Yesterday was my first official day as chief mate. The regular C/M on the crew opposite mine got injured at home and personnel asked me to stay on two extra weeks to fill in for him; I couldn’t say no. A lot of friends here and back home are very happy for me, but I’ve come to find that there are some people here who don’t like how I took this position so quickly. They feel there are others who have been here longer who deserve it more than I do. To my mind it’s less about deserving and more about qualifications and timing. Few people here have much concept of what I’ve gone through to get where I am, and so I guess it could be easy to assume I haven’t worked hard enough to deserve this. I can’t say I’m surprised, but it is a bit of a shock to be resented so bitterly.
The truth is that my choices and the path I’ve taken over the last few years are the reason I was given this opportunity, and I can’t apologize for that – I won’t, because it would be unfair to others who struggle to attain goals similar to mine. In the end, wonderful as it is, this is still simply a job and I’ll do it proudly to the best of my abilities. I can’t let someone else’s reality become my reality; that just wouldn’t make any sense. No one has the right to dictate your life and the ones who try are wasting their breath.