I have learned so much about myself from living on a ship. And I don’t like some of what I’ve learned. I understand that is a loaded statement. I’m not trying to be a martyr. Or over critical of myself. I just started seeing patterns in myself day to day that I want to make better, or make disappear altogether. The biggest thing I’ve realized is that I’m a dweller. It is so hard for me to just take things and move on. I think of them constantly, replaying them over and over in my head. Stop, I say to myself. Stop stop stop.
I’ve finally started to take my own advice, but I need to tell myself to stop daily. Do not dwell. It is incredibly unhealthy, and annoying. Especially on a ship when you are really in your own little bubble. If you don’t get out, trust me, you can begin to feel unhinged. I meditate, and like to have an ‘attitude of gratitude,’ but living in the moment is difficult when you replay things that happened months ago in your head and wonder if you could have done things differently, or even if you said the wrong thing at dinner the night before. I think that after all these years, though, I’ve come to recognize that I do this and that I don’t like it. It sucks. And it’s not helping me grow as a person at all. If anything, it’s stagnating me. It may not seem like much, but this is a huge realization, and one that is helping me become mentally healthier and more whole.
I could also say I’m too sensitive, but you know, that’s something I’ve always lived with and it’s always going to be a part of me. I can’t get rid of it. And at this point, I don’t want to. What I do want to do is temper it, and understand that certain scenarios affect me in very strong ways. I’m already preparing myself for when we go to India. I’ve always wanted to see it, and feel SO lucky that I’m going. However, several people have told me stories of the poverty, the strife, the gut wrenching quality of life. I know this will cut a wound deep inside me, and my emotions will punch me in the stomach. But I want to take what I feel, and channel it into writing, or acting – some sort of artistic outlet. I already know it’s going to affect me. And I know myself, and realize I cannot build up a wall against the emotions that are going to, frankly, completely overcome me. But because I’m not going to fight against it, at least I can allow myself to really feel and not beat myself up over the way I will react to sad circumstances.
I have only a couple days left in Australia, and then we are going to Indonesia. I’m excited for Southeast Asia, in particular Bali and Komodo Island. Australia has been really good to me, and I’m thrilled I got to see the other side of the world. It just all goes by way too fast, and I definitely want to spend more time in Sydney in the very near future. Going to all these great cities for just a couple hours can be frustrating, as you’re just on the lookout for the free wifi, good lunch spots, and top tourist attractions. I’m looking forward to really staying in Australia on my own time, and experiencing the city life, beaches, neighborhoods, and arts scene at my own pace. My favorite parts of Australia have been the weather, when we’re right on the water, and downtown in the casual, beachy, pedestrian ridden streets. When we’re right in the heart of the city, between the chain stores and the huge buildings and fast food restaurants, I just can’t wait to get back to the quiet, back alley streets and cafes on the water. Because as much as I don’t’ miss the cold, and the CONSTANT hustle, nothing, and I mean this, compares to New York City. I love to travel, so when I get to live in one of the greatest cities in the world, I want to go the beach and see the unique things these places have to offer.