I got an e-mail two days ago that said: 'Ohmygah - love this!! Megan - you are beautiful and powerful and I am in awe of your bravery!!'
It majorly made my day but, it got me thinking too. Am I brave?
(I've also been saying 'ohmygah' every chance I get...)
Do you want to know what my number one fear has been during my years at sea?
I've been scared of turning into a Sea Hag.
I didn't want to be in my Thirties shipping out single...or shipping out with a failed marriage. I didn't want to be so socially twisted that I preferred my times at sea to those at home. I didn't want to be so incredibly crass that my friends were embarassed to invite me places. I didn't want to be a Sea Hag.
With my 30th birthday looming on the horizon I've been unusually introspective. Instead of staring out the bridge window and spacing out I've been thinking about life. I know. Deep.
All this introspection has led me to write posts about how I meow. It's also led me to think about where I am and where I want to be. It's led me to think about being a Sea Hag.
Nautie Friends, I'm here to tell you: I don't care if I turn into a Sea Hag (or if I already am one).
I like shipping out. I like being at sea. I like showing up in random ports and taking pictures of camels. I like standing on the bridge wing at 0600 sipping coffee with hot cocoa in it. I like my vacation periods where I can go places and do things. I like joking around with the Deck Gang about who farted at the morning meeting. I like my slip on Red Wing boots. I like when the Deck Gang feels proud about doing a really good job cleaning the Foc'sle and, calls me to come take a look at it.
Do you know what I know now that I didn't know before?
I enjoy those things because I can. Because I'm thirty (or will be in two months) and I'm single. I enjoy those things because I'm free to enjoy them.
The dudes and dudettes who have a girl or guy at home...they don't go home and talk about how much they love their jobs. Know why? Because it pisses the person at home off. It specifically pisses The Ladies At Home off. That's why they go home and talk about how hard it is and about how much they wish they could get a job that pays what this one does shoreside.
Wanna know a secret? This job is fucking awesome.
Does it have drawbacks? Of course. It's a job. Yes, when I miss things at home I get bummed. But, don't you feel bummed when you miss things because you have to work? It's hard sometimes. It is physically demanding. The climate can wear on you (read: Persian Gulf in the summer or Northern Europe in the winter). It's hard to make new friends when you're gone all the time and it's also hard to maintain relationships. But, don't you find that those things are hard in life in general?
There you have it. I'm a Lady Sailor. I like to go to sea. I enjoy the adventure. I think it's fun to pack up and move on a whim. I like being a Gypsy with a Nice Car. I have tattoos. I swear a lot. I can discuss West Coast vs Gulf Coast freight rates. I've had the priviledge of having some awesome shipmates and I've gotten into bar fights with shitty shipmates. I have peed down the Hawse Pipe.
Mother, I apologize but, it's official. I'm a Sea Hag.
*Mom, I love you....I hope you still come visit*