I love this little video. It is the messy middle for me. It’s also a great example of how easy it is to present a perfectly curated version of your life on social media. If I just took pictures and concentrated on one side of the beach I’d have nothing but drool worthy pictures of living life afloat in the Caribbean. But just 2 feet over (and where my family are watching turtles much on seaweed) there is a storm coming. Same beach. Same freaking moment! It’s the messy middle. People often ask me what I mean by the messy middle and the giant answer is it’s life. But for me it comes down to two major aspects of it. The first is that the shiny caterpillar to butterfly transformation that we are so often fed from TV really glosses over that dissolved into an unrecognizable goo in a cocoon phase. Anytime you need to go through something, you need to become that goo. And that’s the messy middle. More so, way too freaking often we believe it’s our weakness or our inability to do something that is causing the pain. We blame ourselves and we give up. Be it a creative project, a business or life in general that’s kicking our ass. It’s not true. This is where we get to fall apart to get stronger and emerge as the butterfly. That shit isn’t easy. And its not supposed to be. It’s supposed to transform you into something better. And that doesn’t come for free. But the reward is priceless. The other aspect is smaller but always there. And that is there is no perfect! Beautiful beaches get stormed on and you huddle in a hut. My lifestyle has it’s high peaks of awesome but also low valleys of sailing all day to arrive to a swell. Or the fact that even at anchor you feel that you are at sea. Its the messy middle of life. As Anais Ninn said “perfection is static and I’m in full motion” And so is my home. 🤓😜🦄 Although thankfully much less so tonight!
Paradise found at Sandy Island! And my daughter is all mermaid. After daddy got her set up she went off with him snorkelling for a good 30 minutes, her head never coming up once! Want to know my not so mermaid like secret? I'm terrified of breathing under water. I didn't expect it! I still remember how excited I was to go snorkelling for the first time in Vietnam. I geared up put my head down and had a blind panic attack. Totally out of left field. I wanted to be a marine biologist throughout high school because I thought it would mean diving for a living and communicating with whales! I can still remember my first dive a few years later in Cuba. Not having learned from snorkelling the dive was ten times worse. Blind panic and my brain screaming "you are not supposed to be able to do this!""" I finally gave up in Malaysia. Where the dive itself was all the beauty I expected, but that blind panic I was fighting off just took the full joy away. And so now I am like a floundering fish when I snorkel. Still sticking my head up way more than I need to, but at least doing it. And this is the thing. Maybe something you thought you would love you don't. And that's ok! You tried it. The failing is not in the not liking it part. It's in the never tried one. And maybe you just need to do it in a different way from everyone else. And they may even laugh at you. I know I'm comical out there. But that's not stopping me from seeking and seeing that underwater world the only way I can. And no one can take that away unless I let them. So who cares if you look silly. Or if you mess up. Jump. Live! And no one else can take the experience away unless you let them! And if you need help getting your own creative and vibrant life sorted check out the academy in link tree. January's coaching special comes with the Creative and Vibrant living virtual retreat as a bonus! And you have 3 months from booking to start to use it. And I never think you look or sound stupid. Just alive.
We lost internet for 2 days but we caught a fish! That counts right! Only it was a Barracuda and I couldn’t fully enjoy it once I discovered they are among the most likely to have Ciguatera. Although we were assured by the Prickly Bay sailing community that the fact it was caught in Grenarda combined with its small size meant it was safe to eat. We doused him (her?) With alcohol to the gills but it didn’t enjoy the first dosing. Full confession: I screamed. Then it was out like a light. Both kids slept through the entire experience! 😅😅😅 It was delicious. Thank you delicious fish! #fishing #barracuda #booksboatsandbabes #sailingfalkor #lifeafloat #familyafloat #sailing #grenada #fernweh #wanderlust #travelwithkids #fulltimecruisers #boat
So this time last year this would have been enough for me to cancel this trip. Just knowing we would be sailing through this. Last April I would’ve curled up in a ball pretending and wishing it wasn’t happening (actually I did exactly that when we sailed into Arcahon France in a tide versus wind situation and at low tide. Or exactly when they tell you not to go. I bawled in between hurling curse words at Patrick on what I was going to do to him should we live. Never worry about swearing around my kids. They are sailors and have heard it.) This time I was still scared. But the difference was I stayed up top and I watched. And even filmed. And refussed to curl into a ball pretending it wasn’t happening. Motherhood took me out at the knees. I went from someone who could crash her bike 3 times in forgein countries (twice landing in hospital) to someone who was terrified her “recklessness” would endanger her babies. (I wasn’t reckless, I was alive. There’s a difference! And you can read about them in my chasing summer book) https://www.amazon.com/Taking-Long-Way-Home-Newfoundland-ebook/dp/B074V65L1B But more importantly, this past year has taught me that I can’t be the woman I was. I am a mother now. I am more intimate with grief than I had planned for in 2017. (Not that anyone plans grief, but an illness can prepare you. ) And I’ve done the work to integrate. To be me again. But me all parts intact. Scars yes. But not open bleeding wounds that I pretend are not there. And I didn’t do it without help. @sarah_k_jones and @vickireisima you two in particular were vital for helping me come back to me. Sarah cracked me open and Vikki helped put me together again. I know you both would say I did it. And I did. But I has you 2 to guide me. Thank you!
First sail of the year!
I can’t believe the difference a year makes. Not just in how far the boat has come (It was still locked in ice in Poland this time last year) but just how my life can be taken and shaken and leave me on the floor with a decision to make. And that you really can come back stronger. Not motivational post stronger. But in that you get to choose how to rebuild the very life that fell apart around you.
Because that’s what everything being torn apart around you does. It takes you out at the knees. It makes you wonder if pain can in fact kill you, and then it makes you choose. Do you want to sink deeper or do you want to change? (I keep having Bridget Jones “I won’t be defeated by an American stick insect” going through my head whenever I hit a challenge- only this year was like a giant praying mantis.) I started 2017 wondering if my relationship was over and if we had grown too far apart. Me in motherhood and Patrick in start up world.
And then my little brother died. And in a span of about 2 months I felt like everything I thought I knew wasn’t true. Between May and August last year my brothers and I would’ve been 35, 36 and 37. Suddenly the baby of the family was no longer there.
And this trip we had been planning for years seemed as good as any to figure out if we still had a relationship and to just escape.
2017 kicked my ass. But it’s also where I found me. I learned this year I spent so much time negotiating how to make the past match up to present.
But we can sit with those pains and demons and ask how we got to where we are. And what we need to lose to go further.
And we get to rebuild.
Because as much as that hurricane hurt it makes us realize we didn’t build a house in a safe space.
Getting off the plane on New year’s eve was exciting. This part of the trip is not me negotiating grief and trying to make peace with my relationship.
It’s me being an active participant. I flew my motorcycle off a cliff and got back on. I can do this regular life stuff.
Although I may have missed Barbados I do not regret flying to Newfoundland for Christmas and skipping the Atlantic crossing. But now we are here! We have joined daddy and have gone from minus 10 to plus 25 in 24 hours!