“Calling passengers on the Dominica flight to gate 5,” boomed over the loudspeaker as I entered the gate area of the Antigua airport. It was like a knife to the heart. The last time I was here, I was with Captain Smiles, going to Dominica. All of the memories started flooding back and it felt like my heart was being ripped out. I’m flying out the same day he is sailing in because he left me 2.5 weeks ago and didn’t want me to sail with him to Cartagena.
This Buddhism business really works, so I tried to reframe my thinking to something more positive. I was failing miserably and the repeated calling of Dominica brought tears to my eyes. So I resorted to modern distraction techniques and decided to post a photo of San Blas on Instagram, where I’m flying to now. The last photo from there was from nearly 3 years ago, so I had to scroll through my 5000+ photos. Then it hit me.
My St Martin to Aruba to Cartagena sailing trip was replaced with a San Blas to Cartagena sailing trip where some of my friends and family will be meeting me. What the hell am I crying for? Both are great options many people don’t have!
Ok fine. The winter Captain Smiles and I had planned ended as soon as it began, but so what? I’m not actually clinging on to him per se. I’m attached to the idea of the perfect winter I had planned after a completely not perfect time. Even without him, I’ve made the most of Antigua and am glad I came here.
The photos I scrolled through are of various islands and open seas I’ve explored in the last three years. They are of people I have met who brought me great joy for the time I was with them. They are of the Himalayan mountains and other lands some members of my family have never even dreamt of going to. They are photos of my beloved nieces and nephews that my family have sent me while I’ve been off doing these amazing things. What is my problem?
I’ve been taking a deep look into whether or not I want to stay in yachting and I’ve had some interesting conversations with people about it and the underlying message from all of the conversations is this. I’m making my life too hard when there isn’t anything wrong with it.
From a Buddhist standpoint, every living being suffers. I’m suffering because I have become attached to a privileged life, yet the people of Katmandú who are surrounded by filth and disease are also suffering and in a worse way than I am. Yet they don’t cry half as much as I do. They accept where they are. I am sure most of them would happily trade places with me and I guarantee you, they would not cry about the things I do!!
As another girl, who also struggled with the idea of being a stewardess when she’s a strong sailor said, “At least I’m on a boat. I’m part of the team that makes the boat run. I’ve just changed my perspective and am embracing it.”
Captain Smiles left me for the same reason most others have and it’s time I make a sincere and deep change if I ever want the chance of a life long relationship. When I’m single, it’s easier for me to be strong and keep moving forward positively. When I get into a relationship, I feel so relieved that I have someone to support me, that I end up crushing them. That isn’t fair on either of us. The problem is with me. I need to see things for how they are and just chill.
As I start my 4th decade of life (when the hell did that happen?!?!), I am setting my intention to make that change. Whatever issue comes my way will be confronted with a calm and positive manner knowing that it will all be fine. There are no problems, only solutions. I will pause and think with a calm mind because weighing myself or others down will do no good. Until I have successfully accomplished that (knowing I’m human and will make mistakes!), I am going to stay single and enjoy the lessons this journey will bring me. Funny enough, 99% of my ex boyfriends have this attitude and it’s only now I realise they were brought to teach me a lesson!!
Luckily all this happened while I was still in the airport and when I heard the last call for Dominica, I smiled. I had one of the best weeks of my life there and there is no reason to be upset about that. So I text Captain Smiles and said they were calling the Dominica flight and it brought a big smile to my face thinking of the fun we had there. He replied back that it too and always will, make him smile.
P.S. I have decided to stay in yachting and am currently manifesting the “as perfect as it can get” job! But first I’m going to have 15 days of celebrating this wonderful life I’ve been given!