I kept telling myself that one day I’d conquer my ultimate fear of beaches.
Today is that day. Maybe. I’m sitting here on a cliff near the shore, dramatically looking down upon my ultimate enemy with the wind in my hair. It’s very dramatic…or it would be, if the fear wasn’t clawing at my chest as I watch the waves rolling in.
Ever since I was little, I haven’t set foot on a beach; not very Australian, I know. I was far too young to be watching Snores, the harrowing Steelberg movie about a killer narcoleptic shark, but my Uncle thought it was funny to show it to me and give me nightmare forever. Mum and Dad never let him babysit me again, but the damage was done. I never wanted to go near a beach again. Last year I even won some luxury Lorne accommodation in a raffle, and I was thrilled until I looked up Lorne and saw that it was near the coast. Sure, I could probably go along and just not go near the beach, but…this place was pretty much right there on the coast. I wouldn’t be able to sleep with the sound of the sea in the distance. I’d go to bed, and even if I got to sleep I’d have nightmares all night about a sleepy shark crawling onto the shore and causing havoc. Ironically, that’s what the movie is about: a perfectly harmless shark who has such vivid dreams that he sleepwalks ashore and spreads terror through a sleepy fishing hamlet.
Snore changed my life, and not for the better, making me wonder if I’d ever get over it. But here I am, overlooking my greatest fear. I’ve been undergoing therapy, and I even managed to watch Snuffles and his Dolphin Friends, supposedly the tamest movie about the ocean ever created. Got myself a lovely Lorne hotel a little bit inland but still technically on the coast. And now I’m here. Baby steps, but…I might be able to go for a walk along the seafront. Then tomorrow…the beach!