Last week right here in this space Jack Eiden stopped by. I met Jack through Arlee Bird. Jack is an incredible writer and I encourage you to check out his blog and let me know what you think. But, the point here is not necessarily to promote Jack, but to answer a question he asked in my comment box.
Jack asked; “So how does it feel to live on an island?” Well Jack, let me tell ya…
As you and everybody else already know I live on an island in the Caribbean, where I am in the minority. For the most part I love it, but as the economy gets worse and worse, tensions are high and crime is rising exponentially. My island is one of the many US Territories and the US Federal Government has been very successful in creating a highly efficient ‘welfare state’ down here in paradise. When I say highly efficient that is not intended as a compliment, but rather an explanation that the government is very effective at keeping the people in check by meeting their every need. In other words about 98% of the population is on the dole in one way or another and they are completely dependent.
Anyway…I’ve felt concerned and for the first time in three years ,unsafe. Enough so that I’ve had a few ‘anxiety attacks’ worrying over potential crisis.
Early Monday morning I awoke about 3 AM. My heart was trying to beat out of my chest and I couldn’t catch my breath. I knew it was merely an anxiety attack, but that was the first time I ever woke up having one. Maybe some dream triggered the response but there wasn’t anything I could remember. A whole lot of deep breathing, reassuring self-talk and prayer later, I fell back to sleep.
The day was progressing fairly normally and then about 2:30 PM (almost 12 hours later) I felt my ole buddies ‘fear, dread and anxiety’ trying to creep back into my peripherals. I decided to go downstairs and read to get my mind in a better place.
Two pages into my book the phone rings with some astounding news. I’m out the door in a flash texting my best friend on where to meet me. Due to the ever present electrical repairs down here traffic was a bear and I was afraid I was going to miss the show. I finally hooked up with my friend on the north shore. She was out of her car, sitting on the guard rail over looking about a 75 ft drop to the where the huge swells of the Caribbean where breaking on the cliff side.
‘Anything?” I asked.
“Naw, but there were several boats just off the point, so that may be where they were,” she replied
We sat there on that guardrail silently for the better part of an hour, just watching. The sun was hot on our back and the waves were crashing. It’s a pretty deserted stretch or road, so we had it all to ourselves. Finally another car pulled over and a woman got out and began scanning the blue, most likely wondering what we were looking at. She never asked, but did creep up right behind us hoping to see something. It kind of reminded me of the ‘bear jams’ we used to experience in Yellowstone. We called them bear jams, but often there wasn’t anything in sight, just a bunch of tourists staring off across a meadow hoping to see something big and furry.
We didn’t see the momma humpback and her calf that were spotted earlier breaching and playing the warm waters just off our shore, but as I drove home I felt satisfied that I live somewhere that I could. I had spent some great quiet time with one of my best friends and her two small children. I felt the sun at my back and the ocean breeze on my face. I looked out over the waves into endless blue waters. Then I thought; ‘Life IS Good’ and I put those old creepy buddies of mine to rest. At least for a little while.
So, Jack, living on an island has its drawbacks (especially if you love a good road trip now and again), but there are benefits too. No matter what the future holds, I’ll always be grateful that I didn’t wimp out and I took the leap into this particular adventure.
This is going to serve as my IWSG post. I’ll let you decide if I’m feeling insecure today or not. I’ll also ask you a question. When it comes to taking that leap – what have you got to lose?
To learn more about the IWSG go to the blog of Alex J Cavanaugh check out what some of the others Insecure Writers have to say and tell them what you think.
I didn't see them this time, but one day I will.