This past summer, the icky weather not withstanding, has been an amazing experience for me. Why? I learned a lot about myself. If you have been following my journey as I share my thoughts on this blog, you know this is actually nothing new. I have learned a ton about myself in the past 2.5 years. And this summer was no different. Let me explain.
In the spring, I became the proud owner of a new (to me) boat. This time though, it wasn’t a sailboat, which is my usual go to type of vessel. Nope, this time, it was a power cruiser. Long story as to the rationale and not important at this time to the subject at hand. Suffice to say it was one of the best things I ever did for myself. And make no mistake. I did this for myself, no one else, period. I needed to do this. Turns out, I was right (for a change!).
The environment I moved into at my marina could not have been more perfect. Not that there wasn’t any challenges, it wasn’t utopia, but it was perfect because it wasn’t perfect. Confused? I get it, but stay with me for a bit. I needed to challenge myself. I needed to know exactly where I was in my journey. What I could do, what I couldn’t do and how to adapt to different circumstances. Some may say that I am reading a lot into this scenario. But I don’t think so. I honestly think all of this was present.
I learned how to be the new kid on the block, in my new skin, so to speak, where nobody knew me. No previous history. I forced myself to get out there, to take risks, to learn how to make friends and how to interject myself into an established community. It took time. And yes, I did skin my knees, figuratively speaking. But I continued on. Something I never would have even considered doing prior to my transition.
I learned that I am someone people want to spend time with. Again, this is new. That I can hold my own in conversations, and in many instances, I am just one of “the girls”. Sure, it was difficult at times as I am single whereas virtually everyone else is part of a couple. So many times, I was the “odd” person out. Some may say, in more ways than one, but I digress. But ya know what? I was, and still am, fine with that. My sense of self esteem is not linked to what anyone else thinks of me. I am proud to say that I am my own person, my own woman. And I don’t apologize for it. Period.
I also learned that there are some things I can’t do. And that it is okay to ask for help. Captaining your our cruiser is not hard, at least not for me. But when you are trying to dock a 10 foot wide boat into a 14 foot wide space with wind and current not helping, and you really don’t want to hit that $200,000 boat by side you, asking for help is not a bad thing. Yes, I have my pride, but I am not stupid. What I discovered, and more importantly learned, is that there is no shame in asking for help, and just as I am happy to helps those around me, there were plenty of people that were glad to help me out as well. I learned to be happy that it was there, that it was not a sign of weakness, but rather one of maturity. All told, all these lessons make me a stronger person.
Guess old dogs can learn new tricks!