What makes our community so special is learning from others’ experiences in commercial fishing life. So, when Dawn Clutter said that her first blog post was about the ups and downs of being “seasonally single” while her partner fished in the Bering Sea, I immediately clicked to read and got all the “I totally get you” vibes that only POCFs can understand.
This is an inspiring piece, and I’m hoping to post more POCF stories here. If you’ve got a story to share, please let me know, as I’d love to help you connect with others in the same boat! Without furhter ado, here’s Dawn Clutter and her uplifting story about one woman’s return to self-love through a long-distance relationship.
POCF Guest Post: Confessions of a Fisherman’s (Almost) Wife
by Dawn Clutter
When he first told me he was going to be a commercial fisherman in the Bering Sea, I thought, “sure, dude.” I seriously expected him to entertain the idea for about two weeks while he did all his research, and then he’d come to me and say, “this isn’t for me after all.”
And then, he left.
For about two weeks, I wandered around the house, feeling all the empty spaces. I felt like I’d been dumped and was alone to fend for myself, except I hadn’t been, and this was still someone else’s home.
What do you do, right? You find things to fill those empty spaces. I moved my office space (I work from home, for now) into a spare bedroom, which now serves as a complete office paired with a gigantic walk-in closet, basically.
I threw stuff away. If I didn’t fill both trash bins to capacity come trash day, I felt unaccomplished.
I cleaned. And I cleaned some more.
I remodeled our bathroom. Well, I hired someone to remodel our bathroom.
I bought new furniture, and I put it together – BY MYSELF.
I learned how to use the snowblower.
I signed up for a yoga class with a friend.
I went out for lunch.
I went out for dinner.
I read books.
I caught up on TV shows.
I watched movies.
I learned how to play a few new songs on my keyboard.
But, mostly, I just kept BUSY. That was the goal – busy enough to disconnect from the fact he was gone.
He’ll be home soon. I am so happy and can’t wait to see him.
What have I learned? I learned that I forgot who I was, that I was so content with just being his that I forgot to be my own, too. Ultimately, it all boiled down to the question, “if you could do all these things with him gone, why couldn’t you do all these things with him here?”
So, while he is out navigating those violent, angry waves searching for fish, I am at home navigating my own violent, angry waves, searching for myself. And I think I’ve found her.
I am looking forward to our new adventure, for him to come home and leave and come home and leave and come home again. It’s a rollercoaster relationship, but what an exciting ride. We will learn together how to navigate the waters, and now and even after I (soon) become his wife, we will navigate these waters together, albeit under a different view of the sky.🐟
Can you identify with Dawn’s experience with a Bering Sea Fisherman? Which parts speak most to you? Would love to know your thoughts in the comments below!
If you liked this, you’d love POCF Mama on Raising a Toddler During Year-Long Fishing Seasons