Last night, I layed in my rack and browsed through my WILD book. As strange as this sounds I felt like I was still recovering from my Suez Canal Transit. I felt beat and we were advancing clocks so I was going to get one less hour of sleep. I stayed awake late so I could enter the deck gangs overtime and update their Watch Standing hour logs. I knew that I was too tired to read so I scanned my iPad for sections of the book that I highlighted, and re-read pages with bookmarks. Like the first time I read it, it made so much sense. Have you ever read a book and thought, 'I'm reading this at exactly the right time. I was supposed to read this right now.'? This is how I feel about this book. My first highlighted quotes can be found on page 12 (or at least it's page 12 on my iPad).
"But a woman who walks alone in the wilderness for eleven hundred miles? I'd never been anything like that before. I had nothing to lose by giving it a whirl."
"When I believed that all the things I'd been before had prepared me for this journey. But nothing had or could. Each day on the trail was the only possible preparation for the one that followed. And sometimes even the day before didn't prepare me for what would happen next."
I can't think of more accurate or appropriate quotes that would sum up my Chief Mate experience to date.
Bridget left me a lovely comment a while back: "Mermate showing her mettle. ssssssssss…..ahhhhhh."
To which I responded: "@Bridget – You can live vicariously through me any day! I think I’ll have to write about my mettle soon :) I’ve been finding tons of inspiration lately that I think you might like!"
Since then, I've been thinking about the word METTLE. For some reason, this word seems delightfully old-fashioned to me. I've been thinking about this word a lot. I especially thought about it while reading WILD. Cheryl Strayed....talk about some mettle!
A couple days ago I got a note from my Mom saying, "I am looking forward to reading about what helped your "mettle" while in transition to your new job! I think you mentioned it on your blog in a response to Bridget."
I took this Chief Mate job because I figured, 'why the hell not?!'. I told myself that it was now or never. To quote Cheryl Strayed, "I had nothing to lose by giving it a whirl."
I knew that it would be hard work, and I knew that it would require some mettle but, I knew that if I didn't do this 'next big thing' when the opportunity presented itself, that I would regret it. Regret it a lot.
Where am I finding my mettle? From lovely little notes that my family drops into my inbox. From quotes that I find written in my Little Book Of Happiness. From my friends who read my blog and teach my new words like mettle. From my Mother who follows through on my new word.
It's true that I'm finding mettle in all those lovely little places however; the reality is I'm finding my mettle in a much more primitive fashion. When I don't find my mettle, things don't get done, things break, people stop working, house sanitary doesn't get accomplished, the Captain gets angry and, the ship doesn't run as smoothly. It's sink or swim. Without my mettle I start to sink. My motto this trip has been: I Refuse To Sink. I can't tell you how many times a day I tell myself this.
Cheryl Strayed's day on the trail is the equivalent of my day at sea. Sometimes, the day before doesn't prepare me for the day at hand. Nothing can prepare me sometimes, for the ease in which things begin to unravel.
When things begin to unravel I try to stop for a second - sometimes this means walking away from people who are irritating me. I work on solution based problem solving. I ask myself some questions. I make a cup of tea if time allows. I brew some iced tea for later. I fold an origami crane. I tell myself to muster some mettle and then I remind myself that there is no sinking allowed!
Obviously, sometimes there is no time for any of those things and then, I FAKE IT.
WILD said to me: Find your Mettle. Don't Sink. Fake it.
What is WILD saying to you?