Girl on the water looking at the full moon.

Learning a new dance

Life is like learning a new dance. Sometimes it’s fast and complicated. Sometimes it’s a slow waltz. But if you embrace the rhythm the dance, like a book, can tell a beautiful story.

Did you ever read a book that was so good you fell in love? The characters were always in the back of your mind when you weren’t reading. When you were, you could lose yourself in the pages. So much that you felt a sense of loss when it was over and found yourself looking around and thinking, (sigh) ‘now what?’ Well, that’s a lot like how I felt last October when I finally made the leap from corporate to cockpit.

Book open on the beach- a grand story!
a grand story, with a huge buildup!

For eight years I was one of the main characters in a really great book. In it, I wore my mala bracelet every day to remind me of my goal. I dreamed, planned, saved and worked to get to the last chapter. It was a grand story with a huge buildup. Then, just like that the date arrived. I made the leap, and then said “now what?”

Sometimes, taking the next step into the unknown is a bit like learning a new dance. You watch others do it from the sidelines for a while. It looks like fun so you cautiously step up to the floor (on the outside of course- you don’t want to look like a complete fool). Then, you slowly try to figure out where to put your feet, when to turn and when to just do your own thing because that’s what feels right in the moment. Here I am, 3 months into this new life and I’m slowly learning the steps.

Blurred image of highway lights- constantly moving, can't slow down.
constantly moving, can’t slow down

So far it’s been a blur of movement. Moving to Rock Hall, Maryland to live aboard our sailboat for 2 months. Learning to run SS Magpie out of the trunk of my car. Moving again into a rental house for 1 month when the boat came out for the winter. Finally, moving one more time (for just a few months) to our little home in Virginia and trying to find a place for all our “stuff” (how can there still be so much after all the downsizing?). I’m learning to live small, trying to figure out the dance, constantly shifting my feet.

In the midst of it all, it occurred to me the other day that this is my new norm. Gone are the days of routine. The small chucks of time, like these few months where the view outside my window doesn’t really change, are fleeting. It’s quiet and peaceful here. A place where time definitely slows down. It would be so easy to make a new routine so I fight the urge daily to not get into one. You see, living aboard a boat, where there is something new to take in every day, the only consistent thing is change. That’s my new dance. The story I’ve loved for so long. I intend to learn all the complicated steps.

Sailboat at sunset with Island in background and setting sun.  Sailing into the unknown.
sailing into the unknown

So what’s next? Well, we have a loosely formed plan to move again in a few months, back to Rock Hall and back onto the boat. We’ll spend the summer getting our “forever” boat ready to launch, put the one we call home up for sale, head south for the Bahamas in October and start learning a new dance all over. It’s dizzying, sometimes overwhelming and amazingly wonderful. One thing hasn’t changed though. At the end of the day, I can’t wait to read the next book.

I hope you’ll join me on the adventure!

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