the end is getting close and i don’t know how i feel

grayscale photo of woman
Photo by Oliver Sjöström on

Crossing the second shipping lane

With heavy arms that turned a thousand times,

But now the sun is risen and the fog

Has cleared to show a sea that flickers

Under daylight’s gentle morning kiss

And that dread of hours more has disappeared,

Now I’ll sort of miss relentless strokes,

The salt that once just burned my mouth

And the cold that enveloped my heart.

All that once was pain and strife

Is suddenly the reason for my life.

The end is near, I thought I’d flow

With joy at knowing I could end

This swim, this trial that has consumed

My every waking minute and

Instead I feel the ache of love

That’s being ripped away.

I just finished my third out of four essays which means that I am almost there! I am almost finished! And I am sure that most people have reached this point in something that has felt like a slog, the moment when you know it’s almost over. And the strangest thing happens. You realise that you’re going to miss it.

I’ve had this feeling over and over and I remember is most acutely from swimming the Channel. There is this feeling when you reach French waters and you know that you’re going to make it; you suddenly want to keep going. You have struggled for twelve hours, swimming through cold and dark and shipping lanes and shoals of jellyfish and you thought that you wanted nothing more than to end it.

I think that sometimes we’re addicted to pain and we just want to put our bodies and minds through hell. It makes you feel alive to feel pain and discomfort and many of us are sometimes really frightened that we aren’t living life.

I have this feeling that I’m going to end up crying when I press send on that final essay. And then I’ll probably start searching for something else to torture myself with. Because that’s the way I am.

Much Love

Rachel xx

6 thoughts on “the end is getting close and i don’t know how i feel

  1. Margot Kinberg

    How fabulous that you swam the English Channel! That’s amazing! I like the way you explore both the wonderful feeling of being done and that odd sort of almost-nostalgia. Nicely captured

  2. Isha

    Rachel, thank you so much for writing this piece, it voices so many of my emotions. You are certainly a very strong person.
    Much love to you ❤

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.