- Leticia Latino
A sea of uncertainty
As I sip my Monday morning coffee getting ready to start the week with as much high energy and a positive mindset as I can, I feel recharged as I just came back from a nice Spring Break. We are blessed as a family to live in a sunny and warm place like Florida and buying a boat many years ago has proven to be one of the best decisions we have ever made as It has provided for the ideal self-distanced activity to help us endure social isolation during COVID times.
Our navigation time from Fort Lauderdale to Key Largo was a bit over three hours, during that time my thoughts were lost in the grandiosity and beauty of the sea. As I saw big and small waves coming and going, it was impossible not to relate the "at sea" experience with "life" experience. A true captain never starts any trip before meticulously studying the weather forecast, but the truth is that weather conditions can change quite fast. Sometimes you mentally prepare for a rough trip that ends up being super smooth, and others, a short trip somewhere turns into an uncomfortable experience. Truth is, any type of "trip" is uncertain by nature, and the more we are open and aware of that the more we will make the most out of any experience.
Learning to be with 'what is', is an art worth training on.
I've had to practice it because for the past twenty years, my country Venezuela, has been one of the most unstable, unsafe, and uncertain places one can imagine. It is definitely a far cry from the land full of opportunities and booming society that my parents arrived to in the 1960's after having immigrated from Italy. My father invested his best years in it and the country was noble and generous with him. The sea was a lot calmer back then. Then a coup' d'etat happened and the worst of storms came to apparently never cease. Our family business has had to endure, re-assess, sacrifice and pivot so much to avoid going under. To see my father, at 87, still showing up to work daily to give it his all, is the main reason why I work in the family business. If he is riding those waves, so will I and my siblings. Just two days ago, Venezuela hit the 1,900%/Yr Inflation mark (and yes, you read that right, one thousand nine hundred percent). Imagine having 20 years of COVID-like economic conditions. That's what Venezuela has had and there's no vaccine (literally and figuratively) on sight.
I have felt that most of my professional life, I've had to manage against the worst possible conditions. The worst sea, always. And yet my father always says, What kind of captain is the one that only knows how to steer in good weather?
I'm making this reflection because If you have read this blog before, or follow my work, you would know that I don't bring this up often. If I do, I drown. The negativity is so overwhelming that it will not spare me. Instead, I choose to navigate the sea of uncertainty one day at a time, one wave at a time, and to make the most out of that particular day.
I have to trust that the weather conditions will indeed change for us one day, that my beautiful country which is now ranked the poorest in the Americas (behind Haiti and Nicaragua) despite having the largest oil reserves in the world, will shine again and will become something to be proud of again.
Until then, I intend to keep navigating, because waves and all, the ocean is still beautiful.