Following Dreams - 15 Mar 2003

Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2003 7:18 AM
Subject: Quick Note

To all my friends and family,
I have been thinking a great thought for a while now and I would like to share it.
Maybe it would be more persuasive in a story.
Maybe it would come across clearer if I took the time to write it out and edit it in my now defunct laptop.
But it is too much for me to hold in.
I came full circle the other day. There is a Dutch guy living in the same area who recently decided to leave his country, sell all his possessions and buy a small fishing boat here in Thailand. He told me he was about to lose his wife and didn't know his son. He also told me he loves to fish. He loves the sea.
Before, in some of my earlier stories I explained that many people helped me on my way. People I didn't know, people I'd only met a day before. I started to realize that when you chase your dreams you find yourself in the midst of like-minded people. You share the dream together or similar ones running parallel. Your life is enriched and filled not just with the chase and effort of the dream but with others also caught in the dream. Those people helped me with money, they helped me with continual answers to my million questions, they helped me rewire my entire electrical system for nothing, they helped me take apart my engine down to the piston heads, they gave me tools and sold me paints below their own costs, they let me dock at their pier for nothing, they sent their workers over to solve my problems for nothing. It goes on and on and most of it for nothing.
At first I felt I understood, but when it didn't stop, when it swelled full and overflowing, when it continued far beyond what I could ever repay, then I became confused. I speculated. I put forth my own ideas but they didn't fit. I couldn't explain the "amount" that people gave.
The other day I helped pull the Dutch guy's boat off a shallow shelf before it filled with the incoming tide. The effort and energy were exhilarating. He knows almost nothing about boats and even less about Thailand. I showed him how to seize the end of ropes and asked a fisherman next to us to show him how to spice an eye at the end of a line. He has asked me about his alternator and we have talked about his battery problems. I was in his shoes only five months ago. I want to help him. I have to hold myself back because I want to jump over onto his boat and show him all the things that I have learned. I hold myself back and give only the times he asks for help or information. Otherwise I fear I would get annoying trying to help him all the time. I want to help him along on his dream. I want to send him off canter-walling across electric blue seas. I want to see him succeed!
Now I understand the reason those people helped me. I am now in the mix doing the same thing with the same joy and eagerness. It fills my heart. It starts to overflow.
The thing I wanted to say is this.
Chase your dreams, everyday will be filled to the brim. You won't be able to drink it all. Then to top it off you will be surrounded, you will be helped and loved by those chasing the same wondrous thing. They will see you and want your success.
Once you start, it will snowball and those around you will add to it and build it bigger and bigger until you succeed. I thought when I started that I could not do it alone and often wondered how far I would get in the impossibly huge task of putting this boat together. Then I ran into people who helped me. They did things and found others who could solve my problems. They applied their energies to keep me rolling. They gave their energies to see me succeed.
I wish someone had told me that before. I wish someone had shown me that. So I must tell you. I don't want to sound like I am bullshitting. I don't want to come across as something special. I just want to say this simple truth to you all. You are all my world. I suppose I want to say it to the world but I don't have a soapbox. I don't have a publisher. I just have this overflowing feeling that I want to communicate.
Captain Andy