I had been hounding my husband for weeks. The one thing I really wanted to accomplish this year was learning how to scuba dive. We had the perfect opportunity to do it together but he was dragging his feet. Finally he agreed and we signed up for the open water course with Busan Scuba.
Stacie, our instructor, carefully lead us through all the information leading up to our first pool dive. I was already feeling nervous but Stacie was really funny and very nice so it helped calm my nerves about the first day. As we suited up I was getting more uncomfortable. The suit was clearly made for a Korean body type not my busty, curvy form and it clenched to my skin in all the wrong places and made me feel claustrophobic already. I felt incredibly stuck but I couldn’t turn back without trying so I put on the rest of the gear and jumped into the pool.
It was a struggle. I felt like I was choking. I felt like I was drowning. I hated the suit, I hated the water, I hated the feeling of everything closed around me. It was the one of the strangest feelings and I was not enjoying it. The mask clearing skill was seemingly one of the easiest skills to learn but I couldn’t get it right and I kept choking on water. My eyes were watery, my throat burned from the chlorine and I was just about done.
My husband took the water like a fish. He was completely in his element, he didn’t struggle with much of anything and by the end of the class he was begging to keep going. I was much the opposite. I was so conflicted. I had wanted this, I was excited for this and now I felt like a failure for not liking it.
A complete immature and horrible breakdown is the best way to describe my first shore dive. To be fair it was that time of the month and between my cramps, bad attitude, uncomfortable and heavy gear and the hot sun I was done before we even set foot on the beach. I could feel my heart beat in my head. I was sick with nervousness already but the rough surface water made me feel sick before we even got to the bouey. My husband tried to help but all I could do was snap back at him and release tension the only way I knew how. Sometimes I can be a real monster.
After a couple minutes of arguing I went back to the shore and took all my gear off and soon the flood gates opened and was sobbing. Whether it was the hormones, frustration, anger, or all of that combined but I sat on the shore by myself and lost it. I told my husband to go finish his first dive without me because I wanted time alone and didn’t them to waste time. My instructor Stacie offered good advice, she told me it wasn’t easy to dive and that I was already succeeding just by trying. She encouraged me to take a break and try again, that I could take as long as I needed to be comfortable with diving. I was too discouraged to take what she said to heart, even though I know she was right.
I apologized to my husband on the cab ride home. Disappointment sunk into me like weights dragging me down. My husband’s response was to hug me, kiss my forhead and confront me with his opinion. I was mad because I wasn’t perfect at something. It took me a moment to process but he was right.
What frustrated me the most was that I wasn’t good at something, this didn’t come easy for me. As someone who is usually a quick learner this was actually challenging. It wasn’t natural for me, and the fact that it wasn’t natural for me and it was very natural for my husband made me really jealous. I felt so ugly- not physically but mentally ugly for feeling the way I felt.
It took a couple days to process how I really felt about everything. I knew that even though I didn’t want to I needed to get back into the water and keeping trying, not only because we had paid a lot of money for the class but because this was my chance to prove I was strong enough to keep pushing through a challenge and come out on the other side.
Since the two dives after that got cancelled because of bad sea conditions by the time it was time to actually get in the water I had a completely different attitude. Since stacy was working, I had a substitute teach named Jen, a lovely girl that has one of the best positive energy personalities that I’ve ever met. After a few moments of struggling with my gear I settled and really enjoyed my first fun dive. I saw little fish and a bright starfish which made me emerge from the dive with a smile. I had done it. I was almost in tears again, but this time it was for a very different reason. I felt like I had really accomplished something.
This rest of my dives with Stacie went smoothly. I completed my certification in September and I couldn’t be happier!
My PADI open water certification didn’t just teach me how to dive.
It taught me something so much more.
For one, you won’t always be good at everything first try but that doesn’t mean you should give up. When you accomplish something that is difficult for you, you will feel so much better about that accomplishment then something that came very easy.
Secondly, if someone is better at something or doesn’t struggle with something doesn’t mean they are a better person than you or vise versa. Even as adults it’s okay to struggle with jealousy, it’s only natural, but it’s how you react or treat others that shows who you are as a person. I chose to act like a child, and now I’m working on that. I found a place of myself that I need to work on. While I wish I hadn’t felt or acted that way I can learn and move forward changed because of it.
Thirdly, attitude is everything. It’s okay to be nervous or have doubts but don’t let that crush your excitement. Trying something new and getting outside of your comfort zone can help teach you about yourself and the world in ways you never thought possible. Choose to be positive, choose to be happy. It will make your experiences, whatever they may be, all the more amazing.
As I look back on my journey
I’m really proud of where I’m at. I just finished a two day diving trip in Thailand a couple weeks ago that added seven dives to my belt of experience. I enjoyed the entire experience and I can’t wait to dive in more places around the world. I encourage everyone to try it at least once it’s an amazing experience. Also, a BIG THANK YOU to Stacie and Jen! You ladies rock! This experience would have been 10 times harder if I didn’t have such good teachers.
Live, Love and Travel On.
P.S. I’ll be releasing a vlog about my trip this Friday so keep a lookout on my Youtube channel for that.