By Tracey Parent
What’s a girl to do when she is literally tapped-the-f*ck-out, on empty, drained of every last bit of love, energy, effort and give of any kind? She finds a boat to sail her around islands aimlessly for a week. With strangers who can’t possibly NEED a thing from her. Which is a good thing because honestly she doesn’t have a damn thing to give and is ready to take what she deserves….and if she has to kill someone to get it, well….
I am a single mom, a business-owner, a daughter, sister, friend, neighbor and a thoughtful stranger. Some say I have boundless energy but I would beg to differ. There is nothing superhuman about me, but my greatest assets are my faith and passion. These things push me forward every day. What fills me up on a daily basis is going to work at a business I created that is warm, inviting to clients, and successful because it provides a good life and allows me to live it on my own terms. The ability to do something I enjoy and come home to my little happy family and spend time with friends feeds my soul and allows me to give of myself to others which also feeds my need for my life to have purpose, meaning and impact.
All that said, sometimes all the give is gone, tapped out and a “reset” is required. I have learned in life, whether in a relationship or not, one needs to love themselves enough to know when self-care is needed. A partner, friends, family, they have their place in meeting needs but your self and soul require an inner-connection. Some times YOU need to take care of YOU, and right now, I need to take care of ME.
So here I go to the British Virgin Islands on a very nice 50 foot catamaran for seven days with a boat captain I have become acquainted with through a friend on Facebook (friends of friends can’t be rapists right??) and a handful of strangers…oh and my girlfriend Kristi who is pretty much clinically insane (I meant Republican, sorry)…. I have one carry on, light enough to throw over my shoulder, and other than salt, sand and sailing I have zero expectations. No wait, I have one: That this birth control pill that my GYN gave me to prevent my monthly friend, aka el Diablo Rojo, from coming mid-sail actually works!! (A moment of silent prayer please. Amen.)
So at the gate at Dulles, of course, the flight has been delayed but TRUST ME, my chill has not been harshed just yet… I’m thinking about the other guests on the boat. I will change the names to protect their privacy (and in case one of them ends up overboard… just sayin’). First there is “Pam,” she is from Hawaii. From what I understand she is a super-zen chick who does yoga and reiki. She’s adorable and after stalking her Facebook, I was surprised to see we pretty much share very similar opinions and share almost identical posts. My first instinct is “I like her already,” but my second thought is “usually those earthy chicks can be a little nuts.” Besides, one of my best friends said to never trust a girl named Pam, so I guess we shall see.
Next meet “Joe.” Joe apparently owns like nine restaurants in Hilton Head. He’s older than I am (I stalked his FB too), but looks like he enjoys life. The REAL question is: Does a restaurant owner COOK? And will he be doing so on board because I have zero intention of making anything other than salsa and guac to go with my afternoon margarita.
Which brings us to “Ray”. Oh f’ it, I’m not changing his name… His real name is Ross and I feel like we are old friends at this point (we have, after all have had several FB chats). Ross is the captain of the boat. He is super-friendly, and lives the life we all say we will as soon as our kids are out of the house. He spends his time island hopping on gorgeous boats hanging out with cool people and lounging in hammocks while dragging his feet through powdered sugar-like sand. F’ this guy right? Yeah… but you can’t not like him. Well, as far as I can tell from Facebook.
I know nothing else about the other couple coming but will introduce them to you as this journey unfolds. OK, they’re calling my flight. And so it begins… Come along. And let’s hope nobody goes overboard!