This I Believe

Melissa - Norfolk, Virginia
Entered on October 4, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: carpe diem, fear

Fear of Living Your Life

I’ve grown up with little problems like anxiety disorder, claustrophobia, being afraid of the dark, etc. It never really affected me in life, or at least I never realized it was affecting me because it was all I ever knew. I didn’t realize that the anxiety I felt about never waking up, or about my parents dying in a car accident, wasn’t normal. Even little things like being afraid to call someone on the phone, or meeting new people were things I dreaded doing. Without knowing it, I was living my life only to the extent my fears would let me.

This past week I was in Kauai, Hawaii on vacation with my husband, and I said I was going to see the island and do all the activities. We went to an orientation at our resort and found out about all the fun tings to do on the island. Everything sounded great and I was excited to do all kinds of things, until my husband said scuba diving. It sounded out of the question to me. I mean, breathing under water? No way, absolutely not! My husband talked me into going to the free lesson at the pool and asked me to just try it. So I went, got used to breathing under water, and before I knew it we were making an appointment to go diving in a couple hours.

I decided I wanted to go scuba diving. I wanted to swim under water in Kauai and see the turtles, and the coral reef, and the perfectly blue-green water. I wanted to; I just didn’t know if I could. That’s when I realized that my anxiety was holding me back from doing something I actually wanted to do. There was no way I could let that happen. I got in the water knowing I was going to do this. I put on all my gear, we went underwater, and I jumped back up. The waves were knocking me down and I was panicking. The instructor calmed me down, told me I could do this, and so I took one last breath; and just did it.

There I was, under water exploring a coral reef in Hawaii. My husband and I swam around, took pictures together, and I was having fun! We saw Hawaiian sea turtles, native Hawaiian fish, and all kinds of creatures I wouldn’t even know how to classify. It was absolutely amazing! We were down forty feet for forty-five minutes, and I don’t regret one minute of it.

I believe everyone should overcome their fears and do something daring. Something they would never normally do. If you don’t, you could be missing out on life.