My Way (Non-Fiction)

Written for my book, In Love With a Sailor + The Captain in Me, 2013-2014 © Karen Maeby 

There are some memories from high school that I just cannot let go of or forget. Such as, one day in my freshman year, a teacher played Leann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance,” telling us to never give up on our dreams. Or when I met a very special teacher for one semester in junior year, got to know her, and had many memories, before she permanently left Earth a few years later. 

Or the time when Momma and I formed some sort of permanent understanding that we were two people who would always do things our way, reflecting the Frank Sinatra song, “My Way.” 

I also found out about Robert Frost’s “Road Less Traveled.” Ever since then, I’ve been following his words. If I am given a choice, I take whichever is better for me, and mostly, the road less traveled. 

I have never been one to follow what everyone else does. Who really wants that? Don’t you want to make your life a unique one while you’re here on Earth? One where you will be remembered even long after you’ve passed on. 

High school was also the time that I discovered Jimmy Buffett. There isn’t one song that I don’t relate something to in my daily life. He has certainly been such an inspiration for me, as a fellow Pirate, and for helping me form my life over the years. A lot of my book has been written while listening to his music in the background. 

As I get older, I compare certain moments in my life to that one journey on the water. 

As you launch the boat, to go out on the water for a couple of hours, you really don’t know how many waves you’ll hit or what direction you’ll have to take. You never know who you’ll see or meet; you never know if you’re going to see magic – like a dolphin show or a fish jumping up and accidentally landing in your boat. That’s just like every day life. You just never know what the day will be like. You can always be prepared for something, but most likely, you won’t always be ready. 

I think of my life’s path as a giant treasure map. I go along in my life, collecting treasures to put in my treasure chest. Every “x” on my map is where I’ve been, and it stands for a memory. Every moment has a reason, and everything happens for a reason. Maybe this is the philosopher in me talking, but I think that I know. Life is the road that my feet take me down, and I am confident in doing life my own way. 

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