The Spirit of the Sea Turtle

I dipped into a hidden lagoon on the leeward side of Oahu, and right there, one of my dreams came true. Snorkeling in the coral, I felt something graze my leg. I looked over and found a sea turtle the size of Smart Car gliding by and saying “hey.” He had a much smaller friend with him, too. They really took my breath away.

It was just a couple days after my birthday, and I had come to Hawaii to celebrate because I knew it’s one of those places where I’d really feel effortlessly in flow. On the islands I got to move at my speed, during a time in my life when I was feeling a lot of pressure to keep up with other people’s pace. My sea turtle friends reminded me that what others do, and whatever their expectations are of me aren’t that important. I’m on my own journey, and sometimes it involves going off course—but I’ll always figure out how to get back to my purpose when it’s time.

That’s what sea turtles do. They spend their entire lives exploring the open oceans in solitude, but (the females) always know instinctively how to get back to the same beach where they hatched.

I like to think these ancient creatures and I have a connection. I’ve always felt like an old soul—a little out of sync with my contemporaries, and I genuinely prefer simpler times. Occasionally I can be elusive, but not because I’m antisocial. It just feels natural to me to have certain life experiences as an individual.

Like me, all sea turtles love to float in warm tropical waters; but maybe I’m the Eastern Pacific green turtle, the only species that likes to swim to the shore and bask in the sun.

What’s your spirit animal?

Illustration by my super talented niece, Justine Arenas (@rosymuse)

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