yes, I can even make snorkeling sentimental

I found this photo in my Recently Deleted album and I’m glad I recovered it because this is the day we went snorkeling in Hawaii. It wasn’t just any sunny day at the beach. It was my first time doing this and a hurricane had just come through the islands the day prior. It was a chilly 67 degrees outside per our rental car dashboard, it was windy and the water was rough. You can even see in this photo how gloomy and gusty it was-a true anomaly for Kauai. I gave myself a mental prep talk for about 10 mins in the car because I knew the ocean would be freezing (I am a wimp) and I was nervous to put on that gear, albeit the mask and flippers were so cute. But it was our last full day so it was now or never. I admitted some of this to Michael after the fact but until he reads this he probably did not realize the extent of my anxiety in that moment.

As an adult I always say I’m not the “outdoorsy adventure” type but really thats not true. As a child I loved being outside, riding bikes, swimming, playing in the leaves, but one thing I always feared was going too far out into the ocean (aka when the water is higher than my ankles). Even in the Caribbean where the water is calm and clear, or more ridiculously, a large pool, I am afraid of being “too far” from land. But guess where I ended up? Face down in that hurricane water, breathing, and loving it. It took me back to that childlike, simplistic joy of just living in the moment and appreciating your surroundings, like how I loved the bright pink stripes on that one fish or how I felt like a mermaid breathing under water (cue soundtrack from The Little Mermaid).

I share this because experiences like these are especially significant to me – I struggle to leave my comfort zone and I hold myself back from new experiences more than most. I operate with an anxious personality and complex inner world fueling my decisions. I am more prone to be engulfed by dread of the future and never ending mental assessments of my past. These thoughts frequently and effortlessly steal the joy from many of my moments. When I experience a joy that is genuine, I struggle to express or articulate it while its happening. I compensate for this deficit by putting it on paper later. #borntoblog

I am very grateful that I was given such a patient and emotionally insightful partner who is able to balance accepting my flaws while also pushing me to embrace things that are new, and therefore scary. I would have never hiked a volcano, taken a red eye flight, traced the cliffs of the Amalfi Coast in a bus, flown in a helicopter, or swam with the fishes on my own. But something crazy happens when you fall in love with someone who brings you back from the dead – you actually start living again, even when the waters are rough.

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