Losing the Wind
When I lived in San Diego, I started dating a guy who lived on a 37-foot sailboat. It was cool and weekends on the water were fun. Funny thing was he never took the sailboat out of the harbor where it was docked. It was his home, and he didn’t like moving it around. He did however have a catamaran and one day asked me on a romantic picnic on the water. He neglected to check the weather forecast. I didn’t blame him for overlooking that. San Diego had perfect weather so who would have thought a storm would roll in and there would be a small craft advisory issued for the day. We were a way out on the water when we decided to break open our picnic lunch. Just as I opened the basket the main sail snapped, and we found ourselves drifting out to sea. He was well prepared and had a tool kit for such occasions but with the wind whipping the way it was, it took him a while to fix the sail. The longer it took the further we drifted. The water was getting choppy and the more the little catamaran bounced the more nauseous I became. Soon I was retching uncontrollably while water rushed over the boat and gave me a continual soaking. Once the main was fixed we tried sailing into shore, but the wind wasn’t having it, so we had to tack. This meant instead of sailing straight for the harbor we had to zig zag from left to right sailing parallel to the shore until we made it in. What should have taken thirty minutes, took hours. The wind was increasing, the waves were washing over us, and we were losing sunlight. Our situation was getting dyer by the minute and I was soaked to the bone and still vomiting. We were thirty minutes out. I could see the shore and my hopes were on the rise despite my extreme discomfort when an expensive yacht came racing alongside us. There was a party in full swing and people were out on the deck enjoying their swift ride to the harbor despite the choppy sea.
The rules of the ocean are for big crafts to give way to the smaller ones, especially those without engines and rely on the wind. The captain of the party boat didn’t heed the rules and cut in front of us blocking the breeze and literally knocking the wind out of our sails. This lack of momentum sent us drifting again and added another two hours to our return. The guy I was dating cursed, using words I had never heard. I learned what cussing like a sailor really meant.
Have you ever had the wind knocked out of your sails? What you thought going to be a great day, a promotion, a budding relationship, a pay raise, an award-winning audition, an acceptance letter, a new house suddenly turns sour. You put in a lot of effort, worked hard, and banked on something that you were so certain of. The winds of change blew up and what you planned didn’t turn out like you imagined. You were trying so hard and then the party boat, loaded with those who seemingly have it so easy, not a care in the world leaves you in its wake. They breeze past, not caring that your struggle is real. They knock the wind out of your sails, take what you have been striving for and leave you adrift floating in disappointment.
Don’t let yourself drift. The longer you float into the sea of nothingness, allowing your mind to replay the loss, the further you get from the shore and the longer it will take you to get to where you want to be. Take a deep breath, paddle if you have to, get out and swim, do whatever you must but do not drift. All the effort you applied before is not lost. You improved yourself, you learned something, and you are a better stronger person because of it. If you need to cuss, then cuss. If you need to scream in a pillow go scream in a pillow. If you want to raise the middle finger at the party boat as it passes by, then do it. But do not give up! Then, let go of the anger, lose the disappointment but don’t lose momentum. Don’t drift further than you were before you started. The shore is in view! You will get there!