Sure, Cyndi Lauper was right when she sang “girls just wanna have fu-un”, but, oh, there’s so much more girls want, isn’t there? And, alas, all girls are not created equally, are they? Thank goodness - no. My group of friends back in Colorado is as varied as the items on the shelf of the general store we walked into yesterday, where the toothpaste shared a shelf with a lonely, last sack of locally grown tomatoes. Some days I need toothpaste, but other days I’m relieved to snatch up those last few tomatoes. Our wants and desires are what make us different from each other, and they are also how we connect and contribute to those around us.
Some women want love and belonging, while others want independence and solidarity. Some want calm, while others crave a bit of chaos. Some want to be cherished, while others want to be challenged. Some want quiet, while others thrive in a crowd. I’ve realized in this stage of my life (why I’m still wresting with this now, I’ll never know) that I’m not sure what I want sometimes. And sometimes I want it all! But thinking about the desires of your individual heart is an important part of living life to the full. What makes me tick? What do I feel good at? Where do I thrive? What can I contribute to humanity based on what I value? When I dig deep, maybe Cyndi Lauper was way off… fun? Really? THAT’S what girls want?? Oh, contraire! I want depth, meaning, purpose! (cue music - to dream the impossible dream, to fight the unbeatable foe)
But then… (it seems there’s always a ‘but, then’ in life, just when you think you’ve solved the soul’s dilemmas). But, then… one of my Colorado girlfriends patiently listened to me ranting about homeschooling woes and preteen drama and the hardships of nomadic life, blah, blah, blah on a Skype call. Finally I took a breath, and she asked a loaded question, disguised as a simple inquiry. “But, are you having fun???” Suddenly, world’s collided, the sky fell, and I was forced to consider this element of life which I flippantly dismissed only days earlier as a ridiculous notion! Am I having fun? Well, that little nugget of gold led me searching down deep into the mines of myself all over again. I’ll spare you the journey (you’re welcome) and just bring you to my latest quest. To recognize my need for fun as I follow my soul’s desires. Simple, right?
|Winery Tour with California Girls!|
Well, I quickly identified that I deeply desire friendships - any kind, any place. Just give me someone to relate to in some way, and I’m good. But life aboard doesn’t always make that very easy. In fact, friendships look and feel a lot different when you are living a nomadic lifestyle in isolated places or in the middle of the sea. Most of my friends around me are only around me temporarily. Neighbors don’t stick around long - plans change, forecasts change, tides change. So, just when we’d gotten past the “happy hour” chit chat, someone’s off again. I would feel like a kid at a playdate, when mom says it’s time to go home, right at the exact moment we’d finished building the fort to beat all forts!! Leave, now? We were just getting started!
Living on board doesn’t give me the luxury of ‘fort building’. When there’s potential for a girl’s night out or sharing a cup of coffee with another female, carpe diem! I pick up the VHF, make a call out to boats in the area, and organize it. Inevitably, women come crawling out from their cockpits to connect with someone, anyone without a Y chromosome. So, come on, cruising gals! Women aboard, unite! See a boat anchored next to you? Paddle over and say hello. Chances are, if there’s a woman on board, she’d love a friend. And maybe even a little, dare I say, fun???
In the last month or so, Field Trip have been fairly stationary for once in a long time - maybe forever, come to think of it. I’ve stretched outside my inhibitions, and had a great time with some of the ladies living aboard around me. Sometimes it’s as simple as a group grocery store run, other times it’s required a bit more planning. Either way, my cup has been filled with deeper friendships and a lot of fun.
|How many groceries can four women buy? Let's just say, we drove a low-rider home!|
|Turns out one of my boat gals does hair! Not sure she's ever dyed hair in a wharf |
bathroom before, though! Goodbye gray!