Bringing my boat home – 3rd leg and home

It’s home, at the dock as I type. My boat, my dream, resting well in her new home. She’s had to put up with me learning along the way but she survived and so did I. We’ve gotten to know each other better over the last couple of weeks. This last leg was from the beginning of the Albemarle Sound down the Alligator River over to Pamlico and finally Little Washington. She’s stubborn and prefers to be with plenty of wind. Her engine is electric and has an attitude of its own as well.

If she’s not fully charged she’ll let you think you’re OK until she decides you’re not. Then she just slows down, creeping forward, eternally slower and slower… you begin to notice the land isn’t moving next to you and that you’re giving her all she’s got… The ICW requires motor power unless the wind is absolutely perfect, which it wasn’t. It’s beautiful for sure, but, without a way to recharge my engine it begins to look very, very long. I can see the last bridge in the distance. I know that afterward I’ll have a chance of more wind but alas, I stare at the bridge for over an hour, it never gets closer.┬áSuch a lovely bridge, less than a couple of miles away. I could have probably swam that distance faster than my boat was going. Sigh. No wind, darkening skies, engine slowing and now not even moving forward…

I can see the bridge in the distance…

I finally make the call. I call for a tow boat. I really don’t want to but I’d like even less to spend the night on the ICW with no batteries and no way to charge them and no hope of more wind in the morning. It has to happen. I make the call, and we wait. It’s dark now with the bridge just slightly closer and we see them rushing towards us and then slowing to ask us if we’re on the hook. No. We’re not on the hook, we’re just not moving. They come and tie ropes onto us and then off we go. Six plus knots now, the icy wind in our faces for an hour, maybe more? As we head to our destination marina for the night to charge up and begin all again, I ponder why I wanted to do this in the first place. With less thought than was required to give them a call, I discover that I don’t mind the icy wind, nor the quiet night. I don’t mind having to take more time to get where we need to go. I just love being on my boat regardless of the circumstances. I discover I have no regrets, none.

We make to Belhaven, set the boat to charge up for the night and go to bed. Next morning, the charge still isn’t complete and I worry. I wonder what is wrong and if I’ve done something wrong. Yup! I sure have. I didn’t plug the 30 amp cord in correctly. I’ve melted my cord and it’s a wonder I didn’t set my boat on fire. We still have some battery and the winds today are supposed to be stellar. We plug in better with another cord and go get breakfast. A little more charge makes me feel better. After breakfast we’re off to a great start. Once we are out of the marina the wind is perfect, we’re sailing now. 6, sometimes 7 knots with the wind at our backs. My boat is loving this! She’s meant for weather like this. Before we know it we’re already on the Pamlico heading toward home. There’s another marina we consider stopping at to recharge some over lunch but the wind is so good we don’t want to waste it so we keep on sailing.

As we get closer to the river leading to Bath, I notice we’re not moving as well. The wind is a little less and off our side so I adjust the sails some and we’re still doing well, about 4 knots. I look over and notice the land isn’t moving again. What have I missed? There’s still a little wind but it’s not enough to keep us moving forward. I try tacking and do pretty well for a little while. Then when we turn I use the engine a little to get us ready to tack again. We’re at least moving forward again. But what is going on? Why is it so hard? The tide! The tide is going out, against us. We use the engine more but the battery is already complaining. We’d passed up the marina we could have charged at. The only other option is Bath. Bath is a mile and a half up the river just to our right. I might have enough battery to get there. I radio them and decide to go for it.

When we do finally arrive at Bath we are moving along at about a knot and a half. It took us over an hour to make it there with our engine slowing down the entire way. We plug in using the owner’s cord since I don’t trust mine, walk to the local Family Dollar to get some sandwich meat and then go back to the boat. It was a good stop, we met a few people, enjoyed some conversation and learned some more about my engine. What we failed to do, though, was stay. About 4 o’clock, I got antsy. I wanted to get home tonight and I really thought we could do it. We took the boat and motored back to the Pamlico and made our turn, no problems.

Then, then the damn thing decides it’s not going forward any longer. The battery slows but the wind picks up a little and we’re begin moving forward at least, just not quickly. It’s starting to get dark again and we still aren’t at our destination. Looking at the map, we just aren’t that far away. Why can’t we make it there? Do I really have to call for a tow, yet again?? I hate asking for help. Yes, I know that’s a problem but it’s just the way I am. I’m learning to ask more often but I still don’t like it. I wait. We are sailing somewhat after all. It really is getting darker, though, and colder. I make the call, again. AGAIN! Can I not get home without help?? No. I can’t. I have to allow others to help me and I have to learn to ask. They say an hour, and an hour passes. An hour fifteen, an hour and a half… I call again. That boat got into the crab pots and a different one was heading our way but would be another hour. We wait. Finally we see them and they make their way to us. I’m relieved beyond belief! It’s time for us to get home.

The sun is setting and the boat is slowing.

Thankfully, we arrive at our home marina full of health and in time to catch our ride to the house. My boat is home, resting, and charging with her shiny new 30 amp cord. We’ve made it. Our journey began in Norfolk, Virginia and ended in Washington, NC. We followed the ICW most of the way and we learned a lot. I’m no longer clueless with sailing. I’m not an expert but I’m much better than I was when I began. I started out not knowing anything. Instead of giving up or never trying I kept at it and I’ve become captain of my own sailboat, one that I can sail on my own if I choose. I’ve faced my fears and I’ve allowed myself to grow. I can’t imagine having not at least tried.

I look forward to my adventures to come. What would life be like if we all lived our dreams and didn’t let fear stop us? Thank you for allowing me to share mine with you,

thank you for reading,

me

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Living MY Life

I woke up early this morning having remembered another dream. I try to write them down before I forget them. I find it interesting how my subconscious works and whenever I get to see a picture of it after a dream I grasp at it in order to learn more about myself. It seems I’ve been on this long trail of discovering who I am since I am no longer being held back by my past… The weirdest thing of all is that when I put my past behind me is that my future became a giant possibility. I literally could become anything or anyone I want to become and it’s weird. I like the word weird… not quite scary, not quite fun… different, weird.

The part of my dream that I was able to capture was like being in a 3D movie as if I was flying a plane off of a cliff and then dipping down and finally leveling off safely ahead. My first impression when I woke up was that I was scared of my future. But I don’t worry about being scared anymore. Fear is healthy, it helps me plan and tests me. Fear is something I follow now so that I can understand me. I’ve discovered that as I follow my fears that I am able to grow and that life on the other side can be amazing.

Last night was the first night I spoke to another person about my intentions of moving, the first time I verbally said that I am going to relocate after I graduate. Up until now I’d say I was thinking about it, not that I actually am going to do it. Words have power. When I said I am moving it became real for me and so fear set in. It’s like jumping off of a cliff and then learning to fly and finally soar.

I’m excited, I’m scared. I’m beginning to create my life as I would have it look and it’s an amazing feeling. Now that I’ve said “I am moving,” I will take action, real action. Whenever I make a final decision followed by action, my results are guaranteed. I sometimes take forever to come to a decision, but once made, things move quickly. And I’m certain things will move quickly now… I graduate in May, pharmacy boards after, and job… I’m less than 6 months from when I plan on moving. Wow! scary… exciting.

Do something scary today, let yourself grow.

thanks for reading,

me

Underwhelmed?

Underwhelmed… I’m up but I’m not feeling it today. I have a list of things I need to accomplish but I don’t want to do any of them. I want to go back to sleep but I’m not tired. I even went back to bed and put a pillow over my head; didn’t work. It’s a fine hour to be awake, not even early at almost 8. I did get up, and I decided to come and sit and write. I’m sipping on my coffee and hopefully that will help.

Things on my list today include: running to the post office, studying, working on my business, making a call to insurance for my son, going to the park with a girlfriend, and selling a dog igloo. I don’t go back on rotation until next week.

Things I ought to consider working on: my bees (they need winterizing), my house needs cleaning, my lawn needs mowing, my bed needs changing. I ought to think of cooking and showering and calling the internet guys. Sweeping would be useful as well.

What I really want? This is the problem… not a problem, but at a standstill momentarily… I want to go sailing. I want to go up and get my boat (yes I’m buying it!) and sail it down. I want to feel the breeze in my hair (even if it is short), listen to the waves, watch the sails, and just feel the peace which comes when I’m on the ocean waters. I want to smell the salty scents of the water and feel the spray from the splashes. I want to stand proud and calm, knowing that I am living a life that I love and knowing that when I do so I give others permission to do so as well. That’s what I want.

I want to be done with my school so I can move forward with my consulting. I want to help others be healthy and help them to take control of their lives. I want to be able to jump-start their lives, their dreams, so they can begin to live again. That’s what I want too. I want others to see their own spark and to help them to grow it into a burning flame, a raging fire. I want others to see their worth and know that a life they love is possible.

Am I asking too much? Nope. Not at all. I’m likely not asking enough. This is a great big amazing world we live in. Anything we dream is possible. If you can think it, it can happen. What do you want?

thanks for reading,

me

 

A Boat?

Did I find a boat for me? One I can learn on? One that is big enough but not quite ready? I may have. My youngest and I drove up to see her, it took about three and a half hours to get there. We got up early that morning and then drove and drove and drove. It was fun.

We got there and found the boat. It wasn’t a perfect boat but it felt perfect. When we got on board and looked around we felt comfortable, at home. There are things that need to be fixed, all surface things, things like upholstery and some minor woodwork. And it needs cleaning. Like I said, we felt very comfortable.

We then prepared to sail. We motored out to the river and then set sail. The feeling of the wind in my hair, the sounds of the waves rushing by, the freedom. It was easy to sail and felt right. Do I buy something because it feels right? Or do I make a sound financial decision? Or do I do both? Both. I’m not going to buy something that doesn’t feel right.

But, am I going to go forward with my dreams? Am I going to take the chance on a life that I love? Am I brave enough to go into unknown territory? Life is about the adventure anyways, isn’t it? What good would it be if I never truly set out to live? I’ve had my share of wasted years. I’ve done my time in the dungeon. I’m not going back there again.

What did I decide? I decided I’m going to go for it. I’m going to make my dreams come true. I’m going to live into the unknown because it can’t be worse than where I’ve been but it can be better. I have moved forward on the boat and I will update again soon. I’m excited and a little scared. Being just a little scared means that I’m doing something right. I’ve learned that following my fears means I’m following my dreams. I’m learning to trust myself.

thank you for reading,

me

What’s it like to be me?

What’s it like to be me? What is my ‘normal’ day like? Lately, my day begins when I go to bed at night. As I finally get ready to go to bed exhausted, no matter the time, sometimes 10, sometimes midnight… I always go to bed exhausted. Then my children think it’s a great time to talk. I love this. I cherish this, they are a part of my heart line and I love to know them… but I’m exhausted, couldn’t we have talked a couple of hours ago? Finally after shooing them away with enough love and hugs I settle down to sleep. It used to take me hours to fall asleep while I had so much on my mind but now it’s so much better. Now I fall asleep within minutes. I wake slightly a few times in the night as the dogs I sleep with decide they are cold and want under the covers with me but mostly I sleep well. Sometimes in the early morning I hear my daughter cry because of a nightmare and I climb out of bed and hold her some for a few minutes and then try to go back to bed again. But once I wake after 4 in the morning there’s really no point in sleeping because sleep will not come. If I wake fully after 2 I will likely fall back to sleep but it will take a while.

When morning comes, often before, I wake up and make my way to the table to have a cup of coffee and to write. I love this hour or two before the rest of the world wakes. It’s my time, it’s precious and it builds me up. I write some on my blog or I write in my journal or both. I never dreamed in a thousand years that I’d be a writer some day. If I have to go to my rotation site then I go get my shower and start my day after I’ve written some and had my coffee. If I have the day off then I write or read until the kids wake up, about 8. I love this part of my life. The next several hours are packed full of doing things. Things that have to be done like laundry, or cooking, or studying, or paying bills, or making calls, or finding someone to fix my car or mow my lawn. Then the evening comes and I start all over again…

That’s just the physical world around me… Inside? Inside is different. Inside I worry and think. I pray and I hope. I hear my child ask for a hug and I give it to him or her. I see my kids avoid life on their computers or phones and I make them go outside. I ask about school and see how they are doing. And I dream. I dream of getting my degree and of earning the top spot in my virtual franchise that I’ve been in for years. I dream of living on a boat and of learning to sail. I dream of waking up to the waves and the rain. Of waking to the sounds of birds and of wind. I dream of living a life that I love. I already love my life, though, but I dream of making it less on physical things and more on the things that truly matter. I see myself as a calm spot in the midst of chaos. I see others being able to rely on me for peace and hope. I see myself being able to provide counseling and love to others. I wonder again why I am in this loveless town so far from the water. I can see myself teaching and I know that I can make a difference in other’s lives.

There’s another part of me that I’m just beginning to understand. I love hard. I’ve always loved hard. What I didn’t realize was that when I do I lose a piece of myself. I need the water and the sea to help me find me. As much as I love people and want so much to help them, it drains me. I need space and openness and the outdoors to refuel me. I really do need the quiet and the sea to breathe deeply. I can feel when someone is upset, and when I do I yearn to help them. The problem is sometimes I can’t help. And often times there are many people all at once. One or two or even five or six or heaven forbid ten or more people whose emotions blast me like a fire. Sometimes that’s what it feels like. How do I function when there are so many? This is why I take my escapes like others take medicine. Without my escapes I cannot refuel and I begin to fall into the chaos with the others. What good am I if I cannot breathe?

thank you for reading,

me

Life is for living

Live dangerously. Take chances. Dream. We all come into this world the same way. We all leave it the same way too. We are born and we die. We know how it begins and we know how it ends, why not make the middle more interesting? That’s the living part.

I’m tired of living vicariously through others. I want my own adventures, my own chances to fail. I want to live for the sake of living. It’s interesting, coming to the end of my school career. I’ll be a licensed pharmacist by this time next year. So what am I going to do with it? Who am I going to be? How do I want my life to look in ten years? five? three?

It’s easier to know what I don’t want than to know what I want. I don’t want where I’m at. I don’t want to get up, go to work, wish I was off, go home, go to sleep, and get up and do it all over again. I can hear my ‘friends’ saying, “but that’s what growing up is all about”. I can hear them saying, “get over it.” But I don’t care what they say. I don’t want that and so I am not going to put up with that either. I can hear them again, “you’ll learn” and totally discounting me, thinking I’m naive and that I just don’t know anything.

But I do know. I do know a lot. I’m not a kid, I’m in my 40s. I’m not naive, I have an incredible grasp of life. Maybe that’s the problem? Because I have such a grasp of life and because I understand how amazingly fragile it is, maybe that’s why I refuse to let it slip away unnoticed. I refuse to give up or give in. Not ever, never again.

I will not let my life go unnoticed. I will not let the days slip by without recognizing the love and the pain around me. I write. I write to save my memories and to remember my dreams. So what do I want in the next few years? Freedom, peace, adventure, love. I know something others around me don’t realize. I know that people do live lives they love. I’ve met them and I want to be like them. I’m not saying I don’t love my life now, I’m saying that I am not content to let it be this way forever. I am content that today I will go to work to learn and that I will be challenged and tired. I am happy to do that today. Even tomorrow and so on for weeks, months, maybe even years. What I am not content to do is allow my work life to be my only life. I will play and I will live.

thank you for reading,

me

Random Thoughts This Morning

1 – Why do people find the bad in everything? It seems so much easier to find the pitfalls, the mistakes, the ‘it didn’t work’ parts… why can’t we start to see the great things? Why can’t we see the beauty? I posted on Facebook asking if any of my friends sail. I got a lot of positive comments such that they like to but no one really does. I had two who said they would love to go sailing with me but I’m not sure I’d be in the same stadium as them let alone, alone on a boat… then there’s the one comment “the happiest days for boat owners are the day they buy the boat and the day they sell it.” REally? Then why do people keep buying them? Why do people actually live on them sometimes? The downer really got to me. Burst my bubble some. I try hard not to do that to others, I’m sure that I do but I try not to.

2 – I have a friend who is thinking of leaving her marriage. How can I help her? She sounds so much like me but she’s so much earlier in it than I was. I don’t want her to destroy a marriage that could still work yet I don’t want her to stay in it if it will destroy her drive, her love of life. I can only tell her to trust her heart but I want to make everything better. I think often that marriage should be more of a time limited contract. If everyone thought, “if I don’t straighten up then she (or he) won’t renew” then maybe we’d behave better? Let’s say every 5 or 10 years you have to decide whether the other partner has kept his side of the deal. Has he supported her? Helped keep up the house? Has she helped him? I mean, it doesn’t really matter what the role is, so long as they are agreed upon. And a clause that says you can get out if you find you just aren’t compatible? Why would someone stay if they aren’t happy anyway? My ex was never happy, yet he didn’t want a divorce? That just didn’t make sense to me. If he hated me so much then why wouldn’t he leave? Oh well.

3 – So do I get a boat? I still want one. I still imagine the feel of the boat rocking under me day and night. I imagine waking with the sunrise, or with the storm. They both delight me. I imagine living wherever I want to live, leaving and coming as I please and taking my home with me. I imagine being able to still come to land when needed, working for 3 or 4 days a week and still being able to enjoy my home. I imagine I would be the black sheep of the family, because I prefer my own company to theirs. I imagine living a life of adventure, where I can love on others and I can still have my peace and privacy… I know there will be downers but they aren’t me.

4 – I spent the day outside yesterday, the weather was perfect. I laid on my blanket under a tree and studied and read and just rested my soul. It was wonderful. I so much prefer to be outside than inside no matter the weather. I have two weeks left to this rotation and then I have a month off. It’s beginning to feel as if I might actually make it, I might actually graduate in May. The questions remain what will I do then? I have a lot of the what, just looking for how. How can I convince my family that living on a boat is a good idea? How can I learn to sail without having a boat yet? (I will be spending a week on one in south Florida after graduation.) How can I be sure I’m doing the right thing? How do I get a job that will allow my random, crazy ideas? How can I live the life of my dreams? “Trust my heart, it sees things my brain refuses to see.” The more I trust myself, the more excited I become about living. I never knew how much more life was out there when I was in my dungeon!

And so we all begin another week, another day, another morning. May this week be filled with love and passion and dreams that come true.

thank you for reading,

me