Somewhere Beyond the Sea (Part 3)

I like the most the back roll entry in scuba diving. It’s generally because I don’t have to bear the 15-something-kilos burden of the air tank and BCD and octopus and extra weights on me too long. I’d just sit by the edge of the boat and let may body roll backwards. Nice.

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Everything you need under water. Plus a good wet suit. Plus courage and determination.

Speaking of heavy burden, giant stride is obviously the method I’m most nervous doing. I’m not a big fan of jumping into water. And even though we are not supposed to jump, the idea of stepping forward into the water (with that burden) from about a meter high is not really my thing. Therefore, the other “lighter” method of wearing the equipment on the water surface, is also not really my favorite as I still need to jump into the water for it.

In life, however, I jump a lot (including jumping into conclusion ha ha). I often make giant steps too. I call myself courageous, but in some cases it’s merely being frivolous. Isn’t it fascinating to just do, to just close our eyes and jump?

I think I’m turning crazy about this diving thingy. But this how love feels like, doesn’t it? It’s an amazing feeling, really. Knowing how I fear of the limitless sea, the unknown darkness, the dependence on equipment wrapped in my body, the doubt if my body could handle the pressure (both physically and mentally) under water… Yet just like any other love, it’s simply beautiful to be in it. It’s beyond words.

I’m in love.

Somewhere Beyond the Sea (Part 2)

The very first lesson you will learn in diving is to breathe slowly and continuously, never holding it. The theory sessions will remind you over and over of how important that is to breathe. Slowly. Continuously.

Before the first dive. Contemplating if I should really get in.

It’s kind of worrying, to be frank. They showed a wide range of risks related to breathing only. Be it the air quality in the tank, the failure in the regulators, the descending and ascending techniques, and a little bit of physics from high school that suddenly bothers you again, hehe.

Equalizing is a very important method you need to master. You will experience change of pressure gradually and repetitively when you go up and down underwater. Do it as often as needed, that’s when you feel even a slight discomfort in your ears. Don’t inderestimate equalizing. Ignoring this simple step could seriously damage your ear. It’s always wiser to be careful.

So that’s the story for today. When you’re not underwater, you could still apply the theory. Keep breathing. Slowly. Continuously. It surprisingly will calm you down.

Somewhere Beyond the Sea (Part 1)

I finally did it! After a long wait of around five years (and almost taking it two years ago), I eventually passed the Open Water Diver certification. I feel more complete as an Indonesian now, hehehe. I start to list the diving spots (and commit to save more money because apparently this sport is not cheap). I feel like I have the super power to explore the under-the-sea world. It feels wonderful.

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Not our best pose, but you don’t actually think of posing when you’re too focused, hehe. Photo is taken by our instructor.

I have so many questions before taking it, obviously. Like… can I do it? I’m not the most athletic person and I’m physically not strong. I’m skinny and short, with -10 myopia on both eyes (so I dive with contact lens). I swim only one style and I don’t do gym. My biggest fear was: how to breath down there, I don’t even snorkel fluently :p.

Another burning question was: do I need it? Well, technically, you do need it. Diving license is like driving license. Yes, of course you can drive without one, but you should not. After learning all possible risks of underwater experience, I won’t risk it. Seriously, you could die if you don’t pay attention on the smallest details.

Imagine you will be under water for an hour or so for each dive, in the depth of up to 18 meters (speaking of open water dive). Imagine how your life depends so much on the air tank on your back, the regulators, the BCD, the SPG, and the weight you add to your body. You need to master all the use of them. You need to know what to do at certain time and certain situation. As simple as you need to know how deep you are, how to clear your mask and regulator, how to descend without damaging your ears, what to do when your regulator doesn’t work, and so on.

Not very surprisingly, I’m not good (yet) at all those. I’m terrible at hovering in my neutral buoyancy. I’m bad at controlling my direction and fin movement. And I’m scared of the unknown when it gets dark down there. The sea is really vast, you know. But it’s amazingly beautiful also. I believe I will get better along my diving log.

I’ll write more later.

Silent Reading

It was early in my elementary school year, when I first learned about silent reading.

“Now open page 27 and read the paragraph silently,” my teacher said.

Bewildered, I opened my book and paused, wondering what that meant. I looked around and saw everyone staring, silently, at their books on their tables. Seemed easy.

So I looked back at mine, I opened my mouth, tried to start reading, but my voice came out. This is not right, I thought. I tried to read it again, this time I could manage to have my voice lower. The girl sitting next to me looked at me, amused.

“Just read it with your mouth closed,” she whispered.

So I did. But damn, that was impossible! Every time I try, I couldn’t do what seemed so easy for the rest of my classmates. I felt like an idiot. It was really frustrating. I spent the hours hoping the teacher would not ask me any questions.

The next day some kind of miracle happened.

It was a lazy afternoon when I pretended to be busy with an open book on my lap. I stared at the boring text there, contemplating words by words. AT first, it was just about going though words. Then I realized I was reading those words from the beginning to the end of that page. Voila! Just like that I started to read silently with my mouth shut. It was so magical.

Contradictory Wisdom

“Life is what we make it”, they say. But hey, they also say “what will be, will be”.

Isn’t it rather annoying how the wise men always have something to say for certain circumstances in life? When something happens, a wisdom shared, people accept and use it to help them getting through difficult time. Let’s see this one as an example:

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

That wisdom has been helping couples in going through (temporary) separation. Some might find a way back, some are lost, some have to deal with the fact that absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder. Because you know… there is another wisdom:

Out of sight, out of mind.

Isn’t it amusing?

When things get rough in our relationship, we’d like to believe that this is the thing worth fighting for. Every couple goes through difficult times and many come out alive and stronger, holding on to the following wisdom:

You can’t just give up on someone just because the situation is not ideal. Great relationships aren’t great because they have no problems. They’re great because both people care enough about the other person to find a way to make it work.

On the other hand, there is this poet who fabricates a metaphor, helping our insensitive senses and mechanical brain to comprehend life and figure out its puzzling course. She created “the bridge”. It’s simple. It’s spot-on. It’s crystal clear.

Someone can be madly in love with you and still not be ready. They can love you in a way you have never been loved and still not join you on the bridge. And whatever their reasons you must leave. Because you never ever have to inspire anyone to meet you on the bridge. You never ever have to convince someone to do the work to be ready. There is more extraordinary love, more love that you have never seen, out here in this wide and wild universe. And there is the love that will be ready.
Nayyirah Waheed

Another contradiction between one wisdom to another is the ones related to confidence or optimism. You must have heard this famous advice to:

Fake it till you make it.

Many actually follow and apply this in life–mostly working life–to boost their confidence fueled with great optimism. The underlined idea of “faking it until making it” is about developing some habits to eventually becoming part of who we are. We’re talking about good habits of course. You fake doing the habits of successful people. If you’re persistent enough, without you realize it you become one of those successful people.

How? Well, George Costanza has some practical tips for that :D.

On the other hand, some experts say “fake it til you make it” is a bad advice. Confidence should not be about pretending or acting. Because no matter how good you’re faking it, people can tell. There are some uncontrollable traits that will show the ultimate truth of who you are and how you really feel. What about letting your confidence emerge from your real accomplishment? No matter how small and simple accomplishment that is.

It’s dilemmatic in a way: which wisdom should we trust?

wise-contra

Click here for more contradictory proverbs.

New Year’s Resolution

I didn’t make any targets last year, but I think I need some for 2016. For the sake of progressing and moving forward.

Resolution: a firm decision to do or not to do something

The key word this year is skill. I want to learn several new skills that I think I will enjoy to do and will be useful.

  1. Able to make bags and purses. I will take sewing classes for it early this year and buy a decent sewing machine.
  2. Able to play harmonica. I really like the bluesy sound of harmonica and I think this instrument is cool to play. Have been checking some tutorials on Youtube, and I will be diligent to practice. Nothing too ambitious about this, I just want to fluently play a couple of songs.
  3. Able to make graphical designs using Illustrator and Photoshop. This one is rather tough because not only learning the technique, but I will also need to polish my sense of art.
  4. Understand and speak basic Swedish.
  5. Read more books. I’m inspired by Mark Zuckerberg who reads one book a week. I will try that. Yes, 52 books.

That’s all. If they are accomplished, I believe I would be a completely different person by the end of the year :).