The Lament of the Unemployable.



1995 was a special year for me. I had just left a long-term job and found something that I felt was better than my previous job. I was really looking forward to something new. It was also a special year because hurricane after hurricane lined up as if they were taking a ride on a conveyor belt. Each one swung by Florida sending us great swells as they steamed by on their way to colder North Atlantic waters.

One day, it was job interview time. I put on my suit and met with the Human Resource Manager. We chatted and I answered the prerequisite stock questions with ease. Smiling, the manager welcomed me aboard and after the good-bye thank you; I jumped into my vehicle and set a course eastward.

Soon I arrived in the parking lot and changed out of the business suit and within minutes I was duck diving through a sea of churning soup. Finally, I cleared the mid-break and I sprinted my way out the back.

Joining a pod of surfers, I positioned myself the furthest out. I glanced to the north and I could see my friends bobbing about…Whopper, Doug D., Erie, and Brian. They were busy scouting the horizon so my presence was not noticed.

Then the lumps appeared on the horizon and began to approach from the south. Bingo! I was in the spot. Whipping around, I began to stroke for the shore at a fever pitch. The wave began to lift me higher and higher up the wave face. Finally, I could sense the shift and pushed my hands hard on the deck to take the late drop.

From there, it was easy. I slowed off the bottom as the wave began to heave shoreward. My arms dug into the wave’s face and then I was completely enclosed with just one portal to aim for. A few moments later, the wave regurgitated and I was released to the hoots from my friends.

Welcome to a new chapter in your life!

The Present

How I Wish You Were Here.

I just started a new job and maybe in an odd homage to 1995, the hurricanes have been pumping in surf non-stop. Yet, there has been no surfing for me for many weeks. My only connection to the sea has been through my laptop. Some live contest feeds. Surfline cams and pictures on all the usual sites. This next beginning has come in an uneasy way.

The day I drove my car out of the security gate a year and a half ago, I had no idea how difficult the future test I was going to go through was going to be. The first few months were not bad at all. I surfed and I visited my fiancé in Fortaleza. By the 6th month, I was still enjoying the ability to surf when the waves were at their best. However, I could begin to sense that things were not going well at all. I was applying for jobs but the resumes seemed to be entering a black hole of sorts.Occasionally I would get an interview but it always ended with me losing out to someone. This went on and on until finally a year passed.

Within the past 4 months, I hit the bottom. Sometimes I could go to the beach but it was mainly just to push my son into some waves. Most of the time, it came with some hard choices. Should I surf or pay a few of the bills I could afford. Life always beat out surfing.

Now I am getting a new start but times are different. The swells are pumping in but I am not there to be spat out to the cheers of my buddies. I am waiting for my first paycheck to come and the opportunities that come with it. A chance to once again be productive. The chance to once again travel and to be with my fiancé. The ability to replace my worn out surfboard.

Until then I can only close my eyes and hear the squeaking of the sand beneath my feet. I can feel the pull of the water dragging me towards the channel that runs along the jetty. I can see the peak just past the end of the public jetty.



About 1stpeaksteve

Welcome to The Side Wedge! The Side Wedge is a product of the journey through life of Steve Zima. Former professional surfer, a writer, surf coach, and hospitality manager. This is a collection of travel tips, motivation, and stories from my past. Finally, I offer surf coaching through The Side Wedge. Please feel free to contact me with questions if you want to improve your performance today! Thanks for reading!
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3 Responses to The Lament of the Unemployable.

  1. 1stpeaksteve says:

    I edited this post! Sometimes I just get in a hurry and begin typing in a frenzy and hit the publish button. My subscribers sometimes end up reading content that ends up being refined by the next day…my apologies!

    Thanks to my buddy Scott…the guy always lets me know when I make mistakes. Sadly, he is the worst speller I know. Ha ha ha! Thanks though buddy!

  2. Vic says:

    I can relate.. I remember ’95, in college, working nights & surfing a bunch. Now I have a wife, a young son, & recently switched jobs which have equalled much less water time than I could’ve ever imagined. Great read Steve!!

    • 1stpeaksteve says:

      Thanks Vic!

      I am sure my schedule will gel out at some point. Man, it is painful to see swells coming in and you have to run around and pay past due bills. And it is still pumping here – which is not to common for Florida.

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