I turned 34 years old a few days ago, and it's been about a month since we cut the dock lines at Shilshole in Seattle. We are now in Ventura, CA but I spent my birthday in Santa Barbara.
Sailing South has been hard. The first three weeks were all about getting to San Francisco as quickly as possible because as any good sailor knows, the storms start crashing into the coastline at the end of September so we needed to beat them. After arriving in SF, I felt like I could finally start decompressing.
I'm now starting to feel the pace of our lives slowing down. The constant stress of having to do a million things every weekend and weeknight is gone, and of course the stress of trying to do a good job at work is also missing. In its place, a pensive state is setting in, and I've been able to think, uninterrupted, about things like my childhood and why the hell I decided to take a boat out in the ocean for a year and live on it. One of the thoughts I frequently keep coming back to is how stuck I used to feel, and how stuck most people seem. I wanted to do a trip like this since I was in my late teens, but in my 20s I never thought I'd actually be able to do it. I had a house, a job, a car and a routine that was comfortable because I could go buy nice speakers (for those who know me, you know how i love me some nice speakers!) and go out to eat and buy computers and giant televisions and video game consoles... I felt locked in and changing anything might be uncomfortable or stupid and I might have regrets and isn't having a job and house and being able to buy things enough? Well, no. Not for me. I'm happy to say this is exactly what I needed to do--get a little uncomfortable by selling the house, quitting my job and doing something totally different for awhile.
So, happy birthday to me. I feel extremely fortunate to have the resources, health, strength and courage to be able to do something like this, and I would like to challenge anyone reading this who may also feel stuck to try something different. I promise you that you will not regret it.
"Nobody ever died of discomfort, yet living in the name of comfort has killed more ideas, more opportunities, more actions, and more growth than everything else combined."