What to do while waiting? How do you pass the time? These questions I tried so hard to answer in the past weeks. Good thing I found what I needed to find. Yet despite the happy busy days I am now having, I can’t help but remember the months I spent on the ship. It’s been a long journey. The road towards it was richly filled with many different twists and turns. There were surprises, scary moments, trying times, and glorious hours. Having experienced them altogether, made a small part of my life synonymous to one great big adventure. As I ponder on this thought, very clearly I remember the speech I gave in the culminating activity we had for the short course I took with some fellow crew on board. The whole idea was inspired by one of Brother Bo’s talks at the Feast. It’s about “doing things afraid”. These very simple yet extremely powerful words inspired me to try and to keep going. And so I would like to share it.
They say that what stands between you and your dreams are your fears. And in order for you to fulfill your dreams you’ve got to have courage.
Many years ago, there was a man who had a dream. He wanted so much to save his people. But it was such a herculean task that it made him feel small. It scared the hell out of him. Yet despite that feeling, he chose to do things afraid. And so with heart pounding and knees shaking, he stood before a vast sea. He held out his hand over it and the water divided. Soon enough the man and his brothers were walking through a solid ground. They were all lead to safety. And they were all blessed.
Like the man in the story, we too have our own seas to cross. We, too have our own battles to sweat over. And I believe that from the moment we signed our contracts and decided to work here and leave our families behind we, too chose to do things afraid.
The past six months I spent here on board has been a great experience. It’s a mixture of everything. Some days were happy, others scary and sad. But all days whatever they may be were filled with learning – from the ship itself and the many parts it has, its doors which look all the same to me on my first day, the stairs and the lifts, where to get the best signal, how to get the best signal, the crashing waves, fighting sea sickness, fighting homesickness. And then the people, people from different countries, working with them and making new friends, the weird accent, my Enlish. And of course the kids, the kids in the centres, making them happy, keeping them safe, writing incident reports whenever they get hurt, the search operations when they’ve gone missing, their parents, handling their complaints, the hide and seek with them when they don’t want to sign out their kids. Also the dancing which was awkward in the beginning, the costumes, wearing high heels and makeup, wearing TC and Skipper. And then the rules which are so many, the rounds, the drills, MCA beware! 🙂 This Proud training. The life at sea. All these and more. They’re all learning for me.
And so I stand here before you better and wiser. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be here. Surely, in the near future there will be other seas to cross. No matter what, my stay here in Pacific Dawn will always be a memorable stopover. It made me realize I can.
Let us continue to take the step of courage and faith. Let us continue doing things afraid for when we do we grow, we expand, we become better people.
I’m Jennifer, I’m Filipino and I’m proud to progress. May God bless us all!