Cruise Life Gratitude
Two and a half years ago I went on a cruise vacation. This vacation stacked on a lot of first in my life and started a string of many more. I am so glad I had my sister to share it with. In fact I was grateful she was there. Had she not been I may not have made it back to the ship one day, but that is a story for the memory box.
From this cruise vacation in the Southern Caribbean I fell in love with the ocean and the idea that I need to work on one of the ships. When it’s in my mind I make it happen no matter what. Through extensive research and networking I has seen this dream to be possible. A first time trip to Canada, seeing Niagara Falls in the winter time, and a 45 minute walk in a Toronto snow storm to my interview and I got the job. I was not supposed to find out I got the job for a week or more but I got the call the next day on my drive home. I think I was crying I had to pull over and make some phone calls of my good news. The embankment of this journey certainly makes for the most challenging job search I have ever had. I am grateful for the victory and everyone who was involved to help me get there.
I got my ship assignment and low and behold they put me back into the Southern Caribbean. Working on a cruise ship is an experience like no other. It would take me weeks of posts to tell you everything. I have not even told my family and friends all the stories yet. It was so amazing to meet and friend so many people from around the world. It was so amazing to visit so many places I have never been and 2 weeks later visit again. I am so grateful to have visited these places and still today I talk to several people from my cruise experience. I worked in the gift shop and shortly thereafter I became the Promotions Ambassador for the whole ship. I promoted all over the ship and on the morning show. I got employee of the month my 2nd month on the job and it was out of the entire cruise line fleet of about 20+ ships. Then I became the jewelry specialist. So grateful that is was a constant career learning experience.
This job was not easy. I knew this walking in but far more difficult then I imagined. The job was hard, the hours were hard, the language gap was hard among my coworkers. My reward during time off was a new place to visit, the beach, and the ocean. Ship life is a whole different life. This was still a very trying time in my life emotionally also. I was not homesick but I had a lot of emotions that needed out. I am grateful that this cruise job helped me release those emotions and I am even more grateful for those that endured my sometimes scary emails of venting my feelings while I worked my butt off. I am grateful that I wrote a daily journey. Whenever life gets hard I go back and read its raw emotional content. Through all the hard times sparkles so many good times as well, countless memories that are with me forever.
During my short cruise career I was networking on my ship to secure my next 6 month position but the worst allergies I have ever had in my entire life where striking me down one day at a time. Suddenly every challenge I had just tripled in difficulty. Nothing was working so the only option was to be sent home on medical leave. Through this challenge I rose again. I had many conversations with the ocean, asking what to do next. When I got back home it was the car ride from the airport that I realized I don’t belong in Illinois anymore. This realization and many more signs and hard work has put me in the great spot I am today. You will have to wait till next week to find out what was next for me.
Life will just exist, but in order to make it existing you need to face many challenges, fall, rise up, and move on! One chapter to the next I am living my life. Change to change I am full of gratitude the whole way.
Something I just realized this morning! I started this cruise journey with my sister on vacation and it ended with my sister picking me up at the airport when I had to go home. That is amazing.
31 Days of Gratitude. Check out my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/UPwithmarc) participate, like my page and share it with your friends. Let the world know what you are grateful for.
Ask The Ocean
Sometimes you need to get answers that you cannot figure out. Sometimes you just want to know what to do next in your life. Sometimes you just have a simple question. When you have questions obviously you want them answered. Perhaps it is an answer that mom and dad can’t give you even though they know everything! Maybe it is beyond the realm of your teacher. Unless you’re fixed on the Magic 8 Ball for answering your life questions, there are still so many ways to get your answer. You can ask God, you can look to your guardian angel, you can entrust spiritual leaders or healers, you can scream life’s burning questions at the top of the mountain and listen to the answers in your echos. There are many ways to get life’s questions answered and I for one have begun asking the ocean!
(warning long story :P) You can get your answer anywhere but until you believe that things happen for a reason you will never hear the right answers. Life is a personal journey and this is part of mine.
I went on vacation with my sister. We went on a cruise through the Southern Caribbean. All I could think about before the trip was our day at sea. I had no Idea why the open ocean was calling to me. But I answered! The day had finally come and this day turned out to be one of the best days in my entire life. It was my first vacation with just my sister, it was my first time on a cruise ship, and my first time at sea. I sat out on our balcony for a good hour staring out to the endless nothings of the deep ocean. This was about 2 years ago and to this day I have shared this story with no one in such detail, not even my sister who was right there. The Ocean talked to me that day. It said “Marc this is where you belong, this is your life, this is your happiness, and this is where you start living your life.” Moments after my connection with the Ocean an announcement came over the main intercom of the ship. It was for bingo at 9am! I told my sister that we should check it out. Ya know live it up by playing bingo, ha! We played and several numbers were called and when you are one number away from bingo you stand. People all over were standing up. People were calling false bingos left and right. Finally it was my turn to stand! That very next number was mine, but 4 others also stood up. Now if we all won the winnings would be split. One after another, again more false bingos. I begin to doubt my card. I was the last card to be read in that theater, and I was the only one to win $750 to spend on the ship for our day at sea. WHOA! I never win anything like that. I looked back on this event only a few weeks ago and realized, the Ocean gave that win to me, and live it up we did. My sister and I got full massage packages; we bought stuff in the shops for ourselves and some people at home. We shared our winnings on drinks for our dinner guests and spent the rest on ourselves with more beverages. I had never won that much money, I had never had such a nice watch, I had never had a massage. Who would have thought that this day at sea on our cruise would be the front lines to things I have never done.
That same evening when our winnings were almost out, we were chatting with the bartender. Here it comes I asked her the question of my future and I believe she was speaking on behalf of the Ocean that night. I ask “how does one go about getting a job on a cruise ship?”
A year and a half later and lots of hard work and changes to my life I was about to step on to the moving vassal of my future that floats upon the Ocean, who has given me so much already…..Waiting, waiting, waiting to be assigned to a ship and finally it comes, for 6 months I will be on Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas touring, wouldn’t you know, the Southern Caribbean. I was so ready for this job. I was ready to have the Ocean by my side. Every time I could I stepped out on the open decks of my new job and had many talks with the Ocean. I poured my soul into these deep waters, as the beauty of the crashing waves mesmerized my senses. So began my love affair with the water not only did I hang out ocean side on the ship I also took every opportunity to float within the waters on every beach we visited.
Then something terrible happened, I was allergic to something and it was bad. On the ship and on the shore they did all they could to remedy my situation to no avail. (in no way does my experience reflect what the guest experience on this amazingly beautiful ship.) I could hardly sleep, and my already long work days were getting harder and harder. It looked like I was going to have to be sent home. About a week before I did get sent home my watch that I bought on my vacation stopped working. Well my watched stopped before the time it should have but I now know it was a sign that it was time to go home.
I pleaded with the Ocean as to why this was happening. I loved it out here in the open waters. I got home and it just did not feel the same. What I called home was more uncomfortable than ever. I knew shortly after that I must get near the Ocean once again. That is what brings me down here to Florida.
This past week over Thanksgiving break I stood by the Ocean alone for just a few minutes at a time almost every day up in New Symerna Beach, FL. All I asked is “what is next”? This brings us up to just about right now! I Listened, I listened to the waves crash up on the beach, I felt the waves crash into me, I walked the beach up and down to let the Ocean know I was there. I woke up one of the mornings later in the week, and to my surprise my answers have come.
The Ocean has spoken to me clearly once again, “Marc you belong here, the ocean needs you close by. Your job search landed a new career choice to make a different and it is where you belong right now. Your next step is to settle down and continue to build your new life here. Your next step is to find someone special to share the rest of your life with”.
Everything happens for a reason, it is what you choose to hear and see that shapes your future. Live your life, Love your life, and share it with others. Take your next question to the ocean and let yourself accept whatever answer it gives you.
Okay so that was long! But I hope that some of you have been inspired! I Sometimes part of becoming positive is reading positive stories or writing your own even. love all of you, and I am grateful for all your support.