Sunday, May 18, 2008

Giving up one passion for another

When I first moved to New York (Dirty Jersey) to pursue my career in advertising and passion for writing, I knew that I was leaving my windsurfing lifestyle behind, but I held on to my windsurfing gear with the slight chance that I might return to board shorts and year-round summer sun. Now, I'm getting ready for a bigger change. In October, I'm moving to Manhattan, a feat that I had limited myself from until I paid off all of my student loans, which is almost accomplished. Since the big move date is not too far away, I reevaluated what lifestyle changes I had to make to adjust. I knew that space would become an issue, so I sorted through all of my unused belongings until I came across my windsurfing gear. The gear wasn't particularly hard to find. The 100 liter board, kite board, 4 sails, two masts, boom and associated gadgets were hiding under my bed as the 300 pound gorilla in the room. If I were to move to a square-foot-challenged Manhattan apartment, the gear would have to go. I found out about this swap meet taking place next week, and signed up to drop off my stuff and have it sold. The days approaching this drop-off date were intense as I bartered back and forth with letting the tangible artifacts of my life go.

Then I thought:

How could I have possibly put myself in a position to have belongings that I don't use and don't want to let go of?
Because, there was a point in my life where I couldn't live without my gear, and I still felt that when I moved here. I didn't want to come unprepared, so I brought my whole life, but now it's collecting dust under my bed, because I love writing.

How did I fall in love with windsurfing?
Through Community Boating (CBI), which kept me out of trouble (mostly) and taught me endless lessons about life. Windsurfing was the added interest developed to keep me coming back to the safe haven. Teaching windsurfing was the niche I fell into on purpose, so CBI would always need me, because I knew that I would always need them, in spirit or in experience.

Why did I stop?
Writing is what I love too, and I invested money into my education, for the sole purpose of profiting from it. Windsurfing would have kept me in debt.

...So after philosophizing over the decisions I've made in the past four years, it was time to drop off my stuff. This morning, my friend Jomy piled all my gear into his Suburu wagon, and we headed to Windsurfing Hamptons surf shop. The 2 hour journey was relatively painless, but when we arrived, I felt quite anxious. We unloaded the gear onto the grass, and I spent some time "evaluating" it. I had forgotten about a sail that I had. The surf shop guy began the pricing process. I was a bit reluctant to put a price on my pride, but when he offered 600 bucks for my board, my jaw dropped. I only paid 250 for that board. The pricing continued in my favor. I was still a little upset to see my stuff go, but the fact that my stuff was selling for a pretty penny helped ease the blow.

The shop guy continued, "What about the 2.7 sail? How much do you want for it?" I picked up the sail bag and squeezed my fingers into it. "Not this one. Too many memories." I remember, when I went to my windsurfing instructor interview in San Francisco, four of the months were spent in Costa Rica, so I asked the manager what sails I should bring. (The smaller the sail, the stronger the winds) I mentioned the 8.5, 6.7 and 5.1, and then I kind of said "Oh yeah, and I have this 2.7 sail, but I just bought it for the kids to sail with" and he said with the most seriousness that any surf shop owner could have "Bring only the 2.7...yeah, the wind is THAT great."

Then I remember, when I brought the 2.7 sail to CBI, and the smaller kids were so excited to have a sail that they could lift up, and I felt so bad when I de-rigged it, but I wanted to take it to the Harry McDonough Sailing Center and have the kids try it over there too.

So, i took the 2.7 back with me in the car along with some of the miscellaneous cheap gear. I decided to just give away the 2.7 to CBI. I would feel more relieved if CBI benefited from that sail than some rich kid from the Hamptons.

The art project is coming along well, although this weekend's progress was a stand still, due to today's day trip and yesterday's great weather.