I know I could just go back and look, but that would require energy and that just feels too much right now. But I don’t even know when I last posted on here, or sat down to write for that matter. I just know it’s been a while. A long while…
Life has been a lot lately for all of us. It’s been the kind of rollercoaster we are all unwillingly strapped into, screaming all the air out of our lungs, holding on for dear life all while praying we can get off in one piece.
We are all on it, every single one of us. The whole damn world. Only we are all reacting differently: some of us get really motion sick, some of us thrive on the thrill of the unknown and some of us are simply numb to it all. Any which way, we are all feeling it.
It’s nearing the end of January. Who knows when it’ll be by the time I actually post this, if ever, but it’s all merging into one. It’s 2021. Twenty twenty one. We are almost a month in since everyone was blowing up with the happiness of waving goodbye to 2020. Yet here we are… Strapped tightly into some kind of living hell.
Let’s face the facts first, 2020 wasn’t all bad. In fact, for me, it took me to 18 different countries, I spent the first 3 months travelling the entire Caribbean and saw some of the most phenomenal places, checking islands off my bucket list by the week. I swam under the most breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls in Guadeloupe. I witnessed world records being made when we stood on the sun deck of the yacht watching rowers arrive after rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. I finally made it to St Lucia. I ran into people I’d met ten years prior in a restaurant in Antigua completely out of the blue. I made a sourdough baby and, like half of the world, taught myself to bake the bread of all breads. And that was just the yachting part.
Obstacles fell into paths across the world and people learnt to swerve them in the way that best suited them. Curveballs were thrown at every single one of us. We had to adapt, evolve, grow, change… We were left with no choice as the global pandemic roared across every inch of land known to man.
Now, this happens to be about my particular journey, so I’m just going to focus on my story whilst acknowledging that it’s the entire world, realising how lucky I am to have had what I had, but focusing on what’s happening in my world.
It’s a long story that I’ve cut short, very short, and if you hadn’t guessed by now, it’s featuring an obstacle: COVID… Obviously. Once the Caribbean season drew to an abrupt halt, 13 weeks and 6 days long, an exhausted crew had five days of travelling ahead to head to Fort Lauderdale to begin a mighty long yard period. As the situation escalated quickly across the world, this was changed from Florida to Holland so that the owner would be nearer to his yacht from his home in Germany. This meant shipping it over to the most absurd (or not) of destinations: Southampton. A massive win for me as this meant paid time at home, a major house renovation project that had been on hold until time was on our side and voila. Cheers Covid.
What I haven’t yet mentioned is the spanner in the works. My business. A little deli style coffee shop I went into with a mountain of vision and a head full of dreams, but frankly, zero clue and no plan. One I’d started, well, purchased, with a business partner just prior to Christmas of 2019. In fact, we got the keys two days before I had to leave to head back to work for the Caribbean season, which meant that I hadn’t been a physical part of the beginning stages. A hard pill to swallow, but made better by the serenity of the sea. Like everything else always is… because saltwater really does cure everything – even cabin fever for a short spell, I tell ya.
Anyway, this time at home that was unforeseen was a blessing. Only, there comes that obstacle… by now the whole of the UK was in an intense lockdown for an unknown amount of time and business was certainly not as usual. It was very unusual, and in fact, closed altogether.
With the future so unknown, we turned the obstacles into opportunities and made the most of the (not so) coincidental shipping destination and added time into action. Not only were we getting stuck into the house work, we stripped The Deli bare.
Six weeks of living between broken tiles, soggy wallpaper and eating, drinking and breathing dust, the Deli was done, the boat had arrived and the rollercoaster continued.
Never in my life have I felt so torn, so much like I was being pulled in two different directions with equal force. I wanted to stay and be a part of this business that was just about to reopen with a new lease of life, a vision I had just made reality, a dream come true. It wasn’t irrational of me to want that, but obligation called – I still had a job, a duty and a commitment to a rich German dude because God forbid he didn’t have anyone to make him a selection of canapes on demand, serve his dinner at 8pm sharp and whip up a brand new breakfast every damn day.
I had to go, I had no choice, so I went down to Southampton with a huge amount of reluctance and stocked the fridges with the usual ridiculous amount of goodness from Waitrose and we set sail for what would be a horrendous trip across the English Channel. We sailed off to Holland to put the boat into the shipyard, but not before the owner jumped on board along the locks and came for a bit of a trip through the canals first.
Torn between two worlds, knowing I couldn’t have it all, I was faced with a difficult choice. I always knew that my heart was at The Deli. It’s where I wanted to and needed to be, but my job on board the stunning Motor Yacht Sandalphon was far more than just a job. It was also my home and my marriage.
Once I’d finally found the balls to actually stand my ground and have the conversation, I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders, though I always had an unwanted burden of guilt. I carried that guilt with me for the past six months. I left my husband to work away, commuting at weekends and working on the house when he was home, and I worked Saturdays so we got one exhausted Sunday morning together to be productive before a weekly airport run. It was hard, it was a lot. We both struggled, in different ways but we both struggled.
Needless to say, it became unfeasible and took its toll. Decisions needed to be made and they were tough. The most brutal, difficult decision I’ve ever made in my life and subsequently some of the darkest days I’ve endured.
I have just reopened this, now mid-March and somehow the world has kept spinning and we’ve landed here. I barely know where I even left off and like when I started writing, I don’t have the energy to look back over it, but after the last sentence I vividly remember the last words I typed. I was dazed with eyes glazed over in tears, I saw black. But that was then. Today, I don’t know what I’m writing, but the why is clear: to release some kind of burden into the universe and not onto my poor pals that have had it for however long. Writing is what sets me free and freedom is something I so badly seek but am struggling to find.
There’s so much going on in the universe right now. The vastness of problems is just beyond comprehension. Nobody is free of it, only all of the problems we are all facing is relative. We are all fighting our own battles and carrying our own burdens.
Mine feels heavy, as I’m sure many others feel the same.
Honestly? I’m just done, I shouldn’t say it, but it’s how I feel.
I’m done feeling shit every damn day. I’m done with feeling trapped, alone, lost. Im done with the draining tears streaming down my face every damn day… I’m done on this fucking rollercoaster.
It’s time to move, it’s time to make something happen. Now, my friends, is MY time.
Let’s do this.