The Nauseating Side Effects of Progress

My stomach churned. Every wave sent the boat violently careening from side to side. 
The beautiful blueish-green waves had mutated into horrendous creatures that filled me with dread whenever I sensed one approaching.
I hadn’t been sea sick since I was 5. I had little reason to believe this would still be a problem. It was.
Turns out we can’t be prepared for everything. 
Leading up to this, we had spent the past 2 days practicing scuba skills in a pool. I was feeling OK about my first open water dive. Sure, I was nervous. However, I was confident I wouldn’t die. Sea sickness was the least of my worries. 
Sick happens. 
I impatiently and shakily suited up in my scuba gear, doing my best to balance and not puke. I hoped that being in the water would ease my nausea. And I was right, to a point. 
We descended into the depths(I exaggerate–12m is hardly “the depths”) and as my instructor assured me, I did feel better the deeper we went. 
After seeing some fish and coral we ascended to the surface. Immediately after my face felt air, I started vomiting… in the ocean… in front of my whole class. I felt awful.
How embarrassing! So embarrassing I’m sharing it with the internet.
I do have a point for sharing this disgusting story. I promise I’m getting to it.
My instructor nonchalantly told me to rinse off in the ocean(this wasn’t the first time he had seen this happen apparently). I proceeded to hydrate and contemplate whether I could complete the course.
I felt depleted, exhausted, embarrassed, unsure, and nervous. We still had one more dive before we could return to land. Not exactly the best conditions for making a level, logical, decision.
The next dive was incredible.
Everything went off without a hitch. My scuba Instructor had asked the captain to go to a less choppy dive sight, thank god. It was one of the most amazing and unique things I have experienced.
We must expect the unexpected. 
Yes, I was insanely embarrassed that I barfed in front of everyone in a less than flattering way. However, there was no way of knowing about this issue until I had experienced it first hand. 
And I definitely had doubts about continuing. I thought I would have to give up, to quit. I felt so awful on so many different levels. I didn’t know if my body was meant to scuba dive. I mean, if I get sick whenever I’m on a boat, how will I ever dive? Turns out that with a little guidance I was able to find ways around this obstacle: mellow waters and dramamine. 
Problem solved. Doesn’t mean I wasn’t nervous about my dives the following day, but it all ended well.
We don’t really know the hand we’re dealt until we try to play it. And that’s OK. Whenever we venture out of our comfort zone, we CAN’T know what’s out there until we come face to face with it. 
And it’s going to suck at times. 
There is no amount of book learning or preparation that can prepare us for the unpredictable. I’m not saying don’t prepare. Do. However, be mindful that you will be blindsided. Shit will happen. It will be unpleasant. But, with a little guidance and support we can persevere and keep going.
It’s the tough times, the unexpected, that really make or break us. These things will happen. Hopefully they won’t make you barf all over the place, but there will be situations that make you feel shitty and want to quit. They will make you question if there is some inherent flaw in you that will prevent you from continuing. In most cases this isn’t true. You may just need to ask for some guidance from someone who has solved this problem before.
How can we expect to know everything about something that is completely new to us? Hint: we can’t. We simply must do the best we can and figure things out as we go. It sucks, but it’s the only way.
Experience is truly a motherfucker.


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