A Re-Imagined Future
24 April 2015
It has been two months now. Two full months and some of you have asked how we actually are aside from all the 'jobs' we have been doing.
The answer is, life has really settled into a normal routine for the three of us (oh and Capt'n Jack of course!) on board Argos!
We have begun to become part of the little community of live-aboard sailors in Southport and have the experience now of going out to the grocery shops and bumping into people we know all the time! We have people over for meals and go out to other's boats for meals. We get rides to hard-to-get-to shops like Bunnings, and meet up with friends at a local café. The children go swimming with other people from other boats and in so many ways we have come to feel at quite at home.
I wrote a few months ago about the idea of re-inventing yourself - it's a subject that really interests me - and once again I find myself doing exactly that! But with a twist this time.
Many years ago I made a decision - after working on recovering from the childhood abuse I had experienced (you can read more about that on my other blog at www.milesawayfromabuse.com) - to never again be anyone's victim.
I have experience the loss of my marriage and all its associated hopes and dreams but maintained a very strong sense of okayness. I have felt contented that despite the many moments of sadness, despite the practical difficulties of actually managing the boat without my former skipper, that I have only felt the occasional drag down into a dark and gloomy place, and on the whole I have been able to maintain a pretty positive outlook. I have been living from that place I discovered when I worked on recovering from my childhood abuse and doing okay.
I am so glad that during the recovery program I worked on that I learned to be real and honest and to connect with people during the painful experience of grief. I have remembered tools that helped me before and made sure I used them again - tools like writing about my feelings, allowing myself to own whatever feelings I have, allowing myself to cry when I feel sad and when I am watching movies that have nothing at all to do with what happened (!), allowing myself to grieve however I want to, reminding myself that there's no right way or right process to follow - just allowing grief to unfold as it will and accepting it for what it is. And allowing myself to feel okay too and yes, to even notice moments of joy in the midst of the pain.
And I have allowed the same for the children who of course have also had their own processes to work through and ways of dealing with things.
In the past I have re-invented myself many times. I went from being the abandoned mother of 8 children to being the recovering survivor of abuse. From finally identifying as a co-dependant to being a recovering co-dependent. I went from being all of that to being a writer about abuse and recovery, a single and working mother and then out of the blue, a happily re-married and loved woman and then on to becoming a sailor!
I am re-inventing myself again now but at a whole new level but re-inventing isn't quite right the word for what I am doing as much as re-imagining. Because I feel a like I am in such a different place right now and the future is opening up before me in a way it never has before.
I would never have imagined myself sailing - and the thought of me being the skipper of a boat would have been about the furthest thing from my imagination! I have discovered more capability than I would ever have imagined myself to have and while I do still feel scared in storms, I have learned that so do many fellas! In fact I am not very different to many of the guys I meet - we all have areas we are good at and things we are not so good at and my inabilities are not so much impacted by my gender as much as by my lack of experience.
And this doesn't just apply to me - we are all finding that we are re-imagining ourselves - Liam as a capable young man able to locate and handle the tools to follow through on many tasks and Erina just yesterday managed to reposition and install our very own anchor light - climbing the mast, drilling, sealing, joining wires.....you name it! What we can do today compared with what we have done for the last few years is out of the realms of all of our imaginations!
And the thing is it's only been two months.
I can't even begin to imagine what the future holds for us - but I have some inklings and it's pretty cool!
Becoming Mrs Argos may make it into print and just this week I have been informed that something I wrote last year has been included in the soon-to-be-released book 'Simple Reminders for Health, Healing and Happiness' by top-selling author Bryant McGill due out later this year and already on the New York Times Best Seller list for pre-order sales! It is absolutely awesome to have this kind of recognition, especially as my own book 365 Days of Hope in Recovery will be published later this year too! Doors are opening that I would never have imagined and I am thrilled! My article Should I stay or should I go now? Is in this month's Cruising Helmsman magazine and next month another will be published.
It is true that not all transformations are pleasant - as the caterpillar no doubt thinks when it enters the cocoon! But the opportunity to not just take a step forwards, but to leap into a unimagined future does not always have to be scary, that's what we have been discovering on Argos!