Once upon a time…
Captain Sharktooth woke up with a splitting headache. He was hunched over his desk, face buried in a pile of maps other pieces of parchment. A half-empty bottle of rum still clutched in his hand. He jerked upright and turned towards the window, squinting against the piercing sunlight. Eight in the morning he wagered.
Turning back to the room, for a moment he could have sworn the cabin was flooded. The room was swimming just like the waves outside his cabin window. Grabbing the desk to steady himself, Sharktooth felt the pain in his head shift to his stomach. He resisted the urge to regurgitate what little supper he was fortunate to have the night before, and slid slowly back into his desk chair.
Captain Sharktooth waited for the sick feeling to retreat back to his head, and then brought the open bottle of rum to his mouth. ‘Hair of the dog’ he chuckled. The smell of added cinnamon made his stomach clench up, forcing him to hold his breath while he threw back a big gulp. A burning sensation slid down his throat and settled into his belly. He held his eyes tightly shut and waited for his body to reject the liquid. When the burning subsided, he opened his eyes, and his cabin started to come into focus. The far corners of the room were still blurry, but he could make out the words in his journal, still open on the desk.
It’s been seven days since the tempest left us dead in the water. Sails are torn and oars are broken. Me men took to lashin’ blankets and towels to the mast but nothing will catch wind. Ahh, tis a blessing and a curse to be lost at sea. The open sea is where a pirate naturally belongs. Free from the laws and labours of land livin’. The air is fresh, the gentle waves soothing, when it’s not bloody stormin’! The crew ran out of rum before the storm, save for one last bottle hidden in my cabin. A few more days and we’ll be out of food. How they’re holding it together is a mystery at this point.
With less apprehension, he took another large gulp. Now the room was fully in focus, and he began to feel light-headed, the painful throbbing in his temples becoming more of a dull buzz. Suddenly, a voice from on deck carried into his cabin: “LAND HOOOOO!” Bottle in hand, and only half comprehending what he’d heard, Captain Sharktooth stumbled toward the door and exited his cabin.
Squinting, Sharktooth raised a hand to cover his eyes as the sunlight washed over him. The light blinded him for a moment, but his eyes adjusted quickly. The breeze felt like pin-pricks on his skin, helping him to feel more fully awake. Several pirates were swabbing the deck, and Captain Sharktooth noted how they eyed his rum bottle with ravenous lust. His first mate Vera Sparrow was on the bow, looking through a spyglass at a small dot on the horizon. He lumbered toward her, doing his best to appear stable.
“It’s land, cap’n. Which land I couldn’t tell ya.” Vera handed Sharktooth the spyglass. He held it up to his face with one hand. Through it he spied a non-distinct island. A beach, trees, some cliffs. No signs of settlement.
“Doesn’t look inhabited. But we should be able to find some food and shelter there. With full bellies and a bit of rest, we can figure out to patch up the ship and get back to civilisation.” The spyglass made his headache suddenly flare up again, and he handed it back to Vera.
She glanced at the captain with an expression of concern, then resumed looking through the glass herself. “Aye. The tide’s taking us in, I reckon we’ll be marooned by midday.”
The ship lurched from a heavy wave and Sharktooth grabbed the guardrail to steady himself. He felt sick to the stomach again, and realised he was sweating profusely. He took another swig of his nearly-empty bottle, and regained his composure. Behind him, one of his crewmen had stopped working, and was staring at the captain. He spoke cautiously: “You okay cap’n?”
Vera turned around and barked: “Eyes on the deck yeh mangy bilge rat!” The crewman jumped and quickly resumed swabbing the deck, eyes averted from the captain and first mate. Vera leaned in toward Sharktooth and boldly whispered: “With all due respect cap’n, pull yourself together or get below deck. Yeh don’t need the men to see ya like this. They’re liable to mutiny.”
“Aye. But I’ll only allow it if they put you in charge.” He grinned, passing her the bottle as he spoke – a sign of both gratitude and respect.
She glared at him, disapproving of his apathy, but affectionate toward him nonetheless. Taking the bottle, Vera pulled hard, nearly draining what was left. “I don’t suppose there’ll be any rum on that island. Do yeh think?” She said wistfully.
Sharktooth laughed. “If there is, I may just walk the plank.” Vera’s eyes bulged at the statement, clearly not seeing what the captain found so funny. Sharktooth laughed harder, suddenly feeling his vitality returning. The haze he had woken up in was fading away, and the growing island in the distance filled him with excitement. He downed the last of his rum, tossed the bottle overboard, and turned around to address his men. “Alright yeh scurvy dogs! It’s time for an adventure!”
“Men of age object too much, consult too long, adventure too little, repent too soon, and seldom drive business home to the full period, but content themselves with a mediocrity of success.”
— Dale Carnegie
Moral of the Story:
Humans have a tendency to be repetitious. We wake up in the morning. Go to school or work. Come home. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. It’s the same thing every day. It is comfortable and seemingly safe in our comfort zone. But is that really living? Don’t let the expectations and opinions of other people affect your decisions. It’s your life, not theirs. Do what matters most to you; do what makes you feel alive and happy. Don’t let the expectations and ideas of others limit who you are. If you let others tell you who you are, you are living their reality – not yours. There is more to life than pleasing people. There is much more to life than following others’ prescribed path. There is so much more to life than what you are experiencing right now. If you aren’t living your life to the fullest then why are you here? Adventure is essential to our evolution. Going outside of your comfort zone and opening up to the experiences and beauty that life has to offer grows you in ways yet unseen. You need to decide who you are for yourself. Choose adventure.
Adventure is all about taking each experience, regardless if you know the outcome or not and facing it head-on. It is about seeing the world from a different perspective, even if you’ve seen it a million times before. It is choosing to see the beauty from the ordinary and finding ways to do things differently. Adventure is the element of a full life that is perhaps most neglected in modern society, and yet it is one of the most crucial. To have grand adventures and be able to tell tales of them is central to our evolution. Until you step into the unknown, you don’t know what you’re made of. Life is about the experience and the adventure, not temporary happiness. Not the stuff.
”Jobs fill your pockets, but adventures fill your soul.”
– Jaime Lyn
Affirmation: My life is an epic adventure!
I choose to see life as an epic adventure. I love meeting new people and trying new things with boldness and enthusiasm. I choose to live life loud and courageously. I let go of mediocre goals and replace them with a destiny of success and grand achievements. My ability to conquer challenges is limitless and my potential to succeed is infinite. I choose love, joy, and freedom by opening my heart to all the wonderful opportunities flowing into my life. I have all that I need to make this day a great adventure. Creative energy surges through me and leads me to new and brilliant ideas. I am adventurous. I overcome fears by following my dreams. I am love. I am purpose. I am exhilarated by new adventures and create with divine intention. I have the power to effect massive change. I seek days filled with passion, purpose, love, and change and I am attracting a loving-giving community that will tenaciously guide and assist me along the way.
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
— T.S Eliot