Well. Time for ending my contract with six days at sea. Even though I’ve actually been quite lucky with this contract (awesome and unusual destinations for a cruise, including places with good hiking, nice colleagues, no crazy managers, never hearing anything from the acupuncture department people/regional sales managers generally equaling less stress. Although it also means no help at all as I was told there would be, and also I’m less than a week from returning to the US still without any idea about my flight details back to NJ.) I am so.fucking.ready. to be off of this ship. I know it was necessary to make money, and it was a pretty sweet setup to be basically a guaranteed hire, and not to have any startup fees other than the money for medical exams needed to get on the ship, but man, I really feel like I mostly put my life on hold for 7 months. I don’t feel like I learned much about treating patients, I don’t feel like I learned much about public speaking/giving seminars even though I did a ton of both of these things. I guess some of this is due to growing up doing a fair amount of public speaking, and having some good professors in school that I super paid attention to how they spoke about medicine, both to us and to patients. Acupuncturists/Chinese herbalists can get really stuck in their particular jargon and I think it very important to use the words people know, although in this case it’s basically Western medical terms. But I know how to translate things, generally. Will I do another contract? The temporary nature of it is certainly appealing but damn, 6 months is a long time. Alaska is really the only other place I’m interested in going to.
Socially, life on the ships is not really my bag. I DO have standing offers to sit in with the various bands on the ship, which is definitely unique, but I don’t really know a lot of pop or whatever you call this music, and I don’t like most of it, and it also means I’d have to stay up late AND get up early for work. Well, maybe if I do another contract I’ll bring a Real Book. I never really played straight ahead jazz, I’m honestly not really interested at this point, but I also was pretty bored as well and it would be a useful skill to have, something new to learn. As my friend put it, in order to survive on ships “one becomes either an alcoholic or a cabin recluse, or gets one a fuck buddy”. I selected door number two, folks…altho there was this random body-builder 21-yr-old type down the hall from me who super sweats older women that I could have probably pulled a James Brown with whenever? I just couldn’t get excited about that. Actually, to be honest, overly muscular men make me nauseous a bit. If I have to pick a physical type to be attracted to, it’s somewhere between soccer player and emaciated starving artist. Besides the fact that I just can’t get myself to hook up with people unless I am into having a relationship with them and I feel (always in my life, misguidedly) that they might be interested in that also. Also also! this would mean I am officially a cougar if I hit that, I’m not ready for this.
Speaking of that! It’s a hiking blog apparently. I have this idea in my head that it will be much easier for me to find a compatible partner in Trail Life than Real Life. I have no idea why I think this. I hiked the entire Appalachian Trail in a dress, and probably even the last 1/3rd with no underwear whatsoever (f the chafe, yo). There are supposedly many more men than women on that trail. I got hit on an approximate zero times during this 4.5 months’ time. The only thing that can explain my empty love life, I am convinced, is that I have some sort of rare pheromone disorder. It’s really the most logical answer. So I plod on, clad in another merino dress and my unusual personality (conservative-seeming activist-aware hippie-hipster travel-hacking ex-musician Wunderkind eclectic quasi-autistic genius who belongs in a Waldkindergarten). Will the PCT be the time I meet some soul-mate person? Based on my life to date, no, but I try to remain unjaded and hopeful. Certainly it’s more logical to meet someone here than say in corporate ‘merika. I just wonder, again, Universe, what exact lesson am I supposed to learn from all of this sort of experience.
In the meantime at least I will keep my health somewhat ok. Desert heat to dry out my acne-prone skin and prevent edema! Mountain breezes with negative ions! Pure spring water that may or may not have strange pathogens lurking in its midst! Avoiding the scourges of Modern Life, insulin resistance…diabetes…obesity! I look at my parents’ generation in my family, I’m not willing to settle for that. So in my own way I plod towards health or the small weakening of the scythe.
God, I’m so dramatic, aren’t I? I promise this whole blog won’t be that way!