27 July 2010

Diving In Deep Water

When I was in first grade I took swimming lessons in the heart of the freezing cold winter at the local university indoor pools. By the way, Mom, was this not something we could've done outside during the summer?

I was not very good, I just didn't get the whole concept, which is a little embarrassing considering I'm half Polynesian and should have some mystical relationship with the great sea. Maybe the chlorinated pool was the problem back then, because I've never had a problem in the actual ocean and do in fact feel very at home there. I wouldn't learn this fact until later in life.

On the second to last day of class, our teacher took us to the 14 ft. deep pool, the diving pool. She asked who would like to jump in first. I don't know what got into me but for some stupid, stupid reason I jumped right up and volunteered. Perhaps it WAS the call of the sea in that deep blue water, the call of my island ancestors' spirits who supposedly now reside in the creatures of the deep Pacific. I have no better explanation.

The teacher gave me a short review of what would happen and what technique I should use to return to the surface. I was getting nervous, but just leaped up and jumped in from pool's edge. To this day I still remember being somewhere down in the depths of that 14 feet, looking up and thinking, Wow. I had no idea how deep 14 feet really is. I gotta get outta here. I realized I had no idea what I was doing or how I was going to get out of this mess I'd gotten myself in.

I froze momentarily, panicked a bit and then with everything in me I clawed and fought my way back to the surface. I am sure my teacher recognized my terror, but when I got to the top made no comment, but to ask who would like to go next. I have bravely led the way in.

I thought about this, comparing it to my life and the lives of so many others. For those of us who enjoy peace and safety, jumping in the deep end can be a hard thing to do. I realized I've been doing a lot of jumping into the deep ends of things the past few months. None of my leaps have been easy. 

And yet I keep raising my hand and saying, "I'll try that." I jumped in a real doozy last week. Did it again today. I'm learning to like the feeling of being 14 deep, looking up and anticipating how good I will feel when I climb to the surface and pull myself up on the pool's edge to sit, breath and look back at the depths I've just come from.

If you're dreaming about diving into the deep end of a new area of your life, remember there are others out here awaiting your arrival. Look forward to a warm welcome and all the help you need. You'll be happy you did, again and again.

Diving into the deep end, when your heart tells you it's a good thing, is an exhilarating experience. I am so intrigued to see what will come from my diving. It's going to be a very interesting few weeks and months as I see my bravery hit some higher diving boards and deeper depths. Maybe I should buy some cute new bathing suits for this ride.

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