Today I went swimming. It was a big deal for me because I don’t like being in the water that much. I can give you many reasons for my dislike of water. My hair is very long and thick so it takes ages to wash and dry after it gets wet in the pool. An absolutely legitimate reason! Here is another one: I get itchy legs whenever I get out of the water. It is real, I am not just making it up! I have the itchiness for years and yesterday I even looked it up on the internet.
Also, well, the main reason is that I can’t swim. I’ve had several attempts to learn throughout the years. Many people, including good friends and a concerning partner, have tried to teach me too. But the result has not been quite great.
When I was 17, I had nearly drowned in the sea so I have carried with me the fear of not being able to get air inside my lung while getting salt water instead.
But a decade has passed me by, I should really get over it. So here I come children’s swimming pool 😀
Today, I did one length without stopping for the first time. I still refused to swim to the deep end (yeah, still a chicken) but I will try next time. Promise!
When I was a little girl, my parents noticed that I had to sit real close to watch TV. Dad decided to take me to an optician, and I came back with a pair of glasses. Throughout my childhood, Dad kept having to take me back there. Because my glasses were increasingly thicker, eye check-up became a phobia. I felt on edge for a whole week leading to any check-up. I was engulfed by pangs of guilt whenever I had to tell the doctor and my Dad that I couldn’t read the first few lines. I felt like I disappointed my Dad. He never really said anything but he looked gloomy. Now and then he suggested me reading a bit less. However, we both knew that the culprit was my gene, not my books.
So I went through schools and undergrad carrying thick glasses and the fear of opticians. It was the kind of fear that made me want to hide. Because I got bad news each time I went there, I figured it out myself that I would be better off not going. I wasn’t born a fighter, and didn’t grow up to be one. I read all the books I could get hold of. I always kept my glass on or nearby. And I loved my Dad more and more each time we went through optician experience together.
Just before my graduation from my bachelor’s degree, I went through an eye operation. Dad and Mum were in the viewing room to see doctors taking layers out of my eyes and put them back. It was like magic. I woke up the next day to see things in the furthest distance I had ever seen without any glasses. Dad finally told me how worried he was throughout all the years we spent going to eye check-ups. He didn’t tell Mum half the things doctors told him there. He didn’t want to worry her. I realized I was too much like him.
After the operation, I got rid of glasses, started to trim my eyebrows, graduated, got a job, got another degree, and a few other jobs. For six years, I hadn’t been to an eye check-up once. I refused to because regardless of how much further I could see and go, the fear was still inside me.
A week ago, I found myself in an optician. My sweetheart booked an appointment for me, and promised to be with me the whole time. I couldn’t sleep the night before. I fidgeted on the chair pointing toward a board full of letters. I failed to read certain lines. I was recommended to use glasses. I chose a frame, and had an appointment to come back in ten days to pick up my newest pair of glasses.
Soon as I walked out of that place, I felt amazing. It was still as scary as ever at the optician. But I finally chose to face my fear with a head held high. Now I am even looking forward to put on my new glasses.