Ghost ships

I’ve referenced this Dear Sugar column twice now in the last 24 hours which is likely a sign I need to blog about it. Namely, this part:

“If I could go back in time I’d make the same choice in a snap. And yet, there remains my sister life. All the other things I could have done instead. I wouldn’t know what I couldn’t know until I became a mom, and so I’m certain there are things I don’t know because I can’t know because I did. Who would I have nurtured had I not been nurturing my two children over these past seven years? In what creative and practical forces would my love have been gathered up? What didn’t I write because I was catching my children at the bottoms of slides and spotting them as they balanced along the tops of low brick walls and pushing them endlessly in swings? What did I write because I did? Would I be happier and more intelligent and prettier if I had been free all this time to read in silence on a couch that sat opposite of Mr. Sugar’s? Would I complain less? Has sleep deprivation and the consumption of an exorbitant number of Annie’s Homegrown Organic Cheddar Bunniestaken years off of my life or added years onto it? Who would I have met if I had bicycled across Iceland and hiked around Mongolia and what would I have experienced and where would that have taken me?

I’ll never know and neither will you of the life you don’t choose. We’ll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn’t carry us. There’s nothing to do but salute it from the shore.” – Cheryl Strayed

I have many ghost ships I’m saluting and I’m feeling outnumbered a bit. As if I’m on an island surrounded by ghost ships all around me while I run around in circles trying to wave at all of them.

I’m convinced this comes with the territory of working remotely + having nowhere in particular to be. To continue with the ship analogy, I have no anchor. I am just as adrift and I’m tempted to jump into another ship as it passes by my own. “Where are you going, other Anne? Somewhere warm or cold? Err somewhere cold… hmm I’ll check out the next ship”. 

In any case, I appreciate this framework deeply and reference this idea often when I begin overthinking why I turned left instead of right at the last crossroads I encountered in my life.


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