A moment on a boat can feel like a lifetime. When you spend your entire day confined with the same people in the same space with a repetitive itinerary and timetable it is easy to feel like time is endless.
I always found working on ships to be a real growing experience. When I boarded my first vessel at 21 it changed my entire outlook. It gave me a sense of worldliness that only comes from meeting people from every different walk of life.
Much like prison or the television show Big Brother, you are placed in a situation with people that you may never normally choose to socialise with. You must trudge your way through endless hours of pressurised friendship that can create blinding enemies or lifelong friendships.
I recently came back to the ocean after five or so years away. I was nostalgic to sail and felt it would be the perfect opportunity to clear my head after the chaos of the last few months.
This time, unlike before I find myself detaching. I don’t see this as a bad thing. Back in the day I was looking for something. I spent all my time with others absorbing their knowledge and style. I became an imprint of all those I worked with and met. Nowadays I don’t strive for this. I am much more secure within myself and my own identity. I’m detaching from the crowd but connecting with myself and my thoughts. I believe this invaluable for calming my mind and grasping the rains of my anxiety.
With all of this thinking, it is inevitable that I would stumble. You see my mind is a bit of a minefield. Like the crashing waves outside, today I felt it. The enveloping tide of worry that I have come to know well. It was just for a moment. I took my finger off the safety for a second and allowed myself to make contact with my recently estranged boyfriend. I learned that he was ‘OK’ but this did not re-assure me. He seemed cold and distant and I worried that perhaps I had done something. Perhaps he was not as fine as he made out. What if we could never be friends again?
I spent the evening alone in my room contemplating scenarios. I toyed with the idea of him coming on-board and declaring his love for me. I would forget all the issues and accept him back with a loving embrace. I played the options out imagining him calling me and saying he wanted to never see me again and then finally some pretty weird thoughts about how he would be at my funeral….
Ok that’s it. Alone time is great and all but tomorrow night… Drinks with friends.
Time for some balance.