There were some BIG waves on the island a few weeks ago and my surf instructor caught a pic of me in one.

In a little over two weeks, I finally leave Barbados after moving here in November 2020.  A year and a half is a long time to be on an island.  Island fever is a real thing.  Yet, this has become my home and I will miss my friends, the beach, and the surf.

In my last post, I spoke of having trouble making some big decisions and asked for advice.  At the end of this month, I will be of no fixed address and was feeling uncomfortable about what came next.  People wrote me the loveliest comments, emails, and texts to say that life is short, let your heart lead to where you are happy.

I found a beautiful one-bedroom apartment not too far from where I am living now.  I put in an offer, and it was accepted!  Things don’t work at the same pace here and I am unsure of when I will be able to move in, but when I do, Barbados will become my new home.

I asked for the advice, and it was given from a place of love.  I could tell because no one told me what to do, rather, they gave me something to think about.  It was up to me to see what resonated.  It was for me, not for them.

Be careful whose advice you buy but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia.  Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than its worth.

Written by Mary Schmich, performed by Baz Luhrmann

For those of you who have not had the pleasure, this is what a positive COVID test looks like. This is mine April 13th.

I have received a lot of advice while here in Barbados.  I think most of it came from the heart and was meant to be in my best interests.  However, I don’t respond well to man-splaining.

An example, although trivial, became a source of contention when I was supposed to be enjoying the thing that makes me happiest on this island – surfing.  People have found the need to push me into riding smaller boards.  Up for progressing my skills, I would give them a shot, have a crappy surf session, and tell them that my skill level was just not there yet.  The last exchange of this nature sounded like this:

“How is that board treating you,” I was asked.  I hate it; I can catch the waves but can’t stay up on it. “Well, you just need to keep riding it and get used to it,” I was told.  “Actually, I don’t!  And I am getting sick of people f’en telling me that,” was my response.

I am curious, have you ever been in this position where someone means well, but has given you unsolicited advice that is not helping?

Patience and knowing what you want is key.  Mike and Ryan are leaving the island the same day as I am.  The three of us went surfing at Freights and I tried the two boards that they are selling when they leave.  I LOVED Ryan’s 8’ board and she sold it me. I have been looking for an 8-foot board for almost six months.

Darren’s daughter, Olivia, had astute words of advice: When you use a board for the first time and love it, you know it is THE board.  You don’t have to try; it just feels right.

Thank you, Olivia for understanding, and thank you Barbados – this is exactly how I feel about my new home.

This is what a socially distanced birthday party in Barbados looks like. I have no idea how I caught COVID!