Thursday, December 5, 2013

Fearing the Unknown

As I sit here writing from my safe, cozy home while the outdoor thermometer reads 7 degrees (F) some days I feel being a woman can be a deterrent from trying something new, unusual, unsafe, and unknown to me. I typically jump to the conclusion that I'll be uncomfortable and feeling unaware of the consequences, it's "not for me". I quickly say "No", run into the arms of something safe and try to live the life I've known for 32 (soon to be 33) years. We've done this before, living on a sailboat, and the experience was priceless. But this time, we'd be responsible for everything boat-related: routes, anchoring, maintenance, and the feelings overwhelm my senses. 

My husband on the other hand has always had the courage and desire to throw off the bowlines and sail away from the safe harbor. I'm pretty sure that's why I fell in love with him. As a planner and part-time coward, I am envious of his tenacity and love for this vast world. I've also learned lately that my husband comes from a lineage of sailors. Now I know where his passions lay.

It's funny how the world works. We like to call it the "Ski Boot Theory" The premise is to tell a friend you're in the market for a new pair of ski boots (or bike or heck, even a sailboat!), provide your boot size and preferences and it turns out - people will actually look for you and find you a shiny, new pair of Apple red boots for $32.00! We've recently had this experience with sailboats.

Lately, I've given myself permission to be scared and vulnerable about trying something new and unsafe, like living on a sailboat. I've also expressed the Ski Boot Theory to friends and family which has given me more courage to speak up about my fear of the unknown; of deep, stormy waters, my inexperience of navigation skills, and living on a 200 sq. ft floating home. The simplicity and visions of beauty are desirable, but the unknown consequences keeps me up at night.  But Mark Twain said it best (even if he didn't ;): Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover!

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