My name is Devon. My story was once told in a $2 notebook from a cold footstool in the back stacks of my high school library. It was therapy for me then just like it is now. I add to it in my head while I'm surfing, with a mechanical pencil before bed, and with my calloused fingers on silky keyboard keys during my daughter's nap time.
I don't know if my story is worth reading, but I want to write it down anyways because I feel like I have to. I have to write sentences that may never become anything and share stories I might forget with the hope that they might feed another soul, like they do mine.
I once heard that everyone feels like the outsider no matter who they are or what they do. That's exactly what I felt like when I started writing in my Harriet the Spy inspired notebook in sixth grade. With my writing and surfing, and with motherhood as well, I guess, I am trying to be who I truly am in hopes that it will prove that none of us are totally alone.
I don't think I remember this day pictured above, but I'm sure I was wondering what that loud blue thing meant in my life. So far it has meant meeting a shoeless, sandy-haired sailor who called me out for my bad tan lines and later became my husband. It's meant losing surf contests and winning one when no one was around to watch. It's meant hitting the bottom on a big swell like a fork shot out of a cannon. It's meant vacations drifting around on a salty-carpeted 1950s powerboat with my mom and dad and two younger sisters that taught me about who we are as a family. It's meant meeting friends who draw surfing dogs and being the only person out in a storm. It's meant telling some guy to "get some balls and get your own waves" when I was in a territorial mood. It's meant realizing dreams and constantly chasing them.
The ocean gives me a sense that there's something out there bigger than me that knows better. I love surfing and writing because I feel like they let me figure things out and then let them go. Sometimes when I'm surfing I feel like I get to open my heart like a garage door and dump everything out and then shut it, keeping only the things I need behind.
My dad taught me to surf when I was 9. He signed me up for a surf camp soon after where my cousin and I just pretended to drown so the hot instructors would save us. My dad and I still surf together every Friday, but I do the opposite of allowing the boys to think I need their help now.
I can't give my dad full credit for my love of the ocean, though. My mom used to take us to the beach every week. She and her friends would tan and talk while we ran around burying each other in holes and drinking the waves.
With surfing in my life, it feels like I can open a doorway to those moments any time I want to. I think it's a sport for Peter Pans.
I was born and raised in the San Joaquin Hills of Southern Orange County, California in a town known for its beaches and art festivals, but not for any of its sports teams. Now my husband Scott and I call San Diego home. We live in a funky beach town down the street from my parents. Our cars are always salty.
Scott was born in a valley in Ventura County, California and grew up down the street from the local high school. He played baseball, following after his grandfather, father, and uncle, but ditched his mitt (and school sometimes) for boardshots and Churchill swim fins. He has two younger sisters too. We met in a drafty garage next to a keg of beer while attending college in San Diego.
We have a daughter, Avalon Wild, named after a harbor on our favorite island, Catalina. When I look at her, I think the same thing I think when I look at the ocean: what a gift.
These days, my story is told from a single story home with cold wood floors, warm white walls and a broken fireplace. Thanks for reading.