Launch date stalled by fear

My sailboat still remains in my yard on a trailer—far from the wind and waves.
The grass growing underneath the boat trailer, which I cannot reach with the lawnmower, grows tall and thick.
I now lament each day that I watch it grow unfettered because it defines the one more day—and one more day again—that I am not on the water.
For many years I have subscribed to “Notes from the Universe” and every morning around 5 a.m. (and without fail), I receive a philosophical message in my e-mail.
The message usually is the first thing I read when I wake up because it helps me set the pace for my day.
One recent message read, “For every fork in the road, Beth, there are often two paths from which to choose: the one you ‘should’ take and the one you want to take.
“Take the second. Always take the second.”
I work on my boat nearly every day—fixing this, painting that, ordering this or that. And with every day that passes, I find one more reason why I should not launch.
I could play “Miss Fix It” all summer long. Safely, I could do that.
I’m scared to take the next step: the one that means the most, the one I want, the one I don’t know enough about, and the one I fear—sailing my “Scout” on my own.
That’s the worst thing about fear. It grows like a fungus and covers up all the good stuff. It tramples “could,” infects me with “not sure,” and drowns out “want.”
It kills joy and pleasure and excitement.
Before I started writing this column, I was sitting in the cockpit of my “Scout,” admiring my yard from my perch on stilts above the long grass and contemplating how I got “here.”
If someone had told me in early January that I would have my own sailboat by April, I would have said they were delusional.
But life changed the scope of my vision and my decisions. I couldn’t imagine my life without sailing in it and I was infused with a passion to do something to change that.
If at the end of April, someone would have told me that by the first day of June, I would be finding all sorts of excuses why I couldn’t do the thing I want most of all, I would have said they were delusional.
Go figure.
A friend of mine with an eye for philosophy fired off an e-mail to me about Mark Twain and Maria Shriver. Paraphrased, it read, “Throw off the bow line” and “Let go of the life you imagined so you can experience the life you were meant to live.”
And then there’s the advice of my friend and consummate sailor, Colin, who stressed, “It will all fall into place. Stop worrying. Get the boat in. Then have fun!”
I want to take that big, scary step. I want to never give up.
“Authenticity, the experience of truth, is our richest food. Without it we will freeze to death.”
I refuse to freeze. I’m going in.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail