Good Morning and Welcome to Thursday from my Atlantic Life in Hatteras 😊
I thought this morning you may like to read the genesis of "My Atlantic Life".
Although I have posted snippets before, this is the full version.
So here goes....
My Atlantic Life…Adventures of a Restless Filly
My Atlantic life began 4000 miles away, next to the Atlantic Ocean, in a small beach town called Ayr, in Scotland. Now, over 50 years later, I find myself living in Hatteras Village, a tiny dot on the US map, which lies on a ribbon of sand, 30 miles from the North Carolina mainland on the Outer Banks…in the Atlantic Ocean.
My hometown of Ayr, Scotland
Aerial view of Scotland
Aerial view of the Outer Banks
How many times have I crossed that incredible, vast, body of water?...I've lost count. The Atlantic Ocean has seen me at my happiest, my saddest, my most enthused, my most drained, my most hopeful and my most hopeless, my lost and my found - My Atlantic Ocean…my constant.
I've always known that my heart belongs to the ocean, the same way some people know there's belongs to the mountains. It's not to say that I can't be happy in other places, I absolutely can, and have been many times. But there's just a special, indescribable feeling of belonging, that the ocean brings me.
A Piscean, I truly am a water sign – I need the element H20 not only to survive, but to thrive. I feel an incredible calmness when I can be near water - being born and growing up in a small coastal town, probably plays a big part in this. With miles and miles of wide, sandy beaches - this was where I always headed to when I needed to think, to clear my head - the feeling of the salty breeze on my face, the sound of the crashing or lapping waves, the ever changing, ever moving water.
My hometown beach
My hometown sunset over the island of Arran
Some of my earliest memories, are of my Mom taking me to the beach during the summers. She would walk us to a beautiful beach, where she would spread a large blanket on the sand, and we would stay most of the day. Just playing in the sand, paddling in the water, and eating the simple lunch of sandwiches that she had made earlier that morning, which always tasted so much yummier, when eaten on the beach...….and then the long walk back home, still smelling the salty sea air, feeling the warmth of the late afternoon sun on our skin - with no care or worries in the world.
My spirit recovers....💗
As I grew up, the beach was a place that I would go to feel better about teenage heartaches, have late night parties, escape arguing parents, try to forget about school pressures etc.….and as I was older, it was the place I would go to find calm and think through my own marriage problems, work challenges, money worries, it was even the place I grieved for the loss of my father – I would find solace, my broken heart would start to mend and my spirit recover, when I could be on a beach…..next to the Atlantic Ocean.
Over the years I have often been referred to as a Restless Filly, always searching for something new, different, more exciting, and happy to move from one place to another, seeking that new job, project or challenge.… my next grand adventure! I'm the quintessential Restless Filly… and maybe it was because I was always looking to come home to a place, to something centered in me, somewhere I belonged.
I’ve nearly always trusted my gut instincts…. that feeling that pushes or pulls me to something new. Have I any regrets or made many mistakes or bad decisions? – absolutely, although my biggest messes were generally when I had not trusted my instincts, questioned my sometimes-crazy logic or gone with someone else’s idea or opinion.
But I’d like to think that I’ve learned by my many mistakes… that on the whole, when I look back, I haven’t done that badly for a shy girl, from a modest home, in a small, quiet, seaside town in Scotland - When I think of the things I've done, the amazing places I've traveled to all over the world, the great jobs I’ve held, the awesome people (and not so awesome…) I've met, the opportunities that have presented themselves to me, the incredibly fun things I've been able to experience, the love I've felt and drawn on to make me strong, the many life lessons I've learned and I'm still learning…If I hadn’t trusted my instincts, taken the risks and followed my dreams, I would most likely still be in my hometown, living with and working alongside the people I went to school with, not travelling outside of Scotland and would most probably been happy….but there would always have been a yearning for something else, something more…I needed to follow my dreams.
After 10 years as a cardiac physiologist working in hospitals and clinics, and then 18 years in clinical research, I had well and truly climbed the career ladder. Holding positions of Chief, Senior Director, Vice President, and Managing Director in clinical care, industry, and academia, I had been devoted to my work. For years I was infused by my career, empowered by it, thrived in the competitive environment and always the “go to person” for challenging problems… But after training as a leadership, career and life coach and spending more of my time coaching, it became really apparent to me, while I may have been great at helping other people to find that elusive work/life balance and to start creating the life they dreamed of - as my wise and wonderful husband pointed out on more than one occasion, whilst I was highly successful at empowering and coaching other people to have less stress, to re calibrate, and to change their lives for the better, I was absolutely awful at taking my own advice.
For years I had worked 60 plus hours a week, weekends, holidays, even cancelling vacations due to whatever crisis de jour had hit, answering my work cellphone whenever it would ring, day or night regardless of where I was or who I was with…I had completely lost myself in my work and in my world and wasn’t quite sure what to do about it.
As in so many times in the past, when I was confused and unable to reach the answers to what was going wrong in my life, I knew in my heart that I needed to be next to the Atlantic Ocean to clear my head. So, I packed a bag, and headed to the Outer Banks, a place I had always found myself drawn to, a unique strip of sand in the Atlantic.
The Road to Hatteras 🥰
Many years before, I found a little card that had a picture of a mermaid with the words “she knew someday the sea would call her home”, I often looked at the pretty, little card, and just knew that this was so true for me. Although I loved our beautiful farm in Hillsborough, NC where we had lived for many years, there was always a missing element for me…The Atlantic
Driving over the bridge that day from Manteo to Nags Head, I felt a shift.... the sea was calling me home.
The next morning sitting on the beach, watching the sunrise whilst drinking my coffee …I knew it was time.
I spent the next few days on the beach writing down copious amounts of thoughts and ideas in my journal and planning how to break the news to my more risk averse husband, that it was time to sell the horse farm and move to the Outer Banks.
Fast forward six months to one dark and chilly eveni