The last Saturday of August this year was meant to be promising. There was a plan to travel south to Hellevoetsluis, close to Rotterdam, and go sailing courtesy of Teko’s dad who owns a boat. It wasn’t my first time – matter of fact we’ve gone every summer for a handful of years now – but it was a good reason to get out of bed, especially after a weird night’s sleep the previous night, and get motivated enough to make the 90-minute trek.
On the day itself sadly, after stopping to pick up some people along the way, I was struck down by that all too familiar sense of isolation that comes from being left out of the conversation, as well as a feeling of utter mental exhaustion that’s been the bane of my existence for years now. Concentrating on the all-Dutch discussion was too taxing I just wasn’t in the mood to pretend I was having a good time, something I felt I always had to do since way back when. I just zoned out and kept quiet. This apparently wasn’t good enough as it later on evolved into another point of contention between me and my partner that threatened to mar our day, but thankfully after talking it through and getting some alone time away from the others, I was back on track, not entirely but well enough.
There was barely any wind and quite cloudy when we finally got off into open water and for most of the time just cruised along by motor. It was relaxing nonetheless sitting on the bow as the wind picked up a bit, getting some much needed sun at the same time. There still wasn’t much conversation on my part except for a few phrases here and there and a couple of jokes that fell flatter than a Dutch pancake. My crusty Asian-American sense of humor truly doesn’t play well with locals – it just really wasn’t my audience.
I had a mixed day that day, with some ups and downs that luckily ended up better than it started. Whether or not next summer gives me another opportunity to play sailor and whether I decide to go will be options that nonetheless I hope will still come to pass.