RIP Divemaster

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I really love to dive. It's a sort of meditative exploration where you're seeing things in a distorted way (30% larger and seem closer) and you're floating by them for much longer than a human should actually be able to. Observing all sorts of ocean life and anemones as well as bountiful coral reefs, creepy cuttle fish, protective clown fish, sea turtles + spotted sting rays is magical.

But I really hate breaking up my meditative exploration to deal with some dumbass motherfuckers buoyancy. Helping others and empathy is just not my forte. At. All. I am a really compassionate person to animals and to those few that I am close to, but even then my patience wears thin and I need excessive alone time for happiness... After completing 42 fun dives to get myself to the start point for divemaster coursework, I had a day of shadowing as an assistant. The BS of hand-holding and babysitting weren't joyful teaching moments, oh no. They made for a day of annoyance and rethinking the entire career path. I soon realized that I could still be a part of the diving world via marketing, but the saint-like position of divemaster or instructor shall be reserved for those far better and more patient than I. In a glorious twist of fate I burnt off a chunk of my finger with a firework on NYE so I can't dive now anyway. Hello universe stop LOL'ing at me, or maybe with me in this instance, that conclusion is reserved for if my finger ends up getting staph/SARS/MRSA/chopped off/gangrene/lepracy (you never know, cleanliness and clean water are not what southeast Asia are known for). 

I know that I am always searching for lessons and the meaning of experiences to evolve and grow from them, but sometimes I've already learned the same damn lesson. This is a perfect example of that. Years ago I left a career in physical therapy/exercise science because of patients and my personal lack of empathy... Yet now I saw myself as a tanned, outdoorsy, informative, chill divemaster... EERRMMPPHH (buzzer noise for wrong answer). Oh well the diving was fun + beautiful (and pricey...ugh)... Lessonz...

Goalicious

I'm really afraid to write anymore goal lists. In the past 5 years every single goal or whim I've put to paper (aside from marriage - which would have been a fucking mess to anyone I dated anyway) has been smashed to smithereens and I've gone well overboard in achieving it. 

  • Career > Become a digital marketing manager? Check. Did it for 10mos: launching a website and rebranding a social media presence while surviving an understaffed team, an underfunded budget, a redefining of a role, a director who micromanaged my every decision then quit. All the while pulling side gigs on my off time to...
  • Pay off debt > I had been chasing my tail on this bitch for years. after buckling down and defining my hard limits on budgets I finally got out of this hole. Savings are the next leg of the journey but for right now I am beholden to no creditors and feel freed from the capitalist spending cycle - BUY MORE WORK MORE YOU DESERVE IT DEBT DEBT DEBT. fuck. off. 
  • Friends > I moved on from some people who just weren't a good fit, redefined relationships with others, and mended one of the most important relationships from my 20s (Cuban Assassin = my heart). I am blessed to have a small group of badass bossgirls who I would cut-a-bitch for. The distance will probably continue to redefine these friendships but the extra effort is worth it. 
  • Travel > Are you kidding me? On a whim I listed out some places and dates I'd like to hit before the end of this year (before the decision to live abroad on Halloween I already had Southeast Asia booked for March 2016). On that list were Napa, Minnesota, Buffalo 2xs + Palawan. We are on a boat now moving to Palawan for 2mos to do our divemaster certification. And I ticked off all those locations in the states before I left and Colombia. Is this a dream?
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The freedom of this life is so amazing - and all it took was for me to take the leap off the edge with the trust that we can I can weave my own safety net on the way down OR learn to fly OR both. Finding an ability to work for trade has reshaped my self-worth. It has humbled me in this way where I find myself giving mad props to the owner of a tiny fried chicken stand or the driver of the Jeepney - way to kill it in the cashmoney business my friends. I am so curious as well about the future of how I can position myself as a digital nomad, it's scary af - but when I look around I see many westerners finding a way to earn money remotely (for me this will be dependent on a good wifi connection). This again is a learning curve. Trusting my skill-set outside of the traditional office-based, rat-race arrangement and trusting that someone else will see its value, yielding a mutually beneficial scenario. 

It's day 51 of this journey and I'm fully immersed. Letting go of the loose ends I was unable to tie up stateside. Letting go of things I expected and opening up to the world of adventure and mystery we are sailing into. 

Also this horoscope:

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): To the other eleven signs of the zodiac, the way of the Gemini sometimes seems rife with paradox and contradiction. Many non-Geminis would feel paralyzed if they had to live in the midst of so much hubbub. But when you are at your best, you thrive in the web of riddles. In fact, your willingness to abide there is often what generates your special magic. Your breakthroughs are made possible by your high tolerance for uncertainty. How  many times have I seen a Gemini who has been lost in indecision but then suddenly erupts with a burst of crackling insights? This is the kind of subtle miracle I expect to happen soon.

Mental Shift

It a mental exercise to remember what side of the road is the correct side to drive on. It's the opposite in the States and sometimes I just can't remember!

Another mental exercise is redefining my worth. I never put a ton of stock into being a "career woman" but I was fairly successful in <5 years of digital marketing from going from $18 per hour to $80+k. Now I am looking for scraps and odd jobs for freelance work and volunteering at a circus for free room + shift meals. This is not a complaint or a bad thing, however it is a weird mental shift. It's the space between.

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The space between finding a place to live for a few months and getting divemaster certified.

The space between defining my budget and what I can earn.

The space between knowing for certain (or as certain as we can) that we should stick together as a couple or if we will part ways amicably or catastrophically.

I didn't save much to begin this lifestyle - in fact I basically only have what was budgeted for November's rent. So in terms of being an equal partner with finances I feel like I'm on really shaky ground. This isn't an issue between us, it's my issue. a lack of control and mobility. I'll have it back once there is a defined stream of income, but currently there is a certain scramble-mode in my brain.

The easy solution is pack-up + head back to the states, save some money, define income streams that are sustainable overseas... The creative solution is one where I find a way to create an sustainable income that allows me to save + live. The kickass part? I am debt free + that isn't going anywhere. I can live on very little and be happy. Pairing down my belongings to always fit in my 50L bag is an exhilarating feeling.  The rest? Ha, just noise. It will work it's way out.

Futurez

Future planning, what a glorious thing. At 21 it seemed perfectly reasonable to be married and knocked up by 30...

5 years and 2 weeks ago i recalibrated my goals. I was 26 then and thought of my biggest and best dreams, they scared me, delighted me, and made me so excited for the future. By now i am supposed to be married and have child 1.

It's funny how priorities and dreams change. I read those goals now and although the same key themes are present in my life, the specifics are so vastly different!

Things that are the same:

  • Financial goals (kinda the same)
  • Career goals, #killin those
  • An interest in exploration, locally + worldly
  • An interest in meaningful, deep relationships
  • Still a total romantic, it's going to happen... Someday

Things that are different:

  • Friends have changed
  • I don't want to own HOMES (and definitely not the luxury ones I had mapped out)
  • Kids? Not even sure at all...
  • An extreme jump-off into frugality

This is the way I see my goals now, same exercise but different execution:

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