By: Victoria Clark
One of my favorite poets of all time is E.E. Cummings. Simple, true, genuine, and honest, his poems always seem to strike a special chord in me. But as I wrote this particular piece, one of his poems quickly came to mind and seemed to fit perfectly.
“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),
It’s always our self we find in the sea.”
To some people, the ocean is just another body of water, posing no real significance to their lives; however, to others, like ourselves, and in this case, Mia and Paul, the ocean is the source of many things we are grateful for. For Mia and Paul, this sentiment is especially true for it has not only given them their love for surfing, but it is also the place that initially brought them together. And despite the fact that their story seems like a fairytale, it is the genuine and honest perspective that they have that in turn makes it so special.
So, if you don’t believe in meeting someone when you least expect it, or if you are unsure why the ocean is so special to so many people, then this story will be sure to explain it.
COUPLES WE LOVE | MIA WOOLRICH AND PAUL SCHMIDT
Every couple has a story…what’s yours?
M: We met surfing! We’d both been surfing in Rockaway almost everyday the summer we met, so we always waved and smiled to each other in the water. I thought he was cute but I guess we were both too shy to actually paddle up to each other and say anything. It wasn’t until sometime that summer, when we were at the wine bar in Rockaway with a big group of mutual friends, that we finally properly introduced ourselves. We started hanging out and surfing at dawn everyday together. After about 6 months, I worked up the nerve to ask him to be my boyfriend, and he replied that he already was!
Each of you has such a busy schedule. How do you find time for being together?
P: It definitely can be tricky. Mia’s schedule with castings and shoots changes every week. Since I made the decision to shape full time in Rockaway, I am afforded a little more flexibility; can surf early in the morning when it’s up, shape when it’s down, and get to all the other business stuff in the afternoons (when the wind kicks in). The real time we spend together, when we can more or less turn off our business minds, is at night during dinner. Mia is an incredible cook. She’s always finding some new recipe to try, or inventing one on the spot, and I try to help out any way I can; chopping, mincing, setting the table. Almost every night of the week, we sit together at our little dining room table and eat together these beautiful home cooked meals and enjoy one another’s company. I feel so lucky to have that special time with her.
What do you both do to recharge?
M: I like to sleep, do some yoga, go for a surf and cuddle our dog, Teddy. If we somehow have a weekend free the best recharge for us is to get out of town, we like getting in the truck and heading out to Montauk for a night or two.
P: It’s also really nice to head upstate for a hike together with Teddy. It’s so nice to get up early and drive to Cold Spring and get away from all the noise. Sometimes we are walking through the woods and it’s so dead silent. Maybe it’s not for everyone, but we’ve found we gotta have time like that to wash off all the madness of the city hustle
What’s your perfect Date Night?
M: We spend a lot of time in Australia and Puerto Rico during the NYC winter. Our dreamiest nights would be there. An ideal date night for us would be to a go for a sunset surf together, and then have a nice dinner outdoors with some cold beers! And get to bed early.
How would you say you compliment each other, or balance each other out?
M: On the whole, we’re pretty similar. Often though there’s usually one of us that’s getting stressed out about something or overworked. This is when we really lean on each other, we see what we can do for one another to take the load off a little, and always talk things through with each other. Just being able to talk freely and have each other’s advice and support helps. Business wise, working on Paul Surf together, we’ve found our differences really compliment each other. He’s a real perfectionist (which is definitely a positive as a shaper), but sometimes he puts too much pressure on himself and can get hung up on the small stuff. I guess I’m a little more laid back in that regard and can usually help him to relax.
How do you inspire each other?
M: He inspires me to surf more! He’ll get in the water in almost any condition and have fun. I’m kinda fussy and always waiting for the perfect little glassy waves but that’s a rare occurrence, so then I don’t end up surfing as much as I’d really like. He always just makes the best of whats out there and has fun no matter what. Actually, it’s not just surfing, he’s like this in any situation and that’s refreshing and so inspiring to me.
P: Mia inspires me to relax and enjoy doing ‘nothing’. Haha, I know that sounds kinda funny, but I have a tendency to run myself into the ground with work. My girl is a true chiller, when it time is right to do so. I can be sitting on the most beautiful beach after a great surf and think, “Ok, so what do I need to do next. I should check my emails. I should do more research on this or that design..”, and then I’ll look over and see her, totally present, taking in the moment we are sharing. Such a gift.
Favorite moment together?
M: One of my favorite moments with Paul was really early on in our relationship. We were lying in bed and looking at these hilarious photos of dogs with insane haircuts and hairdyes. We were both just crying with laughter and I was just so happy in that moment to be with him. And there’s been so many of those nights since…pretty much every night we lie in bed and are laughing like crazy about some silly stuff.
P: There are so many, but I love diving and snorkeling with Mia. This past winter we were in Noosa, and there was almost zero swell, so we went out along the point with our snorkels and explored. Felt like being little kids, in a new world, pointing out things, little fish and coral, under water and then holding hands while we swim up to the next gathering of rocks. We were just being taken by the current, the ebb of the waves, and all the life there for us to discover.
What is your favorite thing about each other?
M: I think my favorite thing about him is his appreciation and love of life. He is truly interested and curious in everyone and everything. He finds beauty in everything and has a way of making you feel special.
P: She’s determined. Not in the sense that the word is often used – that one is ‘determined’ to become something else – but I mean that she’s a truly developed soul. What she believes and cares about is determined. She doesn’t let what’s cool or trendy sway her. She has the sweetest heart and she is a rock and I wouldn’t want to stand anywhere else but next to her.
Board by Paul Surf