Birthdays have lost their specialty since I was about 12, but last year (2015) I felt the need to celebrate again. It was the last time 30 (39.) I had big dreams, big plans and big projects. And, I had a life to honor. I had also walked away from the welfare line just a month earlier, paid myself my first salary (NAf. 500,-), envisioned owning a car and living on my own again. All while growing my own business. I would create job opportunities for me and one, hopefully two, part-time employees and inspire people to do good.

I had no clue what I was getting myself into. (I actually did, but I thought I would handle it better.) I knew it was going to be hard work! Filled with doubts, fear and all the other humane feelings that mess us up when we get scared.

Hello, welcome to the rollercoaster ride of the year.

For the first time in my life I knew that fear couldn’t stop me. Slow me down, yes, but nothing stops a Pirate from his determined set goals. I had proven that the years prior to myself. My determination scared me on many occasions and, honestly, still does. It’s like I’m trying to do all wrongs right, but with good hearted intent and not just for me. I’m turning 40 (I don’t even know how to spell that.) The age is just a page that you keep turning till the book ends. And I know, better than ever before, that I’m on the right track. I’m scared of what is coming and what I can’t control, however I’m not afraid of what I’m capable of and what I will achieve. That is certain! It is not because nobody can stop me, but because I accomplished it already and I’m just continuing on borrowed time. The only failure that remains, is giving up.

With all this in mind, it hurts. I’m hurting. I feel I failed. I feel I’ve lost some parts that I could have won. I know these are “just” human doubts, but still, let me share my thoughts.

I got that car I so badly wished for. I dug in and fought to the teeth till I had it and then lost it to mechanical issues and still haven’t gotten it back. For the first time in my life I had savings, and nothing of them are left. I had the greatest honor to realise a dream, talking at a TEDx event but I felt empty in the end. I guess all accomplishments do because we humans just aren’t easily pleased. As soon as we accomplish a goal we’re already punishing ourselves for the things we didn’t do as expected. And for me that is that I still live with my parents and although that shouldn’t come as a surprise it feels like I failed them, Me, My hope, a part of my dream lost. I haven’t been able to pay myself my salary for 6 months and you would almost think when you read all that, that I have lost faith…

But no! I’m a Pirate and I always find the wind to fill my sails and head into a new course. Just when I thought I was losing my game, my creativity showed that my trust in me is all  I need. Don’t forget, I got that car when it wasn’t likely I would. I got paid playing with other people’s waste. Heck, I’ve been doing this since I was a baby. I danced Salsa for many years while there was doubt if I would ever walk straight as a baby. (I had to wear braces as a baby to straighten my legs.) I was born to fight. And in that fight I remembered my best weapon, is acceptance. Letting go of what you can’t grasp and embrace what you can hold.

So I got the biggest order from 2ndLife Curaçao‘s existence (215 candle holders), and another dozen to keep me busy. img_20161119_191621This month has broken all records in my book. And if that wasn’t enough, after struggling for two years with international payments, I can finally sell internationally. There is even more that I can’t even tell yet. Or that I don’t feel enough accomplished to really let it count, but what matters most, I have all of you. The thank you’s, the encouragements, the believe and support. It amazes me. It makes me wonder, how can I ever doubt myself?

Yet I do. Pirates are human too.

I might feel I have lost this year because I didn’t achieve my set goals. I’ve won more by the experiences collected and stronger for the wisdom grown. I received so much love that it should last a lifetime. I have so much grit, I can finally Pirate my own ship.

Don’t ever give up on a Pirate, no matter how old. For he will surprise you for what made him the fighter in the first place, his own will. And to grow the seed he planted so she (Debbie) will not be forgotten.

Music of Choice: Jimmy Buffett – Pirate’s Look at forty