I’ve moved countries twice, survived through numerous break ups, moved more than 20 times in 18 years, traveled for months solo and moved to a non-English speaking country. I’m the master of change and transition, right? WRONG!!!
Lately I’ve been hating it in Cartagena. When I see the sun in the morning, I close my eyes and pray it’s nighttime so that I can breathe deeply without breaking into a sweat. I can’t seem to make friends here, although to be honest, it could be my racism towards English speaking people. They aren’t all bad, I just don’t find most of their ideas and conversations valuable enough to waste the precious moments I have in this life. In Colombia, it’s not very cultural to have female friends outside of family due to the high rate of jealousy that exists in relationships and since CC has no female family here, I’m on my own. I converse with his nephews sometimes and random women who are complaining about the queue we’re standing in, but to call them true friendships would be a bit of a stretch. I know I have people here to help me if I’m super stuck, about a practical thing that is. There’s little time for emotional crying in this culture!
The work is drying up for various reasons, mafia style politics amongst the charter companies (who are not run by the mafia), the year long process of getting new electronic equipment to replace what was damaged by lightening, sea time laws changing, my realisation at how little I get paid to deal with snobby, perverted and/or demanding passengers. They aren’t all like that mind you, but the enjoyable ones seem to be few and farther between these days.
The yoga here is non-existent. The classes that are offered are either not my type of yoga or are more than my measly wage allows me (note it’s the low season which means there is no wage…). There’s a donation only class, but I’m a teacher myself and feel that what I can donate is too insulting to attend with regularity. I’ve thought about starting my own class, but my unpredictable work schedule makes that a struggle.
If you’re worried I may be contemplating suicide, don’t worry. I find little things in my day to keep going and things aren’t all that bad. I am a yogini after all and believe everything is happening as it should. So I sit in the shade or sometimes in air conditioning in puddles of my own sweat with a smile (probably what causes the sweat!) in hopes that Buddha, Krishna or really whatever higher being, out there sees my patience and will bring me my rewards sooner rather than later.
What the hell does this have to do with change and transition? Well, I’m happy to announce that CC received his US visa. No, we didn’t get married. He applied for a crew visa as we’re delivering trusty old Trade Wins to Florida! Eight to ten days of open sea sailing, just the two of us! Something I’ve been dreaming of. Will we stop? Only if the weather or necessary repairs force us to. It will be my longest sail yet and probably a challenge, but one I welcome with open arms as the sea provides me with an indescribable peace and balance. The waves wash away whatever worries I have and I’m left in a state of bliss.
The famous question is…What will we do after? Yes people love planning! I don’t have a clue! That’s how I like living my life, if you haven’t noticed. Right now we’re planning on staying for a while to do some sailing courses (because those pieces of paper are so much more important than experience…) and scope out boats there. I may return to waitress days to build up my student loan paying account. Or we may get there and an opportunity presents itself which changes everything. I may run far away the minute I touch US ground, who knows??
This time is hard for me. We won’t leave until after hurricane season mid to end November. The boat is in pieces so not really charter-able. That just leaves endless jobs to prepare our baby for her biggest sail with us yet. IN THIS HEAT!!! It’s the heat I can’t stand. CC is in Bogota for 10 days to get the visa, do paperwork and see his son. The jobs we have to do require money, which we don’t have, so I’m here left to my own devices. Read: Think of many random scenarios which have yet to happen.
I was an expert in this field in my other life. I was ready for at least 10 different situations, none of which happened when it was go time. All that time spent fighting or explaining to people in my head went to waste. Things went smoothly and I enjoyed myself, how annoying!! As time wore on, I became good at slowing down and taking each day as it comes, not having expectations or these pointless mind conversations.
However this change is scary to me. Yes I’m moving (TEMPORARILY!!!) to my country of birth, but remember I left it and for very good personal reasons have never wanted to go back. I’m doing it for CC and for opportunities outside of the country it may lead to. There’s a possibility of his adult son entering into our lives. I’ve yet to meet him and am sure he’s a lovely person, but I don’t want a son or even to be part of a family unit. The only reason I caved into advances from a man with a child, was because the child was an adult and living a very long bus ride away.
So last night as I laid awake guarding our luxury dinghy (there have been many dinghy robberies as of late), I ran through a million scenarios. CC and I’s relationship has grown particularly deeper over the last few months and we have a beautiful existence at the moment. I want him to have his son close as he’s been wanting it since his son moved away 16 years ago. However, I don’t want his son (or anyone for that matter) in our space full time. Everything changes. Yes, sometimes for good. As I tried to think of the advantages of this possibility, more and more made up scenarios happened in my head. Of course all ended in a tragic and dramatic end to my relationship with CC. Lack of sleep, the beginnings of a cold and the feelings from these scenarios led to tears and a cold (on my part) conversation with CC the next morning. Suddenly everything he did was wrong and I had a lot to be mad about. He was shocked saying he thought I would be happy after the good news of his visa and that we can sail together to Florida.
I chatted with a friend, had a couple of cups of tea and called him back. I explained that a comment he made the day before made me sad. We discussed things and reached an understanding on both parts. He actually said to me, “Why are you so sad about things that haven’t happened? Things are too complicated to happen quickly (related to comment from yesterday).” Of course my perceptions of the situation were fuelled by his comment, but he’s right. Even if what he says is true, things can happen in an instant to change the whole path of the future. I know that because I’ve had many many life changing instants.
I took a deep breath, felt a bit sheepish about my (almost) unfounded tantrum and finished my book. I don’t know what will happen in the future or even later tonight (I just hope it doesn’t involve an attempted dinghy robbery because that is one scenario I am prepared for and they will face a fight, with an army!!). I’m choosing not to make life complicated by making up more scenarios about Florida, because life really isn’t complicated. It only becomes complicated when we fight it. I have love, support, a home and food (until the money runs out, by which time CC should be back). There are many moments in the day that bring a smile to my face. With a positive attitude, I know that whatever journey the future holds for me, it will be a great adventure.