the beauty of breathing

Gili Trawangan Travel Blog

 › entry 11 of 15 › view all entries
i guess i'll start with the facts and figures...  it's my seventh day, about to do my 7th dive here (number 13 altogether), have doen 2 components of the advanced open water course, went down to 30 meters this morning, have 2 nights left before i have to get on the perama boat for about 8 hours back to bali and head straight for the airport for my 12am flight to perth. 

i've always struggled with the concept of "real life" that i was raised with... the whole order of things that the western world generally drills into the brains of its youth.  you go to school to achieve socialization and universal knowledge, then you go to university to achieve focus and discipline, then you get a good job to achieve wealth and purpose, and you get married and have children to achieve love and security... and in between you take some holidays to achieve small, battery charging periods of relaxation or you wait and work your ass off so that you can retire early and finally do the things and see the places that have tantalized you from the pages of magazines and the discovery channel throughout the prime of your life. 

by the standards of my extended family unit, i am both a late bloomer and a black sheep.  at twenty five, i intentionally shifted from a stable, promising  career path to the bumpy, winding, dirty, overgrown road that writing as an occupation leads down, not knowing if the road will end at a breataking vista or a lava filled ravine, but fully aware that i must see it till its end.  at thirty, i added traveling to the mix... and once i added a few drops, the color of the entire juice changed until i realized that travel had added the exact flavor and vitamins my diet had been lacking.   and so travel became my gatorade, of sorts, for my hairy trek.

i have dived every single day since i have been here.  in that, i have spent so, so much time focused on my breathing...(something that, as a twenty year pack a day smoker, i usually try not to think about), as when you're underwater, your breath controls your position - allows you to stop and go at will, to hover and look at some creature or another.   yesterday was the first time that i was comfortable enough on a dive to not be fixated on my equipment - and only had to think about my breath and reserve the rest of my energy for locating lionfish and scorpionfish and frogfish and cuttlefish.  it was the best, most mellow dive (and longest - as my breathing was so controlled that my air lasted an hour), and i came up with a huge, shit eating grin on my face that i just couldn't shake. after the dive, i laid on the top deck in the sunshine, smoking cigarettes with the other divers as we made our way back to the island... and i just kept thinking..."this IS my life.  this is MY life.   THIS is my life."  and i am so, so grateful for my life.  for the courage in my choices.  for my breath.
isberica says:
Endless adventures in ur life, Jen!
What a life!
Posted on: Jan 17, 2008
aubrie79 says:
I love this entry. Love it. I love the "this is my life" feeling and I'm so glad that you know it now. I can't wait to catch up and hear all about your adventures, and your plans for more. . . .
Posted on: Nov 14, 2007
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