I've spent way too much of my early 20's reading economic textbooks and novels... I guess the upside is that eventually you'll find a conceptual intersection between what you're studying academically and your creative recreation. For me, this is the performance art of wave riding.
Although we are embedded in an economic system that is focused on growth in metrics such as Gross Domestic Product & consumption, it is important to be curious about what these measures of well being actually mean and how it compares to an actual individual's measure of well being... this is much more eloquently put by the author of Small Is Beautiful, British economist E. F. Schumacher. Nevertheless, I think it's important to take the current surfing ideology of externally adrenaline centric boundary pushing and invert it, turning the focus inward on the self and it's own unique form of self expression. If surfing big waves or doing mind blowing airs doesn't suit you, play to your strengths and what serves you in your aquatic adventures.
The owner of Mollusk Surf Shop, John McCambridge, and I were discussing an example of this through our experiences of night surfing. If you were surfing in the dark, with no one else around, and no one to watch you, how would your approach differ in comparison to your day-to-day sessions? John pointed out that he puts absolutely no focus on doing turns and turns his approach towards source energy acquisition. I think that nobody displays the essence of "small is beautiful" better than the first hand imagery of Alex Swanson with his twofeetandfiring hashtag. He really shows how those moments when you're just messing around in some average waves at Blackies can take you to a whole different interdimensional stoke sphere.
This is a focus on the individual, so remember, everyone is different; however, if you are experiencing something that others don't seem to experience, get curious, tap into that, keep doing what feels good. I for one would much rather watch someone go as straight as their heart desires than watch someone force a credit card air reverse.
With good vibes,
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