I’ve been at land for six months and fully off the boat for two. The last time I was on the boat, I felt the wavy pit in my stomach that comes along with unfamiliarity on the water. I had to train my eyes to not track the current along the side of the boat, but to stay visually put on my task instead.
On land, I have fresh clothes and access to a big claw-footed bathtub. I have stress related to work responsibilities and housing needs. My car door is busted and the check engine light keeps coming back on, no matter how much money I give the mechanic. I go to the gym because during the day I sit at a desk and my heart rarely pounds during the course of a normal day. #lifeonlandproblems
The longer this goes on the more I feel the inertia building. I lived for a fleeting moment completely free from side-eye. The daily demands of living aboard kept me out of my head, no comparisons to my peers, no beauty mags at the grocery store check out, no key chain to perpetually be in search of.
That lifestyle requires money, however, and so there will always be the need to stop and dig in on land.
Although this landside time is fraught with “landside thinking”, as I have come to think of it – all the pressures, stress and doubts of living within society, it is further compounded by a sweet and effortless sublimation into community. Out there Fabio and I have each other, and when we have a waft of data coverage, we have metered access to our friends and family. Here people recognize me from the day before because they saw me riding my bike on the causeway, or remember me from the street because I wear funny looking glasses, or they have heard of me because I am working on a project with their colleagues. We celebrate special occasions together and periodically exchange hand-written thank you notes.
Its hard to meter. It rushes in.