Learning To Dive

When I was growing up, The Little Mermaid was my favourite movie. Fact.

It was a minor obsession of mine: I knew all the words to the songs; I had a massive crush on Prince Eric, and I grew my long hair down to my waist, but couldn't persuade my mum to dye it bright red.

I would spend hours and hours in my swimming pool pretending I was Ariel, swimming with my underwater friends (ahem, my toys), my humble family pool transformed into a magical reef by my overactive imagination.

I would dream about floating through a vast underwater paradise, playing with sea creatures, twirling in the bubbles, moving and breathing effortlessly under the ocean.

And singing to crabs. Yep, I thought I could do that too.

Well, I may have grown up, but the dream still lingers. Unfortunately, I’ve come to the realization that I’ll never be a mermaid, no matter how many times I wish for it on my birthday. However, I recently took one step closer to living my dream life under the sea and became a certified Open Water Diver.

Turns out, there are some awesome perks to dating a scuba instructor.

If you’ve ever wanted to try diving but have hesitated, then take my word as gospel: It’s. Freaking. Amazing.

The first time you descend below the ocean’s surface kinda blows your mind. It is an overwhelming and daunting experience watching the world above slip below the horizon; your senses suddenly both assaulted and enhanced simultaneously by the change in environment; the magical sensation of weightlessness overcoming your body; the anticipation, the excitement, the thrill of adventure tugging at your insides…

I tell you, it’s more addictive than crack and social media combined.

And then, once you’ve equalized, pressurized, and acclimatized, you look around and the most beautiful world unfolds before your very eyes.

Sharks. Turtles. Rays. Spanish Dancers. Squid. Tropical fish.

Amazing coral formations and underwater caves just begging to be explored.

And finding Nemo. Seriously, I love that little dude.

When I’m diving, I’m free. I’m brave. I’m unhindered by the pressures of the world above: the expectations, the responsibilities, the demands.

I both lose and find myself at the bottom of the ocean.

Under the water, everything just melts into the void as I seamlessly integrate into my new environment. Anything that was bugging or upsetting me above is instantly wiped away below. As I feel my body stretch and morph in the cool water - my legs gently propelling me, arms tucked at my sides, eyes alight with excitement - I can’t imagine ever wanting to give this up.

I will never understand why Ariel wanted to leave this world. The girl must have been trippin'.

So here’s to many years of underwater adventures and more amazing moments that will challenge, excite, invigorate and inspire me. Here’s to growing and learning more as a diver and developing my skills and experience. Here’s to exploring more breathtaking ecosystems and playing with fascinating creatures of the deep.

And here’s to many more opportunities for me to delightfully lose myself, over and over again…

Shanny1 Comment