When describing indecision or inner conflict, have you ever said: “part of me thinks…, but another part of me feels…” I don’t know about you, but for me, that glorious state of confidence, peace, contentment, etc. only comes when I can achieve a peaceable treaty between parts of myself. I’m most at risk when life conditions change, it seems decisions must be made, and/or control should be exerted over the future. In those moments, for better or for worse, a part of me thinks too much.
Around the end of June, just as we were getting Sonrisa prepared to cast off from Lombok, we closed the sale of our house. During our visit to the U.S., we put our beloved land-abode on the market. After one false start, we found buyers and worked our way through the process. My mom helped sign all the closing papers as our proxy while we were half a world away. Swinging from my hammock one morning, I receive an email from our real estate broker “Congratulations on the sale of your house!” Just like that, our last physical tie to land is cut. Not only that, but now, every last dollar of debt is wiped clean.
This changes things.
I actually felt weight lift from my shoulders, my rib cage could expand with a deeper breath than normal. The part of me that puts in an overly-enthusiastic effort at everything (Over-tryer), the part of me who tries to sense the future (Ms. Sensitivity) and even the deeply intuitive part of me (Judith-the-Wise) were happy about this turn of events. I imagine them twirling in the grassy meadows, arms outstretched, and singing. In my heart, I can feel the flutter of their dresses lofting in the breeze of freedom. For the first time in my life, and maybe for only this brief wink of time, I owe nothing to anyone. I do not owe money, I do not owe labor, I do not owe time. I have a floating house with an anchor that can be lifted at my whim and sails that can take me to any coast in the world. My time and money is mine to spend, my options are as large as this world in the most literal sense. My only obligation being to make good of the life and time I’ve been given, share with others as they make good on their lives and time given, to sense the right-path, and set foot or sail upon that navigable mark.
In our elation, we all fail to notice Over-Thinker starting to panic. “Look at these crazy people!” She whispers to herself as she watches everyone twirl. “I’ve got to reign in these free spirits, or everything will fall apart.”
We enjoy a moonlit sail to Kumai, our river trip through the rainforest and the Orangutangs. But, questions about the future have been piling up. Most pressing, we need to decide (1) our route for this sailing season - a diversion up to the Anambas Islands of Indonesia’s Riaou Group above Borneo or a more direct route to Singapore?; and (2) whether to complete our halfway-circumnavigation refit/repair work on Sonrisa in Malaysia or Thailand? These two questions bear upon each other. If we go to Anambas, it is highly unlikely we will finish a major repair Sonrisa has requested AND explore Thailand in the way we would like before it’s time to leave across the Indian Ocean in March. Going to Anambas guarantees that we will have to spend another year in South East Asia waiting for the North Indian Ocean sailing season to return to safe weather. And yet, even if we decide not to go to Anambas, we have some concern that the mid-circumnavigation refit will take quite a while anyway and then we will either have to sacrifice time to explore Thailand or stay the extra year in South East Asia. The Indian Ocean sailing seasons are a bit more tricky than the Pacific Ocean routes.
Decisions must be made.
Whenever Captain Andrew starts mulling these questions over, Over-thinker isn’t even at the table, she’s off somewhere fidgeting or rummaging through a closet. Over-thinker is focused not on pending key questions, but on the magnitude of her loss of control over the future. She paces around inside my head, mumbling.
“We don’t have a plan, we need a ten year plan. We’ve got, what, three years of plan at the most, and even that is not going according to plan, we’re a bit behind schedule, a bit over run on budget, and… and…there is a mutiny happening! Over-Tryer and Ms. Sensitivity aren’t doing anything useful, they are just over there enjoying themselves!” She turns these last two words over in her mouth with spit and venom curling from her lips. She sits down in her chair and taps her pencil against her chin.
The future must always be controlled.