A year ago today I was literally sh*tting my pants with nerves. I was about 2 days away from casting off into an adventure on which I had no idea what would transpire. As I wrote about in my blog then, there was the chaotic last minute boat prep scramble, and the nerves around what I was about to do. What I did not share, however, was that there was also a lot of personal turmoil going on during these days. I didn’t have bandwidth to acknowledge it back then (or I would have surely lost my mojo), but it wounded my heart and soul deeply. It STILL takes its toll on me, and I am frustrated with myself about that…and angry that I let it do so back then. It has remained a cloud over my journey for a long time, and am ready to clear it. I won’t go into details, but I will say that I need to let it go and wholly reclaim my journey for the huge and transformational undertaking that it was.
As the one-year anniversary of my departure approaches, I have been revisiting many aspects of my experience. The ones you see on my social media are the easier ones to share. This part is a bit more delicate, but to stay in line with all that I am embracing in the wake of my trip, I am called to honor all aspects of my experience, not just the “positive” ones
I have touched on my depression in the months after my return, but I never fully revealed the whole story for I am only now ready to admit the depth of it. It was partially due to the destruction of my beloved Haunani, but it was also due to this unresolved energy from an unfortunate situation that hovered over my trip and return home. That made it impossible to fully embody the joy that should have come from such a feat. I am finally coming out of my melancholy, and am feeling the lightness of life again and so I am able to begin to embrace the magnitude of what I actually accomplished. I am grateful to my years for the knowledge that everything is temporary (which is what got me through), but even with that, it has been an emotionally challenging year.
As I get Cassiopeia ready for the 2020 Singlehanded Transpac, I can see that I have a huge opportunity. I have the opportunity to have a do-over if you will, and at the same time to reclaim the gift of my original journey by relating to it differently. I am trying to hold these things as a banner of inspiration as I prepare myself.
It helps that having done this before, I feel much less angst as I ready my boat for 2020. I am able to approach the process with more awareness and finesse. I am a significantly different sailor and boat owner than I was one year ago, and that alone makes me feel empowered. Due to this increased awareness, I can be much more in control of the process than I was able to be last year. I have more time and space in which to make thoughtful decisions. I also have much less of a budget to work with, which creates its own opportunity for mindful choices and prudence. All of these things make me feel more grounded in this experience.
The physical preparation is an important and necessary factor of course, but I am seeing that this time around, my emotional prep and care need to take a front seat. I am choosing to take better care of myself as this next year and all of its responsibilities and challenges unfold. I am choosing to speak my mind more clearly when it comes to my needs and opinions. I am choosing to keep the energy around my boat and myself clean and clear of negative energy and the emotional turmoil that it inevitably creates.
These three things seem so simple, but they were things I did not so diligently attend to last time, and I was adversely affected by that. There is no way to go back and change the hard stuff, and even if I could, I would not trade the lessons that I received. What I can do is look forward and choose differently.
This is the year that I am turning 50. This is the year of stepping into my truth and strength fully. This is the year of listening to my gut and trusting it. I proved to myself beyond a shadow of a doubt by sailing alone for 2500 miles that I CAN TRUST MYSELF. Now it is time to live that truth on land! No more playing small. No more not speaking up when I know the answer. No more accepting crumbs and convincing myself it is the whole cake. No more putting others’ emotional needs before my own, or as I often describe it, “throwing myself under the bus for another’s comfort”. This is the year of finally understanding that what other people think of me is none of my business.
The ways that I have been supporting myself in doing this are many. I found hypnotherapy, which after 20+ years of talk therapy seems like a magic carpet ride to freedom. With the help of an expert team, I took all of the footage from my journey and turned it into a short documentary. Watching the footage over the past year slowly and firmly planted in my soul the affirmation that I indeed sailed alone across a vast and stormy ocean, and into my own truth and power. Releasing this film into the public eye and allowing others to witness my experience is a bold (and scary) move for me of reclaiming my journey for my own. Grieving the loss of Haunani over the six months of her deconstruction allowed me to acknowledge how she healed me, and also to let go of her so that I could allow space for new adventures on a new vessel. Grieving the loss of a love and the illusion that I created around it is still a work in progress, but is allowing me to learn about self-forgiveness more than anything else. This is probably the single most important lesson that I feel called to learn right now.
Just as it did on the morning of my arrival to Hanalei, the heavy shroud of fog and clouds is lifting, and I am seeing my own rainbow framing all of the hope and possibility of a new year and a new phase of my life. I am so grateful to the darkness and to the challenges and successes of this past year. I am especially grateful to all of the beautiful humans in my life who when I am down, always remind me that there is hope, that trust is possible, that love conquers all, and especially for holding up a mirror and reminding me who I am and what I am made of.
I am grateful. I am excited. I am ready for 50! I am ready to sail across the ocean again