The trouble with spending a day on a boat with a stranger is that I have lots of people who love me. Particularly my husband. So imagine his concern when he receives the following texts throughout the day:
11:24AM: I made friends with a Greek man at Starbucks. He has a boat.
1:01PM: We're having a beer on an island!
2:58PM: I'm at the marina behind Starbucks. Yiorgos is cooking me some shrimp and salmon.
I thought I was being really great about checking in. I even included vague* locations - just in case Jeremy needed to come search for my remains. And while I had the entire picture in mind and felt perfectly safe, my texts left lots to the imagination. *I'm admittedly not the best communicator.
And every time I start to tell the story to friends or family they cover their mouths and their eyes get wide. They are convinced the story is going to go in a different direction that ends badly. So it always feels anticlimactic when it ends with: And then I said goodbye and went to the farmers market.
The whole adventure brought up LOTS of questions that are yet to be answered. Things like:
• How risky/brave/stupid is it to trust a stranger? For me, I have flexed my muscle around believing most people are good and have never had my trust violated in such a way that makes me afraid of anyone I don't already know.
• Is this a feminist issue? If I were a man or roles were reversed would it be so risky/brave/stupid?
• Is this a cultural issue? Has the media made it so women in the United States are terrified of everything?
• Where do I draw the line? Part of what Jeremy loves about me is that I'm not afraid - but the way I spent my day had him worried (with good reason). I have to balance my desire for adventure with Jeremy's need for consideration. For us we decided the line is drawn when it goes from a public setting to a private setting.
• What could I do differently next time? This is the hardest question to answer because there were so many variables to that day. It's hard to make rules for yourself when you actively seek out different experiences in life. Ultimately, I've decided that it all comes down to communication. If I can properly communicate my expectations, locations and intentions I can create a safe perimeter around my crazy adventures. Boundaries that will make Jeremy and my mom feel better about letting my free spirit roam.
• What exactly was my gut saying? The fact that I even had to check with my gut at all says that something was amiss - that what I was doing wasn't completely okay. And you guys - I'm really not even the best judge of character. I just knew that if shit went down that I'd be able to handle it.
• What if? I won't entertain the questions of what could have happened. Part of being present means assessing a situation for what it is and not becoming too preoccupied with what ifs.
So I'm not saying everyone should throw caution to the wind and get on boats with strangers. I made some decisions that day that make lots of people really uncomfortable to even hear about. But I do wish we could all be a little less afraid.
I'm curious to hear your thoughts.
J & K started this blog project to document the remodel of their 1929 historical home in the heart of Oklahoma City. It has now turned into a documentation of life, food, fashion, freelance, inspiration, design, adventures and details around the J & K house.
Kathleen works as an award-winning brand consultant and designer specializing in small business branding at Braid Creative & Consulting. Jeremy is a software engineer and is the left-brain to Kathleen’s right.
You can contact Kathleen at
jeremyandkathleen (at) gmail (dot) com.
All photos and graphics by Kathleen unless otherwise stated. Feel free to use them with permission or credit.
Anatomy of an Outfit
Sometimes I like to get dressed and take pictures of myself. For all of my outfit posts click here.
Freelance Matters: A series about how I tackle freelance issues such as estimating, billing, to-do lists and how to fire a client.
Trekking to Everest
In October 2010 Jeremy and I trekked through the Himalayas to Mt. Everest Base Camp. It completely changed my life. Read about the entire adventure, day-by-day, here.
Braid is a creative & consulting business I own with my sister. We do branding and business visioning for creative entrepreneurs. On the Braid blog I share branding adventures, how-to articles and advice on the creative process. If you need a little brand therapy of your own visit Braid or subscribe to the Braid blog RSS feed here.
What We Eat
We like to eat really good food - at least 3 times a day. Sometimes I blog about it - click here for recipes and yummy ideas.
J & K: Blog Archive
- The Best Weekend Of My Life
- 3 Years
- The Trouble With Getting On Boats With Strangers
- My Friend Yiorgos
- The Working Artist
- Finding that work / life balance
- Indie Shopography: 3-Day Sale
- Urban Cowgirl
- White Rabbit / Gold Pants
- I Wonder What Oprah's Bathtub is Like
- Anatomy of an Outfit: Navy Blazer and Gold Buttons...
- OKC Rental
- Hiring help.
- Indie Shopography Workshop for Small Creative Busi...
- A Story About A Flat Tire
- Anatomy of an Outfit: Leap Year Day
- ▼ March (16)
- ► 2011 (257)
- ► 2010 (387)
- ► 2009 (406)
- Eva Black | Spaces
- Emma Dime
- Life as an Artistpreneur
- Jane Reaction
- Ink & Letters
- Meg Biram | The Edit
- Sarah Von Bargen's Small Biz Blog
- Design Crush
- The Equals Record
- Emmarie Designs
- Rory Gordon
- Yellow Brick Home
- The Creatives Project
- Silly Grrl
- Photographers Skeen
- The Clothes Make the Girl
- Bringing Design Home
- Pip & Estella
- A Practical Wedding
- Kind of a Sideshow
- Sandra Juto
- Old Sweet Song
- Rambling Renovators
- Brooklyn Bride
- Design Crush
- Experiment in Poverty
- The Jealous Curator
- Making it Lovely
- Dressing on the Side
- The Oklahoman
- Young House Love
- Oh So Beautiful Paper
- A Cup of Jo
- Brooklyn Limestone
- Glamour Weddings