Like, a cheapskate. I don't really like shopping,
I'm not a fan of "stuff", I remember when
Oregon was on fire last year, and we were in stage 3
evacuation "be ready to go at any moment",
looking around the house trying to figure out
what was essential to take. There were about 5 things.
3 of those things included my husband and 2 children.
I don't like buying things, spending money, and for that reason,
I NEVER would have spent $2,500 to learn to scuba dive.
My sister got certified, I was impressed, but the
idea of classes, studying, dive charts, it all seemed too much.
Too much studying, too much money. No, nah. Not for me.
But then, well, then I started dating a scuba diving instructor.
And he said he would certify me for FREE.
Magic word, that word. FREE. Free means a lot of things to me.
A lot of things to you too.
In this particular instance,
free meant I was going to get something for nothing.
It also meant I was going to allow myself
to be free enough to trust another human
to train me how to breath underwater at great depths.
Not something that ever would have been on my radar.
Then I realized the freedom that could come from
being able to literally dive, and spend time
in our underwater world. I love the ocean. So, why not?
And, those of you who have been diving with Mike, you know.
He's not in it to be tough, he doesn't tell every dive boat operator
that he has probably 4k dives under his belt, and has
done some of the most difficult diving in the world.
He doesn't talk about tri-mix diving, combining
oxygen, helium and nitrogen to be at greater depths for longer.
He never talks about being an Aquanaut (it's a real thing!)
or how he lived in an underwater habitat for 2 weeks doing research.
He doesn't care about any of that stuff, even though those
are things I'm VERY proud of him for doing, for having that level
adventurousness in him. He never tells anyone these things.
So I get to! Like how he has a big bright pink weight belt he always uses.
He keeps using it because he says no one will ever steal a pink weight belt.
So far, he's right. And there he is, swimming like a pro, with his
gorgeous pink belt.
And for those of you who have been diving with Mike, you know,
he plays a lot of pranks. It's all about laughing and having fun.
Which I guess is why I ended up in Victoria BC, in a 6 mil suit,
jumping off of Ogden point in 35 degree water.
It wasn't glamorous. But, he had snacks, water, we took our time.
2 dives, I had to be underwater for a certain amount of time.
I had to take off my mask and get it back on my face.
I had to not FREAK OUT. He taught me all the hand signals
(my favorite is the one for "Big Fucking Deal" for those starry
eyed divers when they see a sea turtle, I'm still that diver,
ask me and I'll show you the secret hand signal).
To pass the time underwater, we we running my dive drills,
and he found a dungeness crab, it is a species of crab that inhabits
eelgrass beds and water bottoms on the west coast of North America.
They are big. Eating size. But kind of slow and dopey, compared
to the blue crabs that I grew up with on the East coast.
To pass the time, we played dungeness crab volleyball. That crab was so pissed.
This was the start of my diving journey, and I've never looked back.
Mike always thinks things through, and has 5 reasons for
every decision that he makes. That is not an exaggeration.
He took me to Victoria, in those frigid waters, because he knew
if I could dive there, I could dive anywhere.
And so, we started diving EVERYWHERE.
At one point, we ended up on this tiny atoll
which is a ring-shaped reef, or island made from undersea volcanos.
We were somewhere in the middle of the South Pacific, the Tuamotus.
"Tua" means "far", "motu" means "island".
They told us we were going to on a drift dive, which is where you
just ride the current, you let the ocean take you.
If you get your buoyancy just right, it feels exactly what I imagine
flying would feel like. I didn't use my fins, nor my arms to swim,
I just let the current take me - it was fast, it moved quickly,
I felt like Peter Pan, flying over London. Except I was underwater,
and London was populated with turtles, sharks, and colorful coral.
It felt amazing.
I would like to think of my life more in terms of what it felt like to be in that current,
letting myself relax, and just be taken along by something bigger than myself.
I feel the need to do this more and more, to just let go, and to know
that something more substantial than myself is carrying me along.
I don't know where I am going, but I feel more at ease now,
relaxing into this concept of really trying to surrender to
the reality of who I am, where I am, what I am.
And it's ok to not know where the current is taking me,
I can just trust I am being carried.
So I will keep trying to just freaking SURRENDER.