St Thomas to St Maarten: Live Your Life
We made it to St Maarten with no problem. There was hardly any wind and the seas were slight so it made for an easy crossing under motor.
When I was a baby, my mom would take us boating so she could sunbathe while we napped (anyone who knows Lisa, knows that’s not far off!). When I was a toddler I would go out with my parents on the 19ft Mako and sit all the way up at the bow with my arms wrapped around the metal railings sitting on the gunwale. They would have to watch me because I would always start nodding off up there. If you’ve ever been on a 19ft Mako, you know that it is not the smoothest ride, and the bow definitely takes the worst of it. There we’d be, slamming through “The Gut” and I’d be snoozing.
As we cruised past St John, I watched the little island that had become such a huge part of my life, my home, my world, fade away in to the distance. After the initial wave of nostalgia and sadness came and went, I found myself in the same state I remembered from being a little kid on a boat. A zombie-like exhaustion swept over me and all I could think was “I need a bed”. The captain showed us through the deck log, the engine log and the chart plotting that would be required during our watches. I then went to lie down.
As the boat gently glided through the small waves I started to psyche myself out. I’ve never been seasick before, not even on the delivery from New York, but I started to worry that I wasn’t feeling so good. Now, for the first time in my life, my potential seasickness would not just be a little bit embarrassing, it would be a deal breaker. I would lose the dream job. I would have to pack my stuff and head home. I would have to post an update that said I couldn’t hack it! The more I thought about it the more I felt like I was going to puke.
Suddenly, the picture of four of my best friends from St John flew out of the cubby where I had carefully stowed it for the trip. I picked it up and looked at the hilarious motley crew wearing sombreros and mustaches and I laughed out loud. This was definitely the girls telling me to snap out of it. I put the photo back and laid back down with a smile on my face. I wasn’t seasick; I was freaking myself out for no reason. I slept soundly until my 2am watch, and up on deck I felt even better. I remembered the feeling of being out at sea.
With this crew we are doing solo watches, which I’m really stoked about. I love being out there listening to music and being alone with my thoughts. When you’re on watch at night, alone, with no land around, you become so acutely aware of your surroundings. Every light, every spot on the radar, every rogue wave, every gust tells you something. All of your senses are heightened in a distinct way. In those moments you feel extraordinarily alive. It’s invigorating, humbling, potent…
On Tuesday night I met up with a friend form high school that I haven’t seen in 5 years. He sent me a message that he was in St Maarten on vacation with a friend and we decided to meet up. They picked me up from the marina and we went out for dinner.
I discovered that they were both suffering from broken hearts. When I probed a little too far, one of the guys clenched his heart and asked me to stop right there. He was clearly not enjoying this conversation. To lighten the mood I offered up the comical tale of the end to my last serious relationship. We all had a laugh and were able to move on – if only I could have told myself a year ago that my heartache would one day become a punch line, I really could’ve saved myself some time!
It was nice to chat with someone from my former life. He asked me all the standard NYC questions, “So, what is the end goal here?” “Where do you see yourself in five years?” and, my personal favorite, “When are you coming back to the real world?” I was able to shrug off the questions but I don’t think I adequately conveyed the idea that I am happy, I am successful, and I am whole. There is more than one way to live your life and the life I choose to live makes me happy. I truly hope that everyone else is happy with their choices and I’d never suggest that my way is better or worse.
Speaking of loving my life, I have a few positive newsletters that I subscribe to. Some of these newsletters provide healthy recipes, some provide yoga poses and exercise advice, and some just provide advice on how to be the best you can be. I started following Sara’s blog “Love Your Life” last year. I’m always excited when a new post pops up in my email from her. I never expected for my story to be included in one of her inspirational posts but today I was totally shocked and honored to see it there! Click on the link to find the article.
I hope everyone is doing well, I appreciate all of the support that has been sent my way and I think of you guys all the time! Please feel free to write back with any updates you may have, books you recommend, or just to tell me how annoying I am!