump.’
Or maybe, your rogues are more of the introverted types? The panic attack as you’re crossing the street on just another Sunday. A whole life of feeling content when suddenly depression breaks, forcing you under the surface for longer than it feels possible to hold your breath.
So, what do you do then? Fight, resist, swim, sink, drown?
There are many ways to deal with the rogue waves in life. Though perhaps we should be taking our advice from those who deal with them as a vocation: the big wave surfer. It may feel counter-intuitive but next time, try paddling straight towards it. Relax. Take the beating. Even better, try to enjoy the ride. Knowing that sometimes we don’t have control over the outcome, but eventually we will come up for air and everything will be fine, again.
[these words about dealing with the unexpected came from the ocean]