I wrote the following for Siren Empire before we left for our trip. There is nothing like the shock, disbelief and depression which accompanies betrayal. Some people do indeed live in fancy apartments bought with other people’s money. Even more astonishing is the fact that they sleep at night. I would rather be me than them. Karma catches up to the cheaters in this world. Anyway, I am rambling. I wasn’t in a great place before we departed for our ocean voyage. In fact, I don’t recall packing. Come to think of it, I didn’t. I merely threw clothing into a case. The seasoned travellers amongst you would be appalled.
We drank a toast to the birthday girl before departing. Now this softly spoken angel is turning forty this month. She retrained as a nurse the past couple of years, whilst bringing up her three kids. She works hard in ER, and desperately needed time-out. A wonderful group of women gathered, telling silly jokes as we refilled our champagne glasses. My friend’s sister had just had a baby, so couldn’t come. She had t-shirts made for us all which announced who we were celebrating and why. We climbed aboard the shuttle bus, and I felt my shoulders relax. At the terminal, I was startled when I saw that I had to walk over a high drop, which was visible through the Perspex walkway. My daughter saw my apprehension before I could even voice it. “I don’t think I can!” I exclaimed. An officer stood to the side and asked if I was okay. I explained that I didn’t like heights. Of course, its more than that. I was thrown off a freakin’ building! I soared through the air and smashed onto the ground. I had to be rebuilt. Not liking heights is what I had experienced before that time. “Just look straight ahead,” he advised. My daughter ran in front, encouraging me. When I saw her elfin face, with its dimples, I felt strong. I made it onto the ship! I did something I never thought I could.
There is something thrilling about taking off via Sydney Harbour on a ship. White smoke and lights streamed forth and my daughter delighted everyone with her cartwheels and dancing. We were both exhausted by 8.30pm, and so I bid my friends goodnight. In the morning we walked around the ship, and munchkin uncovered a candy shop with treats as big as her head. It was a great mini-cruise, as we met up with our friends, my daughter could go to kid’s club and activities and I could spend time looking out to sea, without having a thousand things on my mind. On Saturday evening there was a Great Gatsby party, and munchkin loved being a part of it.
I had some smashing cocktails whose main ingredient was gin. I tried dancing, but ended up throwing my walking stick and hitting a man next to me. Oops! Time to sit down! My daughter elected to go on the flying fox over the ship, and enjoyed it so much, she did it three times.
As the sun set, we raised a toast to our friend, Trish. We talked of the past and of her future dreams. None of the ladies’ present had been set an easy path, filled with even surfaces. Hell no! Collectively, we had all tripped on cobbled, uneven and treacherous surfaces. We have the scars to prove it. I didn’t do things like this in my younger years. Even going camping would have meant purchasing equipment. Life was reduced to having enough funds for surgery and IVF, and then to make sure I had everything my baby needed. I have learnt that adventures are necessary, for the mind and the soul. Decisions are made, minds are eased and fun is had. Life can’t just be a tedious, painful trip to the grave, can it? I want more for my child. I want to show her the big wide world, whilst sheltering her from con-artists. I want to show her oceans and fields of lavender, rainforests and castles. I am sick of stuff, and all it represents. I want experiences, as does she.
The only way is up from here, kid. I am so glad that I got to spend time with these remarkable women and this remarkable child. I cringed as my phone came back into range and was flooded with texts, missed calls, emails and Facebook messages. Unless it can be arranged to have me cloned, all will be seen to in good time. I have bags to unpack, washing to be done, stories to write and a child to school. I have a friend who turned forty by heading to the ocean, the negative ions cleansing all our psyche’s. One of the single ladies in our group made a new friend on the ship, and they are going on another little cruise in April! Yes! That is it! I want to be like Bronwyn! I want to smile and be open to new possibilities, and to say yes to things I haven’t done before. I want to force myself to consider that there are more honest, decent people in this world than foul. I want to one day believe it again.