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“To Reach a port, we must sail; Sail, not tie at anchor; Sail, not drift.” ~Franklin Roosevelt
So I sat in my car today and I watched as a huge SUV tried to back into the tiniest of parking spaces. I contemplated reversing and trying my luck in another row of vehicles further down, but decided there was no where I really had to be. I was in no rush at all. So I just watched and waited and gave myself kudos on my *choice* to drive a small *economy* car (It’s an ’87 Jetta).
I patted my own back while wearing a smug look on my face, all the while subtly cringing at the nine-point turn the gas-guzzler was struggling through. Who doesn’t know that it’s easier back into a lane or road than it is to back into a tiny stall? Really.
As I had so much time on my hands to judge others and self-affirm my positive life choices, I also had a moment to realize an overwhelming sense of Déjà vu. I swear I’ve done this before. Actually, I know I’ve waited for this exact vehicle in this same parking lot…..I did this here…. I did this last year! It was pre-Christmas. I wrote about it! Ah ha! HA.
And so it is that I re-visit my little blog.
I had to have a look at what I wrote last year at this same time. Where was I in my own head? What was my mood? I had just settled back down on Vancouver Island and I was surrounded by family and new friends and the excitement of living and breathing the snowboarding lifestyle and getting paid for it with a job at the mountain! It was time for me to put down roots and explore a new community – how exciting!
The handful of entries I’ve managed to post since that time a year ago, don’t really give light to all that’s been going on in my life. It’s hard to write about your thoughts and feelings and outlooks when you’re in one place and the people you see every day are directly contributing to your thoughts and feelings and outlooks.
It really ups the level of accountability when you don’t get to just pick up and leave every few days!
Although, in saying that, I did manage to move to Nanaimo briefly. I got the opportunity to move in with fabulous friends and go back to school. Well, actually, school fell through…. and after a few weeks (it was days) slugging through a less-than-stellar job, and the realization that we were all so busy I wasn’t even really spending time with my room mates, I decided to pack a backpack (it’s my default I guess) and go up north. I had been asked by my uncle to help out as shore crew for the Van Isle 360 - a circumnavigation of Vancouver Island that happens every two years. It’s an elite sailing race and I was happy to have the chance to be a part of it.
I arrived in Port Hardy ready to do the team’s laundry and cook them warm, hearty meals upon request. Luck was with me – the boat was short-crewed and I must have struck them as the perfect Weight-Distribution-Specialist, as I was invited aboard. This was amazing for so many reasons. One being that I had entered (and lost) a contest just a few weeks before (see previous posting) where I was trying to win a trip aboard a sail boat. Kismit or what? This was waaaaaay better than any two-bit prize…. I got to do real sailing, in a real race, with my (yes, real) uncle.
Among an amazing array of other scenery, I saw the beautiful northern tip of the Island and spent a fun-filled night in Winter Harbour. I’d like to say I picked up a lot in the way of sailing knowledge, but everything moved so fast, it was hard to keep up…on the water, and off. Sailors really know how to party. We had a night to recover in Ucluelet after being battered for hours and hours (one of the other boats broke their mast in the storm) on the longest leg of the race – 140 nautical miles – over the rugged west coast waters. The wind was so bad and the rocking so incessant that two of the life-long sailors aboard our boat couldn’t move – couldn’t even sit up for over 12 hours.
We had the wind at our back as the danced into Victoria’s inner harbour. And we got caught in the narrows for hours on our arrival into Nanaimo, but this was a great opportunity for the Coast Guard to deliver Tim Bits (donuts – to all you non-Canadians) out of pity, as we anchored and tried not to move backwards. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and it was so perfectly timed (the whole trip – not just the donuts). I got a much-needed reminder that I love the adventure – I’m always up for the adventure – and although I’m trying this settling down in one place thing, it doesn’t mean I have to settle.
I realized I didn’t want to live in Nanaimo. I moved away when I was eighteen for a reason. And although I’ve changed, and the city has changed, I wanted something different. I missed the little life I had started to set up in the Comox Valley. And so I returned to Courtenay, once again with a backpack on. My family put me up, yet again, while I started looking for employment. And employment I got. All of a sudden I was ironing trousers and blow drying my hair. Within a few weeks I had my own place… and my cat and I found ourselves living together for the first time in 3 years. Sometimes these things happen that fast. Well fast may be a relative term….
Anyway, we all move at our own pace and there’s no point in pushing it. Things are feeling like they’re falling into place for the most part, and that’s pretty awesome. This life has proved to be quite the incredible journey so far, and my guess is: it will only get more incredible as we continue sailing forward.