Gaining Clarity

Peace on the WaterSometimes I am presented with an option, usually multiple times, and continue to reject it. Sometimes, I am being stubborn. And sometimes, I realize that while the option is a good one, it doesn’t get me where I want to be.

The idea of buying my own boat has floated through my mind for at least a couple of years. At times I have seriously considered it. Even while living in Memphis, I thought of buying a “project boat”, putting it at Pickwick Lake, and driving over on weekends. I could work on it if weather was bad, and sail if it wasn’t. Then the thought was “how do I get it to Florida when I move?” Sure, I could sail it down, but that would be quite a long trip, one I wasn’t sure I would be ready to make.

Always in the back of my head, though, was a further thought. “Does this get me where I want to be?” And where do I want to be? Cruising through the warm blue water, and sharing the adventure with someone. Buying my own boat simply felt like I was giving up on ever meeting someone I wanted to be with, who also wanted to be with me.

Even after I moved and began looking for an apartment, friends asked “why not look for your own boat?” And always, the answer from deep inside me was, “I’m not sure that is going to get me what I want.”

And then something shifted. It was a warm, sunny Saturday just after Thanksgiving. I planned to stay home and do a bit of cleaning and reading but was too antsy to settle in with a book. I felt like I needed to be outside and doing “something.” A call from a friend who lives aboard with her husband resulted in me spending the afternoon on their boat. And suddenly, I was quite happy to just sit around and visit.

It didn’t occur to me until the following day just how much I relaxed once I was sitting on their boat. On the water. I was perfectly happy to just BE. Sure, if there had been chores to do, I would have done them. Grabbing a book and sitting in the cockpit reading seemed like a perfect way to spend a few hours – more appealing than sitting on my porch in the sun reading. Interesting.

Apparently, my head and my heart processed all this overnight, because Monday morning I woke with the thought “I need to be living on the water. And to do that, I need to buy my own boat.” Just like that, I had clarity as to my next step.

Buying a boat and living aboard gets me what I want – to be on the water. Additionally, it gives me a chance to learn to live aboard, to learn about caring for a boat, and a chance to go sailing whenever I want (weather permitting, of course!). No longer am I scrambling to find opportunities, begging friends (and mere acquaintances) to let me help them do repairs or go out.

No, I’m not giving up on my dream of sharing adventures with someone right. But that is still out there somewhere. In the meantime, I’m taking my one next step. I’m buying a boat and living aboard. I’m going to be on the water.