As you make your way through life, you can follow your brain, or you can listen to your heartsong. While your brain has the logic, your heart holds the love. For better or worse, my heart wins out every single time.
I think it’s safe to say this obsession for the sea has been with me since I was a child. I grew up near the water. My family always had a boat of some kind and as I got older, a summer place on the river. Many hours of my youth were spent in that water toe clamming, crabbing, motor boatin’ and river floatin’. I even got “stranded” on a friend’s sailboat for 6 hours one sunny afternoon when the tide went out and the keel got stuck! (It was all great fun until the beer ran out- but that’s another story.) Based on all that, it’s no surprise that here I am, making preparations and plans to return to the sea. Yep, I’m following my heart.
What’s your roadmap for a ”successful” life look like? The American dream check-list I grew up with looked something like this.
- Go to college & get a degree (check)
- Get a good job (check)
- Get married (check)
- Buy a house (check)
- Work until your 65 then retire and live “the good life.” (screeeeechhhhh) Wait- what?
Just like that my heart said “stop.”
You see, within in the checklist (#3 to be exact) this mermaid fell head over heels with a guy that would, one day, become a pirate. I am the dreamer, he is the logical one. But, 9 years ago, when we were on item #5, he suddenly came home from work one day and said “what do you think about selling it all, buying a boat, and sailing around the world?” My head said “Nope, nada, not logical” but my heart said “YES!” If you’ve followed my story, you know that the heart won.
Our first sailboat was a disaster. Beautiful lines, tons of teak, savvy salesperson. I took one look and was lost- hook line and sinker (some day’s I’d like to sink-her...oopps!) We had dreams of sun rise sails and anchoring under the stars, but instead we got a lesson on how to fix a boat and build a marriage. Turns out, that was exactly what we needed.
We saw a piece of land and fell in love. Our head said “it’s too much money” but our heart said- “but look at the view” so we bought it…and then changed our mind. It sure would be nice to have the money back that we spent and, at the time of this publication, it’s still for sale (looking for 2.5 acres in Rock Hall, MD?- pssst..call me..wink, wink!) Do I regret that decision? Nope. When it does sell someday, we will have that money as part of our cruising fund- like a little nest egg we didn’t count on. In the meantime, we spent 7 years tent camping on that land. We worked our asses off in the hot, sweaty parking lot of the marina on the previously mentioned
money-pit boat. At the end of a hard, but satisfying, day we’d cram 2 people and a dog into a tiny tent, rest our weary bones on the blow up mattress, look up at the stars and remember how nice it was to live without the complications of so much “stuff.” The best part? The fireflies would put on a spectacular show every night.
I can keep sharing my stories, but I think you get my drift. So, the obvious next question is, should you follow your heartsong? Well, it’s scary, hard and complicated to make decisions with your heart. I also refuse to allow myself the luxury of regret in my decisions, so I work really hard to try and weigh all the ‘logical’ factors. Trying to make sure there isn’t something blatantly obvious that I’m just wanting to ignore. But no matter how much “thinking” I do, at the end of each review, I close my eyes, see what my heartsong says, and take a leap of faith. So far, so good.
In the words of my favorite artist, Kenny Chesney, I’m “learning how to build a better boat.”