People like pirates these days. Not the nasty, boarding-ships-in-Africa and killing kind, but the Jack Sparrow kind. The kind of Hollywood. The kind of lore and imagination. The nice, funny, Walt Disney, drunk-on-the-wall, bumbly-but-handsome type pirate. But really,  in real life, even the pirate of lore was rather opportunistic: scaly wags and self-interested, they were merely trying to make a buck — and perhaps protect some political interests.

We romanticize pirates these days because we are looking for romance even in the hard stuff: hope in the damnable stories: adventure in the most mundane. Life today leaves us yearning for all that we envision in the life of a pirate: freedom; excitement; love; prospering over “the system;” a bit of treasure; a few challenges in the high seas; and a bit of time on a nice beach somewhere. And maybe, just maybe, a spit of rum.

Ahhhhh, the life of a pirate — modern day and embodied in a hear-me-roar, every-day, yearning-for-freedom-amidst-the-American-life, woman. I know you can relate, too. Come, let’s explore what it means to be wonderfully, beautifully, imperfectly human.

About the Writer

Laura Jane Willoughby is a freelance writer and journalist with a portfolio that spans a 20-year-career as a journalist, non-profit executive and writer. She started her career in broadcast journalism before turning to traditional print journalism as a reporter for the Charleston Post & Courier and The (Annapolis) Capitol, where she won awards from the Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association for Newspaper Series (2nd place) and Special Sections (1st place for Anne Arundel Business Insert).

After a 10-year career running non-profits in the technology and national security sectors, Laura left the fast-paced corporate world in December 2015 to pursue her passion of sharing untold, real-life stories that capture the complexity and beauty of being uniquely human.

When she’s not at her home port of Maryland, Laura explores the high seas of life as a crew member of the Topsail Schooner Wolf, home ported in Key West.