A Diary of a Girl who Grew up at Sea.
As a kid growing up in a ship full of old, not so old crew, I had the enthusiasm for anything vintage and nostalgic. From the song choices,random wallpaper designs, to clothes.
One form of entertainment in the ship was to sing karaoke. Being the only 5-year old, I hogged the microphone and sang until I got tired. One of my favorites were “Bye bye love” by the Everly brothers (an awesome song you should listen to) and “How much is that doggie in the window” I imagined I would sing the “arf,arf” part very cutely.
When we would dock in some random country, I would always see my mom dress up like an 80’s beautiful celebrity. With matching pumps or heels to go with her gorgeous vintage dresses. I always dreamed of being more like my mom. Beautiful, confident, and strikingly wise.
Not to mention my daddy, who goes perfectly hand in hand with my mama. Always handsome with his clean shaven face except for the tickling beard surrounding his lips. My father, the gentleman, will always be found wearing his formal slacks, white long sleeves and a neck tie. I was glad to be with mama in the cabin to take away daddy’s tiredness when he came back from down in the engines. Ive been there once and boy was it as hot as hades. Even so, as young as I was, I understood the nature of my daddy’s work.
The ship that we traveled in itself was like, it came out of a movie. With green and red hallways which led out to the decks, overlooking the endless blanket of ocean. Mama and I would fish, some of our catch would comprise of baby sharks, catfish, and little fishes which we would soon grill for a party that night. I felt so proud when mama would catch a fish, that for one fish caught, I would call on daddy and his friends so that they could see for themselves, and when we’d get back, mama has already caught six.
A child’s wonder could not get any weirder when we had our regular drills. Mama would suit me up in an orange life jacket and bring me outside where the other crew had obviously done the same. I vividly remember what I asked my mama right then “Are we going to jump? Are we going to swim mama?” with a face that was both excited and impatient. Turned out, we never got into the water.
As it was time for me to settle down and go to school, I left the sea-voyaging life and enrolled in a Montessori in Cebu; which was totally a whole new experience for me. I enjoyed the life of making new friends and fitting in with classmates. Though there will always be a special place and longing in my heart for what was then, what had been, what molded me to become who I am, as a surviving being in this ocean of a world.
The pictures to which I look at now remind me of all the nostalgic memories I had as I was a child, it felt like a whole other far out world back then, and I find myself longing for the same vintage traveling feeling again.
The same feeling I’d get when I listen to oldies, when I fit my mama’s old clothes, when I found out the news that I would once again be traveling this summer to see my father after five long years.