I saw some pictures from 10 years ago (see one of them above) and I was reminded of a very poignant moment that despite its negativity, brought something positive in my life. I once worked with a person who looked down at me (not only me but my compatriots in the crew as well) because I am from the Philippines and a small female to boot. He was cocky and very tactless. We manage to get on with the crew well even under challenging situations (ie. boat almost sinking for one). One day, the rest of the crew and I were joking about something and this guy butted in the conversation with a snide remark. I did not like the direction of the conversation so I left to my room. It was windy that day and the draft slammed the door for me. Thinking nothing about it, I got my book to start reading. This person went in the room without knocking and demanded why I slammed the door. I said I didn’t, I am too old for tantrums. He won’t accept the answer and started swatting my head and putting an empty laundry basket over my head. I felt degraded and ridiculed. And it’s one of my pet hates. I grabbed the first thing closest to me and threw it to this horrid person, it happens to be my swiss knife. It was out because I was cleaning my nails with it. It lodged in the middle of the door about 5 inches away from his heart. No, I do not hurt people when I was annoyed. I was speechless, he was speechless. I resigned from the job that I enjoyed very much because I wouldn’t further ridicule. Considering my employers and my friends, I did not report the incident to the authorities. Because I knew that they won’t let the vessel leave port until the whole thing is sorted.

Anyway, with a new job in an office, I went back (before there was no time when you are sailing for most of the year) to the dating scene and found my husband.Yes, he is the best thing that happened to me. I still miss working on boats. It was fun, well paid and exciting. But then, if I’d stayed on, I wouldn’t be here today with my beautiful kids, loving husband and the job I am very passionate about. I do not like what happened but I do not regret the decisions I made that brought me here.

I believe that if you let a person ridicule and/or make degrading remarks about you, you will slowly lose your self worth and self-respect. If you do something to nip it before it goes further, then you are stronger for protecting you self.