forgive me while I chear.
For now I stand here a stronger soul
and all I have lost is fear!"
So, I had this quote framed and on my wall when I was working on ships. I had always wanted to work on ships, way before college but found myself in love IN college and decided to put aside my dream and get married. I married for all of the right reasons but I married the wrong guy. He is not a bad guy (although if you had asked me about ten years ago, I would have had a different answer)... he was just the WRONG guy for me. The more he would try to control me the naggier I got.
When we decided to split, I had no idea what I was going to do with my future. I was single for the first time in what felt like forever. I had no plans. I was not the same person in body or in spirit that I had been before him and I went through somewhat of a transformation.
I moved down to Texas and lived with my parents. I sent out all of my resume's and head shots to the cruise lines and worked for a restaurant that's big in South Texas. I was shy, somewhat meek and totally not the Jessica I am now or the one that I was although I started to come out of my shell.
I got news from Holland America that I had been hired to work as children's staff. I had literally two weeks to prepare all of my wordly belongings and to get my tuckus to Vancouver. Now, all of a sudden, I was faced with the reality of my dream coming true and I was terrified. I wanted to say that the act of getting hired was enough. I didn't want to do it. I wanted to stay home in my own little cocoon with my parents and work in a restaurant or manage one. I wanted to pretend like I could handle it but at the time, I really didn't think I could. But I did.
With the support of my friends and family, I got it all done. I boarded that plane bound for Vancouver. I wandered around all by myself for the whole day (might have gotten through with a glass or two of wine)... had a nice dinner and the next morning, got myself to the ship. I boarded that ship, met my boss and roommate and got fitted for my uniforms. And then I began. And I loved it.
I loved every single part of it. I loved the sea. I loved the ship. I loved who I worked with. I loved the passengers. Every worry that I had had slipped away. I took pictures. I wrote emails. I made friends and I had the realization one day that.... I was happy. I could laugh. I could smile and mean it. That achieving one's dreams is not only important but paramount to who we are and who we are supposed to become.
I lived this dream for five years. And finally I decided that it was time to move on, lest I become what they called a lifer. I didn't want to wake up one day and then say... I should have been a wife and mother. I wanted a life beyond the sea.
Within another year, I had met my husband and then again, reinvented myself. And now, I am a wife AND mother. And there are still moments when I am afraid... but now, the fear extends to my husband and mostly, my son. (sorry honey). I worry every single second that he is out of my sight. I worry when he's asleep that he won't wake up. I worry when he's awake that he'll hurt himself. I worry that when he does hurt himself he won't recover easily. But, I think that mostly... I am afraid that I won't be able to give him the tools he will need to make his own dreams come true.
But that, I think, is the lesson most important for me. HE needs to learn what needs to be done to achieve his own dreams. As my husband says, "I'm not driving this chicken, I'm just holding onto the legs."