Wednesday, May 1, 2013


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.


  1. Sorry you didn't get to see the whales, but some time with your friend sounds just as good.
    Welfare state - know just what you mean. Not good.
    There are advantages and disadvantages to every place. We just have to focus on the positive ones.

  2. At least you spent some quality time with your friend and sure the whales will show sooner or later. Drawbacks are everywhere, like here nasty arse snow. lol oh to be nice and warm all year, but then you have to deal with bugs and such, so hmmm.

  3. Nice post, FAE ~

    As for me, I'd rather just sip a 'Cruzan' Black Strap Rum and cola while watching my DVDs 'The Endless Summer' or 'The Endless Summer II'. That's enough water-watching for this dude, dudette.

    Yak Later...

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underwater'

  4. I'm sorry you had the anxiety attacks. I have suffered from them before and I know how hard it is to get beyond it.

    Embrace the positive things the island has to offer and focus on that. If crime gets worse, maybe you should seriously consider coming back to the States?

  5. No paradise is every always paradise. Sorry to hear about the panic attacks. *hugs*

  6. I've been whale watching in a Zodiak and not seen any pods or individual whales (off the coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia).

    My first sighting was in Victoria (south end of the island) when I could see the whales spewing the water and diving. It is glorious to see these creatures.

    I think you have to grab for that brass ring, or you'll never know what could have been. I get anxiety attacks too, but now I can recognize the onset.

  7. It's funny you ask about the leaps of faith precisely today. I would just say I don't think there is something to regret on doing it. It will prove your courage and determination and you sometimes realize you are capable of things you didn't think you could do. Instead of worrying about the future, let's make our best with the now. I think it's easier and won't give you so many anxiety attacks. At least it works for me. :)

  8. Sure sounds like a great place to be, but there is always downfalls to everything.

  9. An island's only an island if you look at it from the sea. Just sayin...

  10. I saw the condition you describe on the island of Truk 30 years ago when I revisited my war. Truk had been for the Japanese Navy what Pearl Harbor was to our navy. I found no natives working; the coconut palms were all unpicked and dropped coconuts rotted on the ground. Coconuts and fishing are the only industries of the Pacific atolls. We sank 50 enemy ships there, so a tourist industry, centered on scuba diving and run by Americans, is the only income producer. The natives occupy themselves by driving around in old pickups with the sign, Taxi, painted on them.
    We flew from Truk to Guadalcanal, a successful native economy, lately independent, and brought to that state by the British who know how to run a colony. I could visualize a Brit or Australian showing a native how to do something and patiently telling him to do it over until he did it right. I could also see an American getting impatient and saying: "Get out of the way - I can do it faster myself."
    Our problem, as I see it, is not that we run colonies as welfare states; rather, we're too sure of our American superiority in all things to run it any other way.
    Someday, I'm going to develop that thesis.

  11. This sounds both amazing and horrifying. I couldn't imagine living anywhere that gave me an anxiety attack, and yet whale watching with a good friend does seem like it makes it all worth it.

    I love the beach. I love the water (even if I can't swim). Even if it's a welfare state, you're living in a place that most people would consider a true paradise (I know I do). So ultimately, that's still pretty damn cool.

  12. Alex - How right you are. Accentuate the positive!

    Pat - The climate is pretty nice, but you're right about the bugs. I hate centipedes.

    STMc - Thanks! That sooo sounds like you. Actually NOT!

    Jaybird - Well with me you never know.

    Donna - Truer words were never spoken and thanks, I needed that hug.

    D.G. - I hope to make it up to your neck of the woods one day. I would really like to see the 'Killers'. About that brass ring - I couldn't agree with you more.

    Al - My two favorite mottos are 'Attitude is Everything' and 'No Regrets'. Neither are easy but almost always worth it.

    HGW - So true.

    Michael - I never really thought of it that way, but you are absolutely correct.

    Jack - As usual, you hit the nail right on the head. Thanks for the comment and I really appreciate the inspiration.

    Beer Boys - 'Pretty damn cool!' no argument there. Hey, I used to be a lifeguard/swim instructor. Want me to teach you to swim?

  13. Sitting in the sun with a friend watching for a momma whale and her calf. Yeah, that would be worth a lot.

    Stay safe.

  14. I'm sorry to hear about the panic attacks. Hope everything gets better soon.

  15. I've had panic attacks before and they are no fun.

  16. How wonderful to live in a place where you even have the potential to see humpbacks. Heck, the ocean alone would do it for me. Nothing more soothing than watching the waves roll in.

  17. You seem to have learned to enjoy the benefits and put up with the annoying stuff. Just like everywhere - except you have a better view :)

    Sometimes I swear California is a welfare state :(


  18. I appreciate your perspective more and more as I read your posts, Farawayeyes. This one made me feel for you - in both lousy and uplifting ways. When I went to Jamaica years ago, I was both thrilled by the beauty (in human & natural form. A good number of marriage proposals, for this American gal traveling solo, didn't hurt) but humbled and somewhat guilt-ridden by the poverty that blatantly kept the natives down. Shortly after my trip, some hurricane (I think) hit the isle. I can't imagine living that way. But you've got the right attitude: Keep looking up and out at paradise.


  19. The whales will show one day! I hate that you are coming to live in anxiety due to the threat of crime or prejudice. May things turn around for you soon!

  20. LD - It certainly was.

    Gina - Thanks. I'm working on it.

    Marcy - You aren't a kidding.

    Susan - I agree it is wonderful and soothing. Unfortunately, sometimes I manage to override all of that.

    Donna - Ha, ha, ha. Yeah a better view.

    Robyn - I do believe 'Attitude is Everything', it's just that some days are harder than others. There is nothing that will make you appreciate 'home' more than travel.]

    Roland - Thanks so much!

  21. I'd love to live on an island. I can understand it might feel limiting, but looking out at that wide vast ocean would make me feel so free. Enjoy your lovely location. :)

    BTW thanks for your comments on my first page yesterday. :)