Today marks my 41st anniversary (birthday) as a Starfleet officer. I’m at about the halfway point of my journey. I’ve faced many challenges on this voyage and I’ve also had many successes. Looking back where I’ve been, where I’m at and where I want to be, I hope the next 41, if I’m lucky enough to serve that long, will continue to be the adventure of a lifetime.
Nowadays, I don’t spend a lot of time looking back. The past doesn’t hold a lot for me. No matter how much pain I’ve suffered, the terrible decisions I’ve made and nostalgia, the things that have already happened can’t change. It’s tricky….the old saying goes, “those that forget the past are doomed to repeat it”. Undoubtedly, there are lessons to be learned from the mistakes we’ve made. Though it can become too easy to get stuck in a loop thinking about what could’ve been done, all that can be done is make course corrections in the present and plot a course for a better future.
Currently, I helm one of the Federation’s most powerful ships, the USS Zamora. How I carry myself not only affects myself but also has an impact on my crew (3 kids, 3 cats and a hamster), has an influence on those aboard Starbase 701 (work), can help or hinder the distressed captains I encounter (clients I serve) and can impact the galaxy at large.
Mindfulness is all about trying to stay focused on the present and immediate future. I’ve lost so much time and energy looking back or fruitlessly trying to predict the long-term future. Going ahead, I don’t want to waste the next 41 or however long I have in my head. I have a pretty good idea where I am, what I want and my hope is that I achieve my goals. Yet, I keep trying to remind myself that it isn’t necessarily about the destination, it’s about enjoying the journey.
Intergalactic space is dangerous and unpredictable. Goals are great to have but I’ve tried to find moments of happiness during the little moments and I’ve tried to not to let whatever craziness that’s happening or has just occurred to take over my mind or emotions. Failures will happen. It’s not about the fall but about learning to pick yourself.
Part of not getting knocked off track for me is also remembering the ephemeral nature of life. Change is inevitable. I think part of the sting of losing my mom and Michelle was that I let myself be surprised when they died. I didn’t fully appreciate that any conversation could be the last. It has broken me a lil to realize that any time I am out of sight of my crew or friends could be the last time I talk with them. Yet, I think it’s helped me truly value every interaction and have gratitude when I get the chance those I care for again. And though Michelle and my mom are no longer here and that hurts me, I am comforted by remembering the good times, knowing they wouldn’t want me to suffer in the present and I have a hope of seeing them again.