Two months ago I woke up every morning to the sound of large fish splashing against the hull of a sailboat, took morning swims in the nude and read books against the backdrop of coconut trees and sandy shores. For some reason, I decided I didn’t like that any more. It seemed too boring. Not challenging enough.
Ironically enough, I had similar reasons for leaving Missoula in the first place. Although I had a well-paid job and worked for a cause I believed in… Although I had the comfortable existence that comes with a salary, health insurance, and a routine that included annual paid vacations to interesting places… And although I had good friends, fun toys, caring neighbors, and a trunkful of costumes for impromptu dance parties… We left.
Two weeks into our return home and sometimes I want that all back. I don’t want to be looking for income, searching for a decent car, or a place to live. I want a child and am glad that we will have one, but it doesn’t make things any easier. Any one of these life events, these tasks or milestones, can be stressful for some people. We decided to twist them together and swallow the damn bundle whole.
“Decided,” right? We sat on the deck of a boat, bathed in tropical heat, and sun made the conscious decision to leave. We were jaded by slow days, easy meals of fish and fruit, and the peacefulness that comes from living on water. I know what you’re thinking. I wouldn’t have pity for us either. Because I will never forget how fortunate we were and how fortunate we are. To have the opportunity to leave in the first place, to meet amazing people along the way, to swim with sharks more times than I can count, walk barren flats of white sand, form a band at a beachside bar, laugh, stretch, breathe.
But to be honest I wasn’t prepared for this. Bills, meetings, insurance, loans, jobs, schedules. Just swimming through this muddled mass of minor tasks and major decisions. Like a little minnow hiding underneath the hull of a sailboat. A big ocean all around. The tuna attack in formation, stunning their prey through the blunt force of tooth, body and splash. Then they circle back around and pick through the spoils.
I tell myself that I’m not a little fish. I tell myself that this was a conscious decision, to challenge ourselves, reinvent, and open the way to new ideas and revelations. Sometimes it helps. But I’ve certainly found the challenge I was looking for.