I can’t swim.
There i’ve said it. See, along time ago, when I was a child, I was taking swim lessons. One day, the lesson must’ve been holding your breath under water. Well, I missed that instruction, or maybe I didn’t know how to hold my breath, or maybe I just forgot. I remember all of us kids in the water, each with our handler holding us. Then all of a sudden I got dumped under water. There might have been a 1,2, 3, but I don’t remember it. There might’ve even been a “Okay, now hold your breath!” But I don’t remember it. All I remeber is swallowing water, trying to let the person holding me know that I didn’t hold my breath, that I didn’t remember. I rememeber flailing my arms and legs. That time under water felt like an eternity. I felt like I was dying and I didn’t even know what dying was. It was the scariest and most vulnerable moment in my life. My life was in someone else’s hands and it was uncomfortable, it didn’t feel good. Instead of gear up for the next day ready to learn, I screamed and kicked my way out of it. I ran, never to take a swim lesson again.
I have recently gone through an exercise in exposing one’s vulnerabilities. Time will tell on how well I have actually handled it. But I hope that it will serve as a reminder that life is not stagnant, it is a constant ball of motion and any number of variables can change the course of how you perceive a situation to be.
I know, i’m talking in abstract terms, but I hope you get my drift. I like to be in control. In general I like to be in control of what i’m doing, who i’m affecting, what i’m saying and how that is being perceived. When I lose a any part of that control, it unnerves me. Which is why when I was younger, I never wanted to go back to swim lessons. I couldn’t control what the teacher would do, I couldn’t control what I was going to do in class and I didn’t have enough skill to swim on my own. I gave up, very easily. I think most people, when they lose control of a situation retreat. No one wants to go into a situation knowing that you will not know or do or say the right thing. I think that anytime you expose yourself, whether it be emotionally, physically or mentally there is a part of you that is very hesitant at first to let the world see that part of you.
Right now my life is being exposed more than ever, and it’s more than a little uncomfortable, but so far i’m getting through it. Blame my shyness coupled with Introversion. To me this serves as a lesson I need to teach my kids. That life tends to be uncomfortable, and it’s how you get through the uncomfortable times that shows your true grit. As an adult, as a mom, right now my kids are at the age where everything I do is perfect, I can do no wrong. But after the rose colored glasses fade they will get to the point where they see a true adult with vulnerabilities. I hope they can learn to appreciate the flaws. Way after I teach them how to swim.