A Bucket List –> something I never knew I had until I had signed up to do something crazy.
On February 16th, 2014, I set off on a journey of a lifetime. I quit my Oil & Gas job in Alberta with hopes of leading a more simple life on a boat in the British Virgin Islands. Each of my family members had their own way of objecting, but they eventually understood I have to follow these random opportunities just in case one of them turns out to be the one true passion I have been hoping to discover. Jack of Most Trades was the person who pushed me through the fear and supported my every move. He wanted me to go if I wanted to; our window was closing and he didn’t want me to pass up the chance to do something potentially awesome while said window was still open a crack. To put it in perspective, he was willing to give up marrying me this year so that I could chase mania.
Jack of Most Trades has always been rock solid – physically and emotionally. The most manly man I have ever known and, according to him, “Practically Ryan Gosling.” Until the night I left, I had never seen him cry. He drove me to the airport and waited with me until I absolutely had to go through security. He gave me a kiss and after a long embrace, we parted and I saw the tears in his eyes. I have always joked with him that someday I would make him cry, one way or another. It was a bitter sweet moment but next time, if there is one, they better be tears of joy. That night, Jack quickly turned and walked away so I could not question or comfort him. When I saw him again I asked him about those tears. His answer surprised me. He didn’t say he was going to miss me or that he was worried about me travelling alone. He simply said, “You were leaving me and I knew you were never coming back.” If only he could see less than a week into the future.
After a long day of travelling via road, air and sea; 3 flights, 3 boat rides, and 3 countries later, I reached my destination. Exhausted and cranky, I was given the grand tour of the diving boat. Here is your coffin and here’s your sink shower. Telling a claustrophobic they are going to have to sleep with their face an inch away from the ceiling is like placing a bee hive beside an anaphylactic wearing a flower costume; shit is about to get unpleasant.
I will not go into the details of me deciding to leave a yacht sailing the Caribbean Sea to come home to -30C and snow, because any way I put it, it’s going to sound ridiculous. Three days, the number of flights and boat rides I had endured and countries I had visited in order to get to the boat and also the number of days I lasted below deck. Let’s just say I blew the previous record out of the water which was departing after only 10 days on board. As terrible as it sounds, this experience was nowhere near a “bust”.
It isn’t about the money I spent to be away from home for a mere five days. It isn’t about the career I gave up or the pain I put myself and my loved ones through. It IS about being able to check that one off the ol’ bucket list and being able to tell myself I gave it an honest whirl and it didn’t work out. The “worst case scenario” happened and I’m still here. I’m alive and I’m home with a fiancé who loves me. When I told him I wanted to come home, Jack sent me an email that went something like this:
“Just come home and put your ring back on; we have 50 years ahead of us. Don’t regret anything. I’m —-‘n lost without you here anyway. We will be fine. You will be fine.*”
And I am, we are – fine. I would say we are more excellent than fine. I have the ring back on my finger that I’ve missed dearly and I’m planning our summer wedding in the mountains.
Just because something is scary, it doesn’t mean you can’t still do it. Go for it. You can’t fail. There is no such thing as failure if you’re learning something you wouldn’t have learned by not trying it. The worst that could happen is you fall down and get a little embarrassed. What do you normally do when you fall down? First of all, I’ll bet you look around for witnesses. It’s almost better when someone watches you fall because then they get to witness the motivational part. Get up, dust off your butt, paste a silly grin on your face and act like nothing happened. Or throw that victory arm in the air – like you just don’t care.
*Check out the photo Jack sent me on my short stay in the British Virgin Islands. See? Ryan Gosling.