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Living on a boat | Living differently, new job, new ... life?

About mandarins that need to be counted first, life about a different tack and yet new plans for the future.

"I'm leaving," my friend said. I heard myself swallow the last sip of coffee and set the cup on the table. The sun shone brightly into the boat. 

'Away? Where to?' I asked. 

"To my parents." He put some stuff in his backpack and put the leash on the dog. The dog looked innocently ahead and wagged his tail when I looked at him. 

"We can talk about it, can't we?" I suggested, remembering last night's fight. 'We were talking about making good agreements yesterday', I added. Talking was not an option. He had to think and take a break. He stepped out of the boat with a kiss and a tear. I looked after them, but neither the dog nor he looked back. My gut said it wasn't right. As if he had already decided. It remained as quiet that day as the nature spot where I was now alone. 

Also read: Living on a boat | This is Shem de Labric
Also read: Living on a boat | Would you do that?!
Also read: Living on a boat | Unwanted visit, bad nights and still that freedom


'Miss, can I have a piece of mandolin too?' I'm startled out of my thoughts. I still have to get used to my new job in the classroom. Conditions at home affected my nights and concentration quite a bit, something that doesn't help with a new job. And normally I work with adults with a disability, now I'm partly in a kindergarten and partly in the senior year. The teacher smiles at the five-year-old boy standing in front of her. She explains that everyone will receive mandarin after math class. She proceeds to divide the wedges and asks the children to count. 'Eeeeen ... Téééé ...' the boy follows passionately, knowing that he will soon be rewarded. 

Never hassle free  

Our relationship has never been completely problem free. And I have to admit that the tension of late didn't do me any good either. We've broken up once before due to the accumulation of events and the fact that he hasn't always been completely honest. But love creeps where it can't go and maybe I was hoping for better. But the tension built up again. It went into my body and stood between us.

Somehow I knew maybe it wouldn't have a long future. Due to the change in our living situation, we have also changed ourselves. The differences got bigger, and eventually too big. Where he especially liked the homely, I very much enjoyed going away. Although I've always said I wanted to keep doing my own things in a relationship, he found that increasingly difficult. His social world was small and he had no job. My work was busy and my social life was growing. We chose to live on a boat together, but now I was really on my own.  

One on one guidance  

"I don't like it," my client says. I offer him one-on-one tutoring in the classroom. He is six years old and has behavioral problems. It's up to me to literally keep him on his toes. Something that – besides all those mandarins – can be quite an ordeal. 

'Just stay in your seat and join in. You'll get tangerine soon," I said, guiding him back to his seat. 

"I think it's stupid!" He said angrily and stood up again.  

'To sit!' I shouted and pointed to his chair. For a moment I thought about explaining to him that a stranded relationship is dumber, but I let it go. The teacher looked my way, the boy sat down. Apparently I was clear enough. 

Only further, now what?  

The high word was out: my boyfriend didn't come back and the relationship is over. After letting it down for a few days, I started figuring things out and sharing that I continued on my own. A friend helped me sail the boat downtown. There he could finish, I paid per night and I had everything at hand.

First get everything back on track, then think about the future. Same principle as with the mandarins: count first, then eat. No matter how stupid it is.

Also read: Living on a boat | This is Shem de Labric
Also read: Living on a boat | Would you do that?!
Also read: Living on a boat | Unwanted visit, bad nights and still that freedom

Sem de Labri

My name is Sam and I am 33 years old. Three months ago I made the choice to give up my house and live on my boat. Together with friend and dog, on about 12 square meters. We live in a region in the Netherlands and sail from place to place, we continue on holidays and we spend the winter at a permanent place in a marina.

I love to write and I like to do that on board. Especially now that I have more space in my head because I have fewer financial worries, have gotten a more relaxed life on the water (of course with ups and downs because many things are new) and also have to work less. My ultimate dream is to make a living from writing and no longer be location-bound, so that I can go wherever I want with my boat, possibly combined with a camper.

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