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Published: August 8th 2007
I am exhausted. Sleep is pretty much just not going to happen between now and home. Last night I cried and ciried and cried and made a last ditch attempt to convince the powers that be to not send me home, then cried and cried and cried some more and panicked a whole lot - all amongst a full evening of work. After work ended I went to the crew party - my last this contract. Everyone is so kind, telling me how much they'll miss me, how the ship won't be the same without me. I just feel so rushed and panicked trying to get everything taken care of. But I'm doing my best to enjoy myself and I have been. Starting today at the beach in Costa Maya.
Michelle and I dragged ourselves off the ship this morning - it was a big party last night - and I did some last chance gift shopping before just concluding that what I've bought so far will have to suffice. Then we headed into the village of Mahajaul and to swing bar where all of the crew who were off would be meeting up. Found Ronald, Phil, Darnell and the
rest of the shoppie crowd. Later in the day the spa girls - Bronwyn, Jackie, Sam, Loraine - joined us too.
There's not much to say about grand adventures today. It was all about eating some good Mexican food, having some really good drinks and enjoying the beach. All day I kept trying to engrain the sensory experience into my brain and my body. The feeling of swimming in the warm salt water. The taste of a cold mango daiquiri. The soft sand under my feet. The warm breeze that sweeps in off the ocean. The hot tropical sunshine on my skin.
I swam in the ocean by myself for a bit, looking around, trying to engrain the picture of the beach in my mind. I thought back to the first week of December, when I was in the Dominican Republic for Kristi & Dave's wedding. The day after the wedding I was joined on the beach by Dave & Kristi and Dave & I went out for a swim. While we were out there, we were admiring the stunning views of the island and the water. I marvelled to him how I couldn't believe that this sort
of scenery was about to become the backdrop for my daily life. And now today, it was the backdrop for the last time.
Briefly I thought maybe I'd taken it all for granted. But that's not true. At various points in my contract, I may have been more focused on other things, but I have been consistently in awe of my surroundings and grateful to be wherever I was at the time. Through my entire time at sea, I have done my best to wake up every day and make the most of it. I can count on one hand how many days I did not get off the ship in a port because I chose to stay on the ship instead. After I became comfortable in the ship's social world, I rarely if ever turned down an opportunity to spend time with people on the ship. Aside from not snorkelling in Belize next week because I won't be there, and aside from getting my scuba certification (because I decided I couldn't afford it now), there is nothing in the ports that I wish I had have done. I did everything I wanted to. Last spring at Esalen, I
discovered the concept of being present and ever since then I have strived for just that. During my adventures at sea, I believe I've done it.
Back on the beach with my friends, it was tough to know that they'd all be back here next week without me. Such is ship life. It was harder to know that we'd never be together again. I am adament that I will get to the countries where my closest friends live sometime in the next few years - England, Italy, Australia, South Africa especially - but even when we see one another it will only be us. It will never again be the complete social circle. But all the more reason I'm happy I've always chosen a long night with friends over a long night of sleep, an afternoon or evening with friends rather than sitting alone in my cabin.
There have been more tears scattered throughout the day. But my friends are so good about making me laugh and keeping me loving right now.
Two more nights . . .
Tot: 3.492s; Tpl: 0.055s; cc: 29; qc: 158; dbt: 0.0993s; 3; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
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