There are moments in your life where you ask yourself- why am I doing this? It was 5:35pm and I was planning on leaving my home at 5:30pm. I thought to myself, it’s not too late now. I could just call my friends and let them know that I couldn’t make it. Even though my bags were packed, I had a throbbing headache and this was my last opportunity to back out. Every inch of my brain was telling me to not go. Do the smart thing and stay home. I had to keep telling myself that I was not a quitter, even though that’s all I could think about doing.
There are different levels of fear. And honestly, I don’t think I’ve been so scared to do something as I was that weekend. Tell me to move to a country halfway around the world that you’ve never been to, run a half-marathon after completing 3 days of training teachers in Cambodia, or teach a classroom of 32 middle school students in a NYC public schools at the age of 22 and I wouldn’t think twice about it. Tell me to dive deep into the ocean and depend on a tank of air for 50 minutes and my brain goes into panic mode.
I managed to get myself out of my home and to the location of where we would depart for our scuba diving trip. As I was on the van to Tioman, Malaysia, there was no turning back. (Well technically I could have gotten out at the border at Woodlands and taken a taxi back home, but at this point, I might as well go to Malaysia.) Worst case scenario would be to get there and not dive. Luckily, I had friends by my side that kept encouraging me as they could see the anxiety and fear written all over my face.
After a very long drive to Malaysia, we took a two and half hour ferry ride to Tioman and made it to our island “resort” around 2:30am. We had to wake up around 6:30am for breakfast and our first dive. I think I slept, but I kept waking up every hour or so to check my watch. I woke up before my alarm went off and felt that nervous pit in my stomach. It wasn’t the nervous, but excited feeling before a first date, or the adrenaline, but nervous feeling before an important race. It was the oh crap, I’m really doing this feeling.
To be continued….