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Meaning something is caring about people

Statsraad Lehmkuhl, 21 July 2016
Antwerp-Lisbon

– by Trainee Aurélie (16), Belgium

I wrote this before my ‘after-breakfast-nap’ on the last day of sailing:

“It’s the last day of sailing at the Statsraad Lehmkuhl, The Tall Ships Races. We are coming closer to the finishing line and I am finally writing something. I’m not really into keeping diaries so… I hate that it’s almost over and I will be leaving for Belgium soon, way too soon.

The first day, the day of arrival, I was so scared I was not going to like it at all, that was my first impression, I was scared that I was going to need to force myself a lot, I was scared of the things we ‘had to do’. That’s something I actually hated before I came here. When you would tell me: ‘do this’ I wouldn’t like it at all and probably not do it or at least argue about it. That’s the first thing I learned here: It’s not because you have to do something, that it’s always a bad thing or you can’t have fun while doing it.

This has been an amazing experience and I’m so glad I did this, I trained my social skills for sure and I think I can even call this the best time of my life! The connections I made here with people are connections to a whole new level. It feels like we’re all brothers and sisters/best friends and we’ve known each other for ages. It’s not awkward at all, which normally is the case most of the time you meet new people. I’m going to miss these people so much, I’ll probably cry, because that’s what I do… I don’t believe in a god or any kind of higher power, but I do believe in humans, respect and love, love for sure. Especially after these two weeks. Any kind of love, not just romantic… I think love between friends, so again, not in the romantic way, (romantic is cool too though) is so strong & wonderful! But another thing I learned is that you have to open up to accept it, to fully enjoy that feeling.

I know I’m writing some deep shit over here, but I’m just so happy I met these people, all of them. I feel like they gave me power and strength to mean something. And in my eyes meaning something is not being the president of the USA or working in international politics. Meaning something is caring about people, to make them laugh, to make them feel comfortable, but at the same time to encourage them to be more, so that they can grow, and keep growing. To make them feel that they have the right to be who they are, to do what they want and to Let go of the pressure. Being at sea, seeing no land, having no internet connection, was actually awesome! All the pressure left, I just felt so free. All the pressure is gone and I can tell you, it feels freaking amazing. The freedom I feel here is just WOW. There are no words to describe this feeling of letting go of all the pressure, I think it’s what we call pure happiness.

This is how I wanna live my life, without pressure, not having to live the way society wants me to. They tell us tattoos are ugly (which they are not at all btw) who ever gave himself the right to decide that they’re ugly and not for people of ‘the upperclass’? You cannot give yourself that right. It’s society that gives us an image of how we should be and I think it’s our time to change that. Let people come in the first place, this world is from all of us, not just from a bunch of grumpy people who think they can make us all think their way. They can’t. We are human, we have a brain, we have the ability to think for ourselves, let’s use that and try to let EVERY single one, willing to have respect, show love and care, know that they are allowed, they have the right to be who they want to be. Let them know that they can be themselves.

So, Yeah, I’m gonna take a nap now. I love this ship, the sea, the experience and of course the people I met, you guys are the best, ‘my kind of people’ (inside joke, just means that I like the way your brains work) and I will never, ever forget you.
Lots of love
Aurélie
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