I started SCUBA diving when I was thirteen years old. It’s such a beautiful sport, breathtaking, really, and I took to it immediately. I can’t say I’ve ever felt so at home as I did under the water.
But there’s this thing that happens when you’re in open water that I had never experienced before and it completely overwhelmed me. When you’re in your descent to the dive site (or on your ascend at the end), there can be times where you use sight of the surface, but you’re still too far from the floor, so it’s just a sea of blue all around you. Now, you’re holding on to this rope tied to the anchor on the sea floor and that is guiding you down (or up), but you have to stop for decompression every so often and equalize your ears.
If you allow your mind to wander a little, when it’s time to continue to descend or ascend, you’ll quickly come to realize that you have no idea which way is up or down and that can quickly (VERY quickly) send you into panic mode. It’s very surreal to not know which way is up and very, very, very, very scary.
They teach you, while earning your open water certification, that if this happens to you, to become still and blow bubbles. Take your regulator out of your mouth, if you want, and blow bubbles. Watch the bubbles. They will always float up.
That right way, that direction is right inside you. You just have to pay attention. Be still. And trust that you can figure it out. You can. All of the answers to your life’s questions are inside of you.
So, be still. And blow bubbles. Lots and lots of bubbles.