Poop Deck: We are the shit!
First of all, THANK YOU to my readers. Especially those of you who subscribe, and especially especially to those of you who comment and engage. Your encouragement means the world to me. All of my writing here is dedicated to you caring, smart, authentic, amazing people out there in the world doing all kinds of badass stuff. You inspire me and are my muse. I LOVE YOU!!!
I started this blog one year ago at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival for fun and with the intention of practicing writing. I’ve posted 49 times now and have surprisingly, even shockingly, had 21,361 views with 11,022 visitors. They say if you get more than one view per visit that means your content is good. Since I write about feminism, mental health and sailing it seems this validates the need for more of that content.
What I have been surprised about is who engages my posts and where. I have 97 subscribers and 154 people follow my Facebook page. While some men read or even comment, they do so privately for the most part. Few men share my blog even if they support it. I delete trolls and there have sadly been many. Mostly women like, share, and comment. Many message me about the need for more and how relieving it has felt to read about these topics. It’s not an ego trip for me to have the numbers, although it does feel good. It’s more about the reflection of the message. Some think my blog is only about sailing and scroll on, and while the sport and lifestyle are a vehicle for the writing, the main points are deeply universal and human. I am passionate about healthy humaning.
I wish more men would engage, I have tried to make this an open invitation and be compassionate in the process. I wish more men would do the work and create systemic changes in sailing through national and international organizations, yacht clubs, regattas and individual boats. This could be with diversity trainings, policies, and equitable access to the sport. It could simply be through talking about it and gaining awareness. It could be about making space for voices to be heard.
Overall, and through the profuse swearing, I believe I have one simple message. Be kind. Kindness is empathy, inclusivity, and showing care through actions and words. It is the path forward. It sounds easy, and finding our own internal and systemic barriers to true kindness is difficult. It’s vulnerable, it’s challenging and confronting. It takes courage. So be brave dear sailors. Be as brave interpersonally as you are on the water. The tides are changing and we need you all now to create an environment to grow the sport, to grow our culture and to grow the world.
On the writing end, it has been an intense and difficult journey. I remember in 2012 having panic attacks posting publicly on my professional mental health site. Imposter syndrome and social anxiety have been a mainstay for me in my life. Over the years, through lots of therapy and pushing healthy limits I am pleased to see the internal tolerance and progress. I get a little nervous but not panicked to post. I’m still working on coping with trolls and people’s projection and judgement. I cry less about it than a year ago. Mantra: you can’t make everyone happy. Write for you and for those who need and want to hear it. Dedicate the merit.
Some say they are surprised by my vulnerability in writing. They say they would be scared to write about themselves publicly in a personal way. I have a secret knowing I want to share. I’ve had intimate conversations with well over 1,000 people by now in my career. From this, I know that every story I post about my relationship, tantrums, or experiences are fairly universal and human. I have discernment on what details feel too personal for me and I keep those close. I ask permission from those I write about like my dear Eric. I offer my personal reflections because I know many, if not all, can relate in some way. That is the gift of vulnerability: connection and compassion. Your voice matters, your story matters, and it gives others permission to own theirs without shame. While we all have our own unique experiences and traits, ultimately we are all in the same beautiful, weird and ever changing human boat.
Thanks for being a part of my community. May we all sail in peace.
Ps. I’m working on the grammar and don’t use fancy programs, a ghost writer or have an editor. It’s all me in between running a thriving business and refitting an old boat. Thanks for your understanding!