And not by the things that you would perhaps expect of someone taking part in a round the world yacht race. It’s not the huge waves, the roaring wind, the discomfort, the cold, lack of sleep, rain or seasickness (although that does worry me a bit!). It’s the lack of friends and not knowing ‘my place’ in the boats ‘society’. I guess that might sound odd, so here’s a bit of an explanation.
I’ve worked for the same business for 11 years. Most people at work know me or know of me. I know who my friends at work are, who to talk to if I’m looking for support or advice, who to bounce ideas off and, how to help people. People know me, they know what I’m like, they know what I do and they know what I’m good and not so good at. I’m also, one of the lucky few who actually do a job they are passionate about and really enjoy. -My best friends in life I’ve known for years, they know all my good bits and bad bits and still choose to be friends with me.
I guess what I’m getting at is that, I know where I ‘fit’ and what value I bring and I really enjoy that feeling. This is a bit of a revelation to me because it’s not something I’d ever thought about before. In most new situations I’ve experienced in the past 10 years there’s only been one new element and the rest of the picture had been quite stable. This time, nothing is the same, it’s all new. I’m about to step on a boat with a crew that I don’t know and I’m completely inept at sailing, so not only do I not know my place socially with them yet, I’m also not confident in my functional contribution. The last time I can think of when the situation would have been similar was when I went to University. At the time I wasn’t self-aware enough to realise what was going on (sometimes age and knowledge is not a blessing!) so I thought nothing of it.
Logic tells me that everything will be fine and that the crew I’ve never met before will soon be some of the closest friends I have in life based on the fact we will be sharing 68 foot of space for a year and experiencing some severe hardships. I know that I will ‘find my place’ and be able to add some value but at the moment that logic is quite a way behind the fact that I’m scared!