We often reflect on the question, what is our purpose? In a world where technology consumes our daily lives, we have decided to disconnect. Disconnecting from our life as we know it and connecting with nature and the oceans to better understand who we are and how we interact with the environment around us. Why not? We have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Lao Tzu once said,” A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” so take a deep breath, place one foot in front of the other and LIVE.
Jelani means mighty warrior in Swahili and is a symbol of strength. We wanted to choose a powerful name for our SV knowing we are facing the unforgiving sea that will push our limits every chance it gets.
Letting go for dear life!
The decision to sell all of our belongings and set off on a sailboat sounded like a wild adventure you read about in books. We had established ourselves in Florida the past 10 years, and I was having a hard time letting go. I began to realize it wasn’t Florida that we would miss. It’s the people we chose to share our life with that made life so rich. Instead of holding on to material things, my job, or the home, we decided to let go for dear life and trust that everything would be ok.
Living in a coastal community in Florida, we have seen a glimpse of what plastic pollution can do to our birds and sea life. As Sailors, we feel it is our responsibility to make people aware of the effects single-use plastic has on our oceans. What can we possibly achieve? We’re only two people setting out to shine a light on an ever-growing problem? If we can influence people to eliminate or refrain from using single-use plastic, especially in the grocery store, then we’ve made a small step in the right direction.
Learning to become energy efficient
Since we took possession of Jelani, I find myself in the engine room nearly every day trying to figure out how our Victron Energy Inverter works. We are becoming aware of how quickly we consume energy even when we limit our usage. On an average day, the salt water and fresh water pumps are on when we need to flush the toilet, the navigation instruments are on to learn more about our systems, and we have one of the refrigerators stocked with groceries. We charge our phones only when necessary, and every other day Clive might charge his computer to 100%. I guess the usage mentioned above doesn’t seem like a lot when you’re accustomed to pulling energy from outlets in your home without hesitation. Think about how many items you have plugged in at your home and how many you actually use. This boat is now my home, and I find myself becoming more attuned to what she needs and wants instead of selfishly taking without consequence.
Spread that beautiful light that shines within you, and you will light up the Sea!
As I sit outside, I begin to reflect on my own personal development as a woman, daughter, sister, friend, and lover. I admit I have fallen short in every category, but I continue to strive to be the best person I am capable of being. I have always said I was put on this Earth to achieve more, to be more. I want to leave a significant impact on the people I encounter, and I hope to look back on my life in 60 years and say I’ve left a positive imprint and inspired change in people’s lives. As many of us do, I lost my way, letting my life be ruled by conditioning and trying to maintain unrealistic expectations of myself. I finally gave myself permission to be whatever I wanted to be, and with that, I found true happiness. When we disassociate ourselves from stereotypes, judgment, and what we think we need to be for other people, we can become more authentic. I have become unapologetically on a quest to evolve into the best version of my authentic self.