“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain
The shape of a path in no way determines the adventure.
There is very little I fear more than thinking about staying in one place 444444 evahhhhhhhh!!! I have been moving around nearly all of my life. First through my imagination. On through books, movies, art, and music. Followed by the actual physical act of moving around through the military, teaching, and now my current job.
“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.” -Ernest Hemingway
Moving, moving, moving.
“Oh, the places you’ll go.” -Dr. Seuss
The paths I have followed and the decisions I have made have provided me more adventures than I can ever recount. So many paths and so many emotions with each of those paths.
“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” -Aldous Huxley
I have learned so much from the places I have been. Maybe the biggest thing is that we are all the same. Even in our greatest differences, we are the same. We have kids, we have homes, we have happiness and sadness, we have a life and we long for more. Each of us longs for more. More safety, more money, more happiness, more education, more life. More of everything.. … …
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” -Helen Keller
“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” -Robert Louis Stevenson
As I think back on it all, it’s hard to believe how many places I have traveled to. what I have seen and heard and tasted and drank and experienced.
Great experiences all of them. But as I look back in wonder and happiness, I also feel a bit of a black hole. Through all of my travels, even when surrounded by many, I was often alone .. felt alone .. sometimes disconnected .. sometimes and only sometimes .. a little sad. More happy than sad… but sometimes still sad.
I love coming back home and seeing old friends and family. I would say it keeps me grounded. ~~Coy Bowles
Because of that, I am now oddly considering slowing down. Considering remaining in one place with only normal, average (never really average with me) vacations that might take me mere miles from my home. Maybe further, but finding a home base that I will exist in and travel to and from. The same place always returning to.. the same place..
The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned. ~~ Maya Angelou
Part of me feels a stirring of panic at that thought. The mere notion of not packing up my life every 2-4 years and starting over seems unnatural. Makes me feel tense and uncomfortable. However, there are reasons to really start thinking about the possibilities of finding a home base.
These two pictures reflects only five years of separation. Only five years but a life time of growth. What am I missing by being so far away all of the time. I do not regret my travels or my time away. I just know that for every path and adventure, there are other paths that provide other adventures. I have traveled the world as well as my home country and I am ready to rebuild and bond with the paths I have left behind. Include people into my paths that I miss profoundly. However, that path will have its own challenges, fears, and limitations. The limitations are where my fears are the strongest.
The key to growth is acknowledging your fear of the unknown and jumping in anyway. ~~Jen Sincero
I have to remind myself though that the limitations that I am afraid of are really only limits in my own mind. The past paths have led me to amazing places and introduced me to amazing people. They will not disappear if I stay in one place. As a matter of fact, I may find that by staying in one place I will be able to connect deeper to the people and places I am constantly leaving behind.
“You’ll never find peace of mind until you listen to your heart.” —George Michael
Sometimes my heart tells me to stay put and other times my heart says to keep moving. But my heart of hearts tells me that being around the people that I love and that make me smile and smile with me and laugh at my silly jokes.. is where I need to be…
My personal goals are to be happy, healthy and to be surrounded by loved ones. ~~Kiana Tom
To laugh.. to laugh at.. to be laughed at.. to laugh with..
It was the way you laughed… I knew I wanted that in my life. ~~ R.M. Drake
Yeah. I do want to slow down, reconnect, connect deeper. I still have a few years.. but I think that my heart of hearts is giving me some good signs.. love these people and places and so many more…and I think I can combine some new paths, news adventures, new people, new laughs….. AND slowing it down.
We are all here for a spell. Get all the good laughs you can. — Will Rogers
The point is seeing that THIS — the immediate, everyday and present experience — is IT, the entire and ultimate point for the existence of a universe. I believe that if this state of consciousness could become more universal, the pretentious nonsense which passes for the serious business of the world would dissolve in laughter… — Alan Watts
Laughter connects you with people. It’s almost impossible to maintain any kind of distance or any sense of social hierarchy when you’re just howling with laughter. Laughter is a force for democracy. — John Cleese
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“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than those you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
— Mark Twain, Great American Writer
I have never, not once, regretted my decision to join the Navy. Yes, I complained at the time as anyone and everyone did. But living on board a ship for a year, formed who I was and that formation has stayed with me through my entire life. I have a restlessness and an energy for movement and adventure. I love change.. and I love that some things appear to stay the same within that change. I am sometimes sad that I retired .. sad that I am the age I am and cannot go back and start it all over again… and yet… I am fine with where I am!
“It is not that life ashore is distasteful to me. But life at sea is better.”
— Sir Francis Drake, Sea Captain
I love the sea, waves, boats, birds, blue skies, endless sun, ocean and surf! I love the smell of the water, the sound of it lapping up against a boat. The idea of taking off from one shore and landing on another sends chills down my spine and sets my mind to dreaming of the various adventures I could (again) find. I love compasses, sails, ropes, and the stories that have been made from this topic. It was how all lands and new worlds have been discovered!
“There is nothing more enticing, disenchanting, and enslaving than the life at sea.”
— Joseph Conrad, Writer
I was invited to Baltimore for some seafood and of course I had to stop at the piers to take in the boats! So beautiful! Every time I find a port, I devour it.. I take tons of photos.. I relive my favorite and most life changing job. I do not know a single sailor who does not do this.
“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”
— William Arthur Ward, Writer
Even when we were complaining, we were dreaming. I am lucky enough to still be in touch with many of my sailing friends and though most would not go back at this stage of their lives.. there are so many great memories shared.
“What she really loved was to hang over the edge and watch the bow of the ship slice through the waves. She loved it especially when the waves were high and the ship rose and fell, or when it was snowing and the flakes stung her face.”
“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”
— Vincent Van Gogh, Painter
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“There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
— Kenneth Grahame, Writer
“There is nothing like lying flat on your back on the deck, alone except for the helmsman aft at the wheel, silence except for the lapping of the sea against the side of the ship. At that time you can be equal to Ulysses and brother to him.”
— Errol Flynn, Actor
“The cabin of a small yacht is truly a wonderful thing; not only will it shelter you from a tempest, but from the other troubles in life, it is a safe retreat.”
— Francis Herreshoff, Boat Designer
I started this post in 2016… life had been very “unstill” at that time. It is more still these days.. and yet with the government shutdown.. less still internally with the insecurity of what is going to happen to myself and others who have no idea when the government will open back up. Waking up in a panic wondering if I still have a job..though once the cobwebs of sleep clear.. knowing that I do.. but wondering how we got to this point and when it will end.
So with time on my hands.. restless and yet so still… I thought this would be a good reminder to get back on the move with becoming more still… and patient… deep breath..let’s go.
Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen – that stillness becomes a radiance. ~~~~~Morgan Freeman
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Further posts on stillness or serenity
As you begin to realize that every different type of music, everybody’s individual music, has its own rhythm, life, language and heritage, you realize how life changes, and you learn how to be more open and adaptive to what is around us.
I am 3 days from the end of my 3 year tour in Lagos, Nigeria. It has been as amazing as I have expected it to be and as good as any other place I have had the pleasure of living and working. The people are magic and the country is unfound gold. Yes, there were ups and downs.. good people with bad….like every where. Unlike everywhere, there were electrical outages, random housing alarms, floods, bacterial and parasitical infections, needing to leave 10 hours ahead of a flight to ensure you get to the airport in time to fly out, and of course chaotic traffic issues.
However, if you open your eyes, heart and mind to what is around you, you can find the smiles and the warmth that exist beyond the frustration, image or object that is directly in front of you. When you can do that, you will find that as different as everything is around you, at the core of it all, it is still very much the same of who and what you are.. just people in a random part of the world trying to make a living and a life. You will find that you have become a part of a life that at times had seemed incomprehensible and that life has now become a part of you.
When I arrived in Nigeria, I was considered a tough manager who was too hard on the people I was managing. My expectations were too high and I did not cut anyone any slack. A year into my position, I held an awards dinner for my staff because not only did they meet my bar but they surpassed my expectations for achieving a cohesive and high-functioning team. Before I could even present my award to my team, they stopped me and actually gave me a speech at how much I positively affected their lives and their work. The team lead started out by saying, “My oga (big boss), when you arrived it was like a hurricane…” another team member shouted out, “MORE LIKE A TSUNAMI!!!” This brought chuckles but also earned me the affectionate nickname “Tsunami Sam”
On Friday they gave me a shirt and told me that on Monday, my very last day of work here, we would all wear this shirt. I am proud of my team and proud of myself for breaking down walls, changing hearts (mine as well).. and leaving Nigeria on a super positive note. I will miss Nigeria with a passion. I basically say this at the end of every tour.. and I basically mean what I say. Nigeria I will miss you!!
One of the girls even drew a pencil sketch of me.. amazing…
I will end with some photos of my last few walks. I will miss … not miss … some of the hazards of walking on the sidewalks.. not really sidewalks of Lagos. I hope you have enjoyed my visions of Nigeria as much as I have enjoyed sharing some of my experiences here.
And off I go!!
Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time. – Steven Wright
I don’t know what my path is yet. I’m just walking on it. – Olivia Newton-John
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