saturday i couldn’t go out on the boat, big bummer, because there wasn’t enough people. so Artin, my instructor, jumped RIGHT in with the instructor exam questions, which are physiology and physics. fuck me. i haven’t taken a math class, let alone physiology or physics since high school. i am STILL trying to figure it out. i can get it, but it takes me awhile to work through it all in my head. thank god that’s only 1/5 of the test. but jesus Artin, right away? at least he gave me practice problems, so i’ve been working on them.
sunday i finally got out on the boat! yes yes yes! butttt…. right when we get into the water, i realize how strong the current is. the waves are about 5 meters (15 feet), and there’s an older, heavier couple that Artin and i are diving with who panic immediately. so the current is pulling us apart, we’re trying to get them back onboard. the crew is throwing them a line to pull them in. i’m bobbing up and down and up and down trying to use my snorkel, which i realize is useless, and decide to put my regulator in. meanwhile i’m kicking towards the boat and going nowhere. i’m exhausted after 10 minutes. first dive, alright. i thought i may die. i used up half my air at the surface just trying to fight the current. at least i know once we descend i can breathe normally again. great start? i think PADI was like, “hey asshole, thanks for taking a 5 year break, how about this for a refresher?”
because it’s rainy season, the waves are HUGE (the norm) and the visibility isn’t too great (about 2 meters, or 10 feet). i realized how much you have to pay attention when i stopped to look at some christmas tree worms and all of a sudden couldn’t see anyone. great! i banged on my tank, Artin heard it, and shone his flashlight, to which i followed it until i found him again. thank god. since my computer was broken i couldn’t ascend on my own (comforting).
once we get back to the surface, i’m playing the same game i started with. fighting the current, trying to catch the ladder as it goes out of the water then smashes back in! oh shit… quite the timing game. i’m struggling to get my fins off, trying to breathe, and kicking with all my might to make it to the ladder. i kept invisioning it coming down on my head and knocking me unconscious. literally not an irrational worry.
it was all quite comical really. at least later. at first it was shocking. but, once you get down there, you remember why you can’t live without it. i was pretending to fly, finding my perfect buoyancy, playing with the coral, hanging out upside down, and holding my fins while cross legged letting the current take me. finally, my happy place. music and scuba diving. the two things in this world that while happening, take the place of any worry you may have. you can’t think of what’s going on besides it, because nothing else matters. i remembered why i do this. and i felt at home again.
in the past few days i have stepped out of my comfort zone more than the past couple years of my life. and that’s what this is, constantly keeping me on my toes. from physics to giant waves to motorbikes at high speeds to straight-up culture shock. i think constantly remaining unbalanced is the key to life. if we feel too comfortable, we forget how to move. we become stagnant. this is how we learn to live, to put ourselves in a position where we may feel unnerved. because we grow stronger every time we prove to ourselves that we have everything we need within us.
tomorrow if i go on the boat, i have my first day as a Dive Asia divemaster in training. i get to help plan dives, assist patrons with gear, and “enthusiastically” keep people entertained. bah, that sounds like me! (Artin said if i do really well, Dive Asia will offer me a position) gaw’ddddd! and i’m gushing because i just got new gear! found out that a lot of my old equipment was only for recreational diving, and that since i’m so little, i need a BCD with more lift otherwise if i’m towing a diver, they will drown me. which doesn’t sound too great, especially if the waves are 5 meters again. another problem has been switching to the metric system, damn you America! now i have to think in terms of meters, liters, kilos. my brain is fried like an egg.
but hey, can i really complain?
keep sending that positive energy family, i carry you with me always. thanks for all the kind messages and words in the past 5 days.
I LOVE YOUUUUUU.