The Shipyard

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My Calling

You know how people say “when you know you know.” I never got that. I was like…well how? How do I know? And they were like…”you just do.” That pissed me off. As someone who changes their mind about things frequently; jobs, relationships, living situations, circles of people…I’ve never felt really sure about anything. Life is change right? You’re supposed to go with the flow. 

There were times that I thought I was sure. I thought I knew who I was going to marry, where I was going to settle down, what I would do for the rest of my life. And then things would fall apart and I began to doubt my ability to tell fantasy from reality. I found that my strong desire to tie everything down, superglue it in place, and then beg that it sticks so that I don’t have to experience change and everything that comes with it for the umpteenth time, wasn’t working.

I turned 27 in August and something shifted. I can’t pinpoint exactly what it was but I know that it had something to do with the ending of my 3 year relationship, quitting my job, and moving (after living in a hotel for a week because I was “homeless”). I was suddenly back at square one and everything happened so quickly I barely knew how I had gotten there.

As I started to pick up the pieces I found them falling into place before I even touched them. I found an awesome, cheap, and centrally located apartment that would let me move in with my two cats. I got 3 new roommates who are like my long lost sisters. I got a job at a beautiful coworking loft on Newbury Street. I found a therapist that I actually like (trust me, if you’ve been in therapy before you know that it can be difficult to find a therapist that you mesh with). I fell in love. Wait, what is happening. Are things actually coming together this smoothly? Something must be wrong. As I realized that my life was coming together before my eyes I did what any normal 27 year old girl would do. I decided that it was now time to move onto a boat.

I haven’t told my mom yet. It’s one of those things where you know what your mom will say if you call her and you’re like, “So, everything is going like really great. Ben and I are happy and in love. Henry and Lily [my cats] are doing well. My job is awesome and my apartment is great but, I decided that this winter I’m going to move…onto a boat…in the Boston Harbor.”

We all know that the outcome of that conversation will not be a good one. I did tell my dad and he was like, “Al, just…chill. You need to stay still, you need to let your mind rest for a bit, you need to be bored for a little bit.” I found it extremely ironic that he said that I need to be “bored” because at a networking event that I was at a couple of days before they had an icebreaker question and this is what I wrote: Image

I’m sorry but I’m not bored. I can’t help it, I’m just not. I have a lot of things going on. There is a lot I want to do and sitting still just won’t work for me.

So, back to things falling into place. They have. My boyfriend happens to live around the corner from the shipyard at the Boston Harbor. One thing lead to another and I became involved with Harbor Arts, a non-profit organization that is run out of the shipyard. Through Matt, the executive director of Harbor Arts I met Dan the shipyard owner. I told Dan I wanted to move onto a boat but I have no money. He told me he had a boat he was looking to get rid of. I asked him how much? He said, it’s free.

Hi, I’m Ali

Hi,

My name is Ali. I’m 27 and in the preparation steps of moving from my apartment onto a boat. Yes, it’s October. You might think I’m crazy, you’re probably right. Who in their right mind would want to move onto a boat right before winter, in Boston no less? I would. I will. I am. I like to test the limits and get outside of my comfort zone. I invite you to join me on this journey. I will be documenting everything from getting the boat to living on the boat.

Why am I doing this?

I’ve loved boats since I was a small child. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no captain, but I’ve always enjoyed the ride. My grandparents had a boat, she was called Praxis. Definition: “Practical application or exercise of a branch of learning.” I spent a lot of time with Praxis, I even had my 11th birthday party on her.

Besides my love of boats there is a practical side to this. Let me break it down:

Rent: Much much cheaper.

Well-Being: I’m in the process of de-cluttering my life. I wouldn’t consider myself a hoarder (other people might) but I’ve reached a point where I’ve realized that the accumulation of things doesn’t make me happy. In fact, the opposite is appealing to me. I love the idea of selling my furniture, cutting down my closet to only things I actually wear, and letting go of the things that I don’t use that just make my life more complicated and make me feel…heavier.

Amenities: Laundry, gym, and showers at the marina.

Community: The liveaboard community is a tight one. I love meeting new people and community is vital to me. We’re not alone so why not do it together?

Cool Factor: Needs no explanation.