7 weeks after I left, I’m returning to the US a little different. I’m more at ease with uncertainty, I’m looking at social scenarios with different eyes and I have a different sense of confidence when approaching life and the unknowns that come with it. Even after crossing the Mediterranean, I wouldn’t call myself a sailor, but I would say that I’ve gained some sailing experience that translates well into life lessons.
A clean boat is a safe boat.
I quickly learned how to clean lines, though there’s nothing quick about how I do it. Cleaning lines is basically taking the excess from the lines (ropes) around the boat and tidying them up so that they’re out of the way and neatly bundled. When you need to adjust lines in a pinch, this also helps the rope flow smoothly instead of sitting in knots and tangles. A clean boat also means putting things in their place—so in a drawer or in a cupboard because loose items can pose a threat as they move around in poor weather. And there’s just something about looking around a clean clutter-less room that just makes you feel good. Taking this learning to land will set me up with a clean environment with fewer distractions, allowing me to be able to relax more thoroughly instead of feeling overwhelmed by a constant mess.
There’s no such thing as a free ride; everyone contributes.
Chad was the captain, Tyler was the first mate, and I was…well, I was Sejal. Though my sailing experience was limited (aka zilch), there were lots of ways for me to contribute. Whether it was making breakfast or cleaning up the galley or pulling a line when I was told to or providing entertainment through music on my phone, movies on my computer and books on my Kindle, I made contributions as well that helped us with the journey. There’s no such thing as a free ride on a boat. Everyone has a role, everyone contributes; we all work together as a team. Think about that the next time you’re in a group setting and you’re not doing something. You can help, whether it’s physical assistance or supporting the team effort. Don’t underestimate the power of a smile and enthusiasm; everyone needs support. You have a role; know it, learn it, own it.