Water and I have a precarious love/hate relationship. I’m not a water person. It may stem from the fact that a) I’m a Sagittarius, which is a fire sign and/or b) I almost drowned when I was around 5 years old. Actually, I’ve almost drowned twice in my lifetime. (I’m not big into astrology. Some of the traits associated with my sign ring true, and others not at all. So I’m kind of ambivalent about it.)
I don’t know how to swim. I always swore I’d never put myself in a situation where I could drown again. Like going on a cruise, or getting on any boat. But guess what? Not only have I gotten on a bass boat, but I went on a cruise AND went whale watching on a boat. In a way I feel like I’ve betrayed myself. I told myself, no promised myself that I wouldn’t put myself in one of those situations again. Yet, I did. I blame Hubs by the way. All were because of his influence. He IS a water person, although he is a Capricorn which is an Earth sign. He swims like a fish, was a lifeguard in his younger days in fact. This may be why I let him talk me into betraying myself. I figured at least he could save me if I went into the water. I didn’t go so far into the fabricated scenario of something happening to him to where he couldn’t save me.
Clearly, I didn’t drown on any of those occasions. Unless I did, and this is an alternate universe…. Nah….an alternate universe would be better than this me thinks.
The cruise was actually a lot of fun and I’d go again. It was a massively humongous ship and we barely felt like we were on the water. It did get into some rough seas one night, but still, it wasn’t bad enough to scare me. The whale watching was on a mid-sized boat with a bunch of other people. I was ok with it. I concentrated more on taking pictures and looking for whales than on being on a boat. Thankfully, the thought of how deep the water was for whales to be in it was successfully pushed out of my mind. If it had stayed, I’d have been frozen with a death grip on some structural part of the boat.
The bass boat was quite a bit more tense for me. It was early in our marriage and waaay before the cruise. It was Hubs’ dad’s boat and he went fast on the lake. I had the ever available death grip on some structural part of the boat. Every bounce was potential death for me. Good thing was that once we stopped, I was so grateful that I didn’t think about falling out of the boat while they were fishing. I don’t much care for fishing either, fyi. It’s pretty freaking boring to me. At least it gave my muscles time to recoup from the ordeal of the death grip. They didn’t go nearly as fast going back. Maybe my paper-white face gave them a clue.
So fast forward to now. Our new house has a pool. My idea? Not even remotely. Under protest, actually. But Hubs was adamant and came up with all sorts of reasons he
wanted needed one. I came up with all sorts of reasons not to have one. This is our first summer with it. So far so good. I’m trying to make friends with the water. It’s very beautiful and it’s cool and soothing in this 90+ degree weather we’ve been having already. I’m learning to float, with a floaty thingy. In the shallow end. Being weightless is a novel experience for me. I like it. Hubs has been trying to teach me to swim. I got a life vest (for a different reason other than the pool.) and am using it in the pool. Probably looks & sounds stupid, but I don’t care. Even with that, and holding onto his hand he had to drag me convince me to go into the deep end. I’ve been over there a few times now. Still with a heaping amount of fear. But with less of a death grip on his arm. I’m really trying to defeat the crushing fear of not being able to touch bottom. He says not to think about it. My mind tells me otherwise. He tells me I couldn’t drown if I tried. That he couldn’t push me under if he tried, when I have the life vest on. I know he’s right. The vest makes me float, but the brain refuses to believe it.
It’s extremely difficult to conquer an overwhelming fear like that. I’m working on it slowly. Making friends with the water in the shallow end. Learning how it feels to float. How it feels to move in the water. Maybe some day I’ll win the battle and be able to swim without a floaty or a life vest. I mean, it’s only been over 50 years since the first time I almost drown, and probably around 40 since the second time.
Ok. Ok. Why do I have a life vest? A boat. Yes people, a freaking boat. His parents’ boat. How the heck did I end up marrying a water baby? I think I’ve sabotaged myself really well, for the rest of my life.