Saturday, November 14, 2009

Follow Your Dreams!

I can do it! I can do it!

Some are dreamers and others are dreamers and doers. It's very hard to pursue a dream. If you share your dreams with the wrong individuals, they will shoot arrows and daggers and basically do most anything to convince you your dream is ridiculous and nothing more than idle thought.

So, if you REALLY want to follow your dreams, keep your mouth shut. If you think someone will be 99% positive, then take the risk, share your dream with them. They will hopefully be not only positive, but might even have creative ideas to make your dream a reality sooner, rather than later.

If you are dead wrong, and they start to shoot holes in your dream, then change the conversation and tell them no further. You don't need all that negativity dragging you down.

It's the claw.

Many folks simply cannot tolerate that anybody else could possibly do anything that they would like to do and for whatever reason can't or won't. So they attempt to hook their big claw into you, as they see you spiraling upwards, they do their best to drag you back down, where they feel you belong.

It's TRUE. Misery loves company.

Those unfortunate souls that can't or won't find their own happiness, often want you to be just as miserable as they are. How DARE you to be any happier.

Tsk Tsk Tsk.

I once dated someone quite wealthy. At first, I had no idea he was anything more than just a tourist, who wanted to learn to sail. He booked me and my boat and off we went for 3 days and 2 nights of sailing lessons around the Virgin Islands.

Suddenly, while teaching sailing, one on one, he either fell in love with my boat or sailing or me or all three. He wanted to sail off into sunset with me on my newly refitted sailboat. I had sweated and toiled for a few years to take this hurricane ravaged wreck and make her like new again. My work had paid off. I was plenty tired of working and more than ready to sail off into the sunset myself, and enjoy a cruising lifestyle.

But, at the time I was juggling several freelance jobs, as after spending a goodly sum on my boat, I didn't have a cruising kitty. So I was slogging away working, throwing money at the savings account, trying to get to where I could just take off for awhile.

Awhile to me was a few years, in case I liked cruising and I was pretty sure I would. Besides, you need a little pocket change when you have to re-enter the work force, until you get resettled.

We talked endlessly about taking off on my boat and cruising around the Caribbean. He wanted a budget, and when I laid out what I thought was a generous budget for two, he snorted and said, in a low voice "I make about that much per hour, when I work."

I jokingly said "Well,then if you have a week's pay set aside, we can go cruising for 3 or 4 years!"

He promised we would do just that.


One day soon.

But first he had to take care of loose ends with his career, and his property. I figured I had heard the last of him, and had merely enjoyed a fairy tale weekend that was not to be repeated.

He surprised me. He kept booking my boat and me for sailing lessons. Sometimes for a few days, sometimes for a whole week. We had a blast running around the Virgin Islands. Then at some point his visits became less frequent and he replaced this with numerous letters and cards.

Then cell phones appeared in the islands, and I immediately secured one and mailed him a letter with my new phone number.

He called one day and complained it was hard to hear me. I said "It's probably the wind, it's blowing about 35 knots and I'm sailing to Jost Van Dyke."

"You're sailing? Now? As we speak?"

"Yes, I put the cell phone in the cockpit before I set sail, and I'm sitting at the helm with the jib and main up, sailing for Goats Van Dyke."

I had now changed Jost to Goats, because he preferred calling Jost Van Dyke; Goats Van Dyke.

He burst out laughing and said he wished he was there.

The next time he called, I was sitting alone, at anchor in Cane Garden Bay. He asked what I was doing, and I told him I was sailing to Anegada and it was a broad reach with slight winds, just a lazy day of sailing in the sunshine. He was quite envious. In a few weeks,he flew in and off we went sailing.

He returned to work, thousands of miles away and kept on calling. If it was daylight in the Caribbean, I always professed to be sailing to somewhere. I think throughout his numerous phone calls and my little lies, we sailed by phone to every anchorage throughout the Virgin Islands. I thought he would jump on our dream sooner, rather than later. My cell phone at that time wouldn't extend beyong the Virgin Islands, so I kept my destinations to the local islands.

Once he called while I was working ashore and rather than admit I wasn't sailing, I told him it was blowing like stink and I had to tack the boat and couldn't talk right now, then quickly hung up. Another time the phone rang in a noisy bar and I told him the truth: that I had just anchored and come ashore for lunch. Sometimes he called while I was sailing but many times he called while I wasn't, so I just lied.

For the next seven years we kept up this charade until one day I called him up and said "You are never going to go cruising with me, are you. "

There was silence while he thought about it.

We often had these pregnant pauses in our conversation. So I waited in silence on the phone until finally he said, "Not now, but soon."

Soon, never happened. I knew when I hung up the phone that soon would never come. He was a dreamer. Safe in his dreams, he didn't have to step outside and do anything unsafe; such as follow his dreams.

We still stay in touch, strangely enough. We rarely ever see each other anymore, but whatever the initial attraction was, it's still there, it has never dissolved. We can talk on the phone for hours, but usually we are interrupted by his work.

I've often wondered, what could have been. But in the interim, I've lead an exciting life and moved forward with my own dreams, though oddly, I never did go long term cruising for years. I did fall into a compromise, that at the time, made me plenty happy and I still got to do loads of sailing and messing about in boats. Maybe I didn't work hard enough chasing my own dream, but I figure I just changed my dreams.

I am forever grateful, I spent many years at sea, even though I remained single and solo for much of it.

I've often wondered what could have been...

And I've never once fessed up to him, that on many phone calls, I wasn't sailing after all.

Do two wrongs make a right? Probably knot.


  1. DMM, that’s very sad. I’m reminded of this passage from Sterling Hayden’s “Wanderer”:

    “I’ve always wanted to sail to the South Seas, but I can’t afford it.” What these men can’t afford is -not- to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of “security.” And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine — and before we know it our lives are gone.

    The years thunder by. The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.

    Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?


    If you go to that website and start at the beginning you will see how I tried to leave the rat race and go sailing in the Caribbean. I really wanted to do it and it took a huge leap of faith. I took all the money I had, $1,600 and bought a ticket to Florida with over half of it. I had found a website online where people with sailboats advertised for crew. I found someone in Florida. When I got there, nothing went as planned and I ended up coming home, 5 weeks later, with my tail between my legs.

    I have no idea how to make the dream I have of leaving the cold of the north and living in a warmer clime, preferably on a boat. I want nothing more than to live out my days in the Caribbean but am at a loss as to how to make it happen. I gave it my best shot and failed.

    It takes money to follow that sort of dream and I don't have enough.

  3. Hayden had the advantage of being a movie actor (a job he really didn't like) which bailed him out financially from time to time. Even so he routinely ran out of money while in Tahiti or looking to buy another schooner. His book is a must read.


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