Yesterday was a big milestone for Haunani and me and all of the boat preparations so far. We had our safety inspection for the Singlehanded Transpac. The inspection was conducted by our designated LA area inspector for the SHTP, Whitall Stokes. I felt like I was very well prepared for the day, having gone through the checklist (what seemed to be) a million times. When Whitall arrived, we went through the list item by item. There were a few issues, and one glaring oversight on my part, but all in all it went well. By the end of the three hours that it took us to finish, my head was over full. Mostly full of thoughtful and useful recommendations from Whitall, but also of some sneaky fears that started to creep in due to all of the talk of what-ifs, safety precautions and such.
I didn’t realize how much of a toll all of this had taken on me until I woke up the next morning. I was utterly exhausted and my brain was swimming with what-ifs and potential scary scenarios that had never so vividly crossed my mind. I tried to shake it all off with a good cup of coffee, a work out and a workday on the boat, but it lingered heavily nonetheless. Thomas and I spent the afternoon working on our next batch of to-dos (which seems to be growing by the day, by the way). As focused as I was on our projects, all of my uncharacteristically paranoid thoughts continued to swirl (I hope I don’t get knocked down, what if my rudder falls off and I cannot get the e-rudder installed, what if I slip and break my leg, what if the electronics all fail and I am left to my own devices, what if I hit a shipping container, what if, what if, what if…..you get the drift). At the end of the day Thomas told me how amazing this was going to be for me, among other supportive and positive things. When I heard him say all of this, my thin veil of “toughness” was pierced, and I promptly welled up and pretty much lost it. I blurted out through my tears “I am scared”. There, I said it! Once I did, the waterworks turned on in earnest and I was able to voice every little worry from the real to the ridiculous. Thomas was, as always, the best listener and holder of space. He allowed me to let it all out, but also reassured me and helped me get back to a place of peace with it all. I am so grateful for our friendship and his support....I have no words. I am still feeling a bit raw, but I don’t want to run from that because I know that allowing these feelings is important. The process of preparing for this life changing adventure is every bit as emotional as it is logistical. The emotional was steering the ship yesterday, and I am so thankful that I am able to let my feelings out, experience them, and process them because they are an integral part of my journey.
I suppose “scared” is an extreme term, because I am not terrified, or debilitated by the fear, but I say “scared” because this is unknown territory. As with every step of this journey, the unknowns have been daunting at times. With each experience of them however, I have moved through them to a new level of awareness… and also usually to a new fear. It’s a process and I am fully in it.
As one of my PSSA colleagues said the other day about me and my journey (when asked by another friend if he thought I was ready): “she is as ready as she thinks she is”. I am pretty sure he did not mean it to be taken in this way, but I look at this statement as a huge opportunity for me to believe in myself despite my fears…an opportunity to not allow them to derail me but rather to invite them to inspire self-inquiry and therefore growth.
Today I am feeling a bit more upbeat, and I am grateful for every feeling and nuance of this entire experience. It is already making me a stronger person, and a lot of that has come from allowing all of my feelings along the way. Its how I generally roll in life, so I am not sure why it feels more poignant in this situation, but it does.