#2 Facing Fears – Top 15 of 2015

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I’m sure that past blog posts have made me sound like a water-loving, beach babe. From Florida to the South Pacific, beaches, islands and infinity pools, my life revolves around water. However, don’t be fooled. I’m actually not a great swimmer. It rather terrifies me. I have this pesky fear of drowning. So inconvenient.

I tried to learn how to be a great swimmer. As a kid, I took all the appropriate YMCA swimming lessons. I went to friend’s pool parties. My parent’s got a pool which should have wooed me into learning. It didn’t. And now I pay the price.So many wonderful activities take place in or on the water! And I’ve been missing out! For example, snorkeling. There is a whole world under the sea that Ariel had been singing about for years that I had never seen. I knew something had to change.

When we planned our Australia trip for this year, we realized how close we would be going to the Great Barrier Reef. It’s landmark not to be missed. But I would miss it if I couldn’t swim well. So I decided this would be the year, the time, for me to get over it and become a swimmer. I practiced every day in our pool. I practiced with the face mask and flippers. Then we went out to the beach and I practiced in the waves and the saltwater. I was going to do this.

And in Australia, on Magnetic Island, I did it. I snorkeled. For like half an hour. I floated and swam and saw the most beautiful things under the ocean’s surface. My husband informed me that it actually wasn’t that amazing because we were so close to shore and everything was sandy. I smacked him, and continued my monumental life moment. I was doing this. I could keep doing this. I could swim and snorkel and see things I’d been too afraid to see!

A few months later, when we celebrated our anniversary on that tiny island, I got the chance to snorkel again, and I did it again. This time was much harder because of the current, but I still did it. I overcame fears. I accomplished something.

This past year has been full of so many wonderful moments, but I’ll never forget the feeling of overcoming a fear of swimming and getting into the water in Australia to snorkel for the first time. Facing my fears was a common theme this year, not just with snorkeling but with moving to Asia and living away from America and the familiar for this amount of time. With learning a new language. With driving motorbike in crazy Asian traffic. There were so many moments that could have paralyzed me with fear, but they didn’t. I faced them, overcame them and moved on. And for that, 2015 will always be fantastic.

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