I have the worst habit of forgetting about updating my journals on here. I wonder if it's because I forget that DA is a thing occasionally or it I'm just lackadaisical about writing updates anywhere. Deep mysteries, obviously.
I hope the summer has been treating you all well. In my last journal update we were just leaving New Zealand, so I'll give a quick recap from there. We spent 30 and 3/4 days at sea making the crossing from NZ straight to Hilo, Hawai'i. It was the longest single ocean crossing we have ever made, beating out the previous record holder by nearly 10 full days. It fell just shy of 5,000 nautical miles, but we were just too beat by the end of it to sail around in circles for that last extra 10 miles or so that we needed to make the record. By the time we went from Hilo to Honolulu, we had caped out over the 5,000 mile mark, so we counted it happily in the grand total. Our sailing trip took ended up taking 1 year and 10 months and we traversed a total of 14,880 miles approximately.
To say that it was a trip of a lifetime would be an understatement. I look at the art that I was able to create in the time I spent abroad with my folks and I can see incredible strides taken and obvious improvement gained; but that only tells a fraction of the story. For as much as the trip was a chance to refine my craft and work on my art, it was so much more than that. It showed me a slice of what life had been like for my parents circumnavigating back in the 90s, as well as a different pace of life around the world. I was in countries where English is not the dominant language (I'm sorry Aussies, your rampant abuse of abbreviations really is a separate language XD), I was in countries of affluence and abject poverty, and I was in all number of countries of breathtaking natural beauty.
Through it all I learned so many lessons, lessons about myself and the world in general. One of the most important that I feel like sharing is the fact that it shouldn't matter your location or the conditions of your life, you must learn to be content in where you are now. So many nights I wanted to be back "home" to visit friends and family or to have the common conveniences that modern American living provides (reliable, high-speed internet, pressure showers, a washer and drier), which meant I was missing out on these locations of pure tropical paradise because of my melancholy. Did I always get it right and live in each moment fully experiencing the wonders of my travels? Nope, not even remotely; but through it all I have grown tremendously as a person.
And that's to say nothing of the incredible church family we met around the world with all the churches we were able to visit and missions work we could participate in, which always brings with it its own special form of reward.
Now that I'm hope again in the Pacific Northwest I find myself missing the boat and its slower pace of life. Here I have to worry about work and supporting myself and making time for friends and family and a million little things. When I find myself overwhelmed I simply take some time to remember to find contentment in my current situation, seeing it for what it is, not what it's not, That is a lesson that will take my whole life to learn perfectly. Hopefully someday I will be able to honestly say that, like the apostle Paul, I am content in all things.
God has blessed me in so many ways, and I'm just trying to keep a thankful heart at all times for my art and for the wonders of my life. Right now I've got a steady stream of art commissions, a seasonal job, and dear friends who are overjoyed to have me home. I should say that makes for the basis of a fun journal if nothing else.
I hope this journal finds you all well in each of your respective stages of life. As always, feel free to ask me questions or drop me a line. I'm always interested to hear what sort of people read these/watch my art.