Today a few errands had us driving over bridges and through tunnels that we had been sailing past just a few months before. We even drove by marinas that, this time last year, we were visiting in search of our boat. I stared out at this familiar places passing by with my hand out the window trying to grasping their memories- And like a wave it hit me... Something that has been creeping from my head to my heart for the past few weeks... I love sailing, I love living aboard and I miss it like crazy.
When we first sold the boat and transitioned back to land, we often found ourselves answering the question " do you miss it?" We would grit our teeth with a smile of uncertainty - not sure how to answer or what to say. Of course we will always miss sailing - sailing is a part of who we are and what we love. But do we miss living aboard our little 27' sailboat .... A harder question to answer. I was craving a real bed, some motionless nights of sleep, an actual kitchen, and a bathroom - you know those creature comforts we easily become so accustom to. In that transitional stage, a little land life was far overdue - I was very much ready to sell the boat. During that time, I never thought I would so quickly miss life afloat.
But I do, I miss it. And the funniest part is that I find myself daydreaming of the moments that caused me the most discomfort. I want to be back out at sea, under the dark night sky, with the lights of a huge cargo ship looming in the distance. But I remember being so uneasy as we continuously watch the ships movement - uncertain if our paths would collide. I want to be back with the wind pushing us along as we travel down the waterway. Though each new canal had me anxiously checking to ensure we wouldn't run aground. I want to trade our truck back in for our dinghy. I want to be back sleep out at anchor surrounded by the rushing water of changing tides.
Sometimes, it requires stepping away to realize how much you truly love something. Only then can you recognize that the experiences which made you uncomfortable have become your fondest memories. In the moment, its hard to see, but the circumstance that drives us out of our comfort zone has the most success in aiding our growth - making us feel alive. Being uncomfortable just means we are out of our own personal "norm". Our subconscious wants to trick us into returning to what we know. But without stepping into and through discomfort, we will never grow. There is of course great risk involved here - at least we propose there to be. But, like they teach in business school, with great risk comes great reward. And, when we are given time to step back, we see that we made it through those moments of fear. We survived in a land outside of our comfort zone - and we are now better for it.
Give yourself the gift of growth. Seeking the moments marked with unknown.