Sailing Solo…A Life Over There
Dear Woo Woo Girl: I am starting over. Woo Hoo! I left my marriage after many years. I have one son who is in his twenties and a young daughter. The leaving was fairly easy. I knew a decision had to be made, and because the decision was mine, it wasn’t agonizing. My ex-husband and I are still friends but being on my own after so many years as a couple has been interesting and a little lonely. Any advice?
Signed “Then There Was One”
Dear Then There Was One:
Sailing your very own ship; to be your own captain is exhilarating, and filled with adventure. But like any kind of traveling the destination sounds glorious, with a path that can be arduous, treacherous, lonely, yet inspiring. Think of it as a path of discovery. It is a time to reinvent yourself, your lifestyle, and your friends. Understand that you really, really do like potato chips for breakfast, with your coffee black, and it doesn’t matter.
It’s all so different and it’s not. Flying solo either creates a deeper you or a more insecure you.
Aim for the former.
Imagine on that ship a hot tub is on the deck that beckons you to soak in it every night, nursing a lovely glass of Chardonnay. It asks you to indulgently soak and remember why you wanted to leave and reminds you this is YOUR time. Your time means aiming higher and wider with your net. There are new places, people, and experiences with your name tag waiting for you. But things take time. If you don’t ruminate in your bubble bath then anxiety over a lonely night at home will be mistaken as a ship run aground and replaced by a sense of not being worthy to have someone by your side. Quickly, a rebound partner, friend, or life will rush in like an angry wave to fill your ship. Don’t let it. Soak and sail till your heart’s content.
Sailing solo after being a unit of two is a time of firsts. The first time spending holidays on your own, the first time going into a bar solo, the first time revealing your flawed nakedness and having sex with a new body, the first time making an executive decision on your life without compromise. Relationships are in flux. Old friends feel judgy and well old. New friends are unfamiliar footing, and loneliness is too often your friend. It’s not easy but let the unfamiliar become familiar.
You are not alone.
There is a harbor filled with ships and solo sailors.
Find them but look for the cruise ship too. Leave judgment aside and let your curiosity drive where your life goes next without too much control. There is no room for should anywhere. In a time and course that’s yours, it is only about “isn’t that interesting”. Take the course that you were always interested in. Change your outfit and dress differently because you are different.
It is a cliché but a must.
Buy new linen, make your bed and swab your deck.
There is something cathartic in slipping into a beautifully made bed that is just for you, and a home that is your very own cocoon and unravels only when you tell it to.
Solo sailing can feel overwhelming and sad, but it doesn’t have to be. It is no longer anchored to a life that was-the life that is no longer yours. Enjoy the journey.
Spiritual Exercise: Stay mindfully present.
Dear Woo Woo Girl