I’ve always had a strange relationship with water. I love it, and yet, I’m scared of it. When I was a little girl, an older friend of mine saw me waddling about in the shallow end of the pool and asked me if I’d like to learn how to swim. “Yes,” I must have said. She took me to the deep end of the pool and left my hand. As I was sinking, time seemed to slow down. The water around me was a light shade of blue and I could see little air bubbles leave my mouth. There was no body in sight. Just me…all alone…and I was drowning.
Suddenly, I found myself out of the water and in my father’s arms. I hadn’t been alone; there were at least 6 people near me. I was crying and my friend was laughing.
Fast forward seventeen years or so and here I was, in a speedboat headed to a popular snorkelling sight at the Menjangan Island, off the coast of Bali. The deep blue water around me was making me nervous. Why was I doing this? What was I getting myself into?
I didn’t really need to be afraid. I’d taught myself how to swim and used to compete in swimming competitions in school. Besides, I’d spent enough time in the sea. But there was something bothering me, and I was uncomfortable. Still, I had come this far. I couldn’t give up.
We reached the light blue waters of Menjangan Island, wore our snorkeling gear, and with fear in my heart, I entered the water.
But wow, it was magnificent. We saw corals, fish and other strange sea creatures. I forgot all about my fear and enjoyed the two hours of exploring the underwater. It was a strange feeling, because you’re so used to life above the water that you can’t imagine that there’s more. Two hours later, we were beckoned back into our boats where we enjoyed a traditional Balinese lunch (the best meal I’d had on my entire Bali trip)
“The snorkeling wasn’t too bad,” I thought to myself as I ate. “I might even do this again!”
Our guide then took the boat to the middle of the sea, where we could see some volcanoes on the East side of Java. I was happy and took lots of photographs.
“Okay divers, this is the second diving spot,” said the guide. I nearly dropped my camera into the water. I didn’t want to go back in! I had already seen what had to be seen….I was fine!
Again, my fear dissolved as I jumped into the water. The corals and reefs here were a little different from the ones we had just seen and I was a lot more familiar with my equipment. And so, once again, I enjoyed looking at the world below.
This snorkeling experience taught me a lot about myself. I realized that there are things that I am more afraid to think of doing, than actually doing. I was so scared to snorkel..and yet, during the actual snorkeling, I was perfectly fine! It made me proud of myself because I hadn’t quit when I had the chance, and now I had learnt a very important lesson about myself. I no longer let my mind hold me back….well, more often than not.