I don’t play the what-if game very often.  Life is full of choices and regardless of which ones we choose in those moments, that is our life.  Sometimes things go back and correct themselves and other times, sorry, you’re out of luck.  This is what you did and these are the consequences.  Sure, you occasionally go “What if I studied more for that exam instead of hanging out with my friends?” but you don’t dwell on it.  You can’t.  You’d go insane.  So I normally avoid it all together. 

Lately though, I’ve been stuck on a loop for one particular instance of what if.  Since high school, I wanted to learn how to scuba dive.  But it was expensive and finding the time and place to do it wasn’t easy.  The summer after my junior year I tried scuba in a 25 foot tank at Space Camp.  It was awesome.  The coolest thing ever.  So of course, when I got home I still had no money and no time to try scuba diving, but my mom convinced me that once I went down to school – I already was pretty set on moving to Florida for college – it would be easier and probably cheaper to get into diving.  So I waited. 

The second or third week of classes, we finally had an activities fair and I learned we had a dive club on campus.  Awesome.  So I went to the table to learn about the dive club and getting certified. Well, the club people weren’t exactly the most welcoming group of people I’d ever met.  They seemed excited to have someone interested in diving until they learned that I wasn’t certified yet.  Then I was kind of shoved aside.  I was thrown a business card and told to check out there to get certified and then come back and see them to go diving.  Behind the table was the pool and they had people in the water trying scuba.  I had made the mistake of telling one of the people that I had tried it before, so I guess that option was off the table because none of them mentioned it to me.  Of course, I realize now that even if they had mentioned it, I was only 17 so I wouldn’t have been able to do it anyway. 

But recently I can’t help but wonder if I had talked to the guy who was taking people to dive or taken that initiative and called the shop to get certified then, how different some things might have been.  I drove by the location of where I thought the shop was that weekend, but I am directionally challenged and failed miserably on that.  So I gave up.  I didn’t feel welcome with the club since I wasn’t certified and none of them seemed to be interested in giving more details and I didn’t want to just randomly call a shop to find out more information.  So I got involved with other things and school and learning to dive got pushed off to the side yet again. 

As my faithful readers will already know, I got certified in New Zealand three years ago, when I started this blog.  When I finally got back to campus, I decided I was going to give the dive club another chance.  After all, everyone from back then should have already graduated and gone since it had been so long since my freshman year and I was now a certified diver.  I didn’t think I’d become as involved with the dive club as I am now.  I’ve been an officer in the club for two out of the three semesters I’ve been there.  I’ve led dive trips with all levels of divers at sites I’ve never even been to.  I work at the aforementioned dive shop that I was, many years ago, too shy to even call.  I’ve come a long way from my freshman year of college. 

And in the last few months I can’t help but wonder how different things would have been had I called the shop and got certified my freshman year.  Would I have started working at the shop then?  Would I have become an instructor and teach other people how to dive by now?  I think it would be really cool to be an instructor.  I got into diving because I wanted to go to the Great Barrier Reef, dive in ice, and dive wrecks.  I have checked out a few wrecks, but mostly, I’ve failed on the things I’ve wanted to do as a diver.  People tell me I still have my whole life ahead of me and plenty of time to do and see the things I want to see and do.  But then I see other people who are instructors or diving these things who are younger than me.  And I don’t think I’m that old!  The time feels wasted.  And I can’t help but think “What if I got certified earlier?”  I could have accomplished what I’ve wanted to do (diving wise – I don’t think for a second that I haven’t accomplished a lot of what I’ve wanted in other aspects). It’s a scary feeling.  A little disturbing.  But ultimately, it’s irritating.  I can’t change anything and maybe this path happened for whatever else to be possible in other aspects.  But I still let it consume my thoughts sometimes.  That simple “what if?” 



Inseparable Insanity

Everyone has those friends who are inseparable from someone or something.  And everyone, in my experience, is guilty of being that person every now and then too.  We all have been at dinner and there’s the one person who is constantly on their phone.  I’ve been that person numerous times.  I’ve tried to cut back on it a lot, especially during meals.  But not everyone even realizes they’re being rude (at the very least, I know I’m being inconsiderate).  It’s irritating.  Yes, sometimes there’s that important message or call that you have to make, but when you’re skimming through facebook or playing a game while you’re waiting for food or whatever, it’s like…  “Uhm, hello???”  Like I said, we all can be guilty of it, but the more and more I try to resist being on my phone, the more I’ve been noticing other people are even worse than I was.  It’s crazy.

Then there are those people that can’t be seen without their significant other.  OK.  I get it when you first start dating someone and all you want to do is spend time with them.  But seriously?  Self control people!  Sometimes I don’t want to see you and your attached at the hip boyfriend, I want to just spend time with you!  Even if the boyfriend is my friend or whatever.  Because your girlfriend has to go to work doesn’t mean you can’t come.  But apparently it does.  One of my best friends has been dating someone for about two months.  In that period of time, I’ve seen him about five times.  All but one of those times was just him and myself.  Thank you!  See, that’s what I’m talking about!  His girlfriend is awesome and I enjoy hanging out with her too, but it’s so refreshing that they don’t HAVE to be with each other every second of the day.  I’ve spent time with just her too.  There was no never ending texting conversation in that time or constant chatter about the other person.  They have lives outside of each other even though they are together.  These people have it right!  Learn from this, fellow readers.

Even in my own relationships, I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be around my boyfriend 24/7.  Sometimes, yes – obviously I enjoy his company if we’re dating.  But I honestly don’t think there’s anyone I’d want to be around all the time without wanting to kill them after a while.  Absence is healthy.  I’m not saying you have to be alone, but a dose of time apart from your loved one is GOOD for your relationship!  Go hang out with those people you were always with before you met “the love of your life” who you commonly referred to as friends and people you couldn’t live without.  They miss just yoU!  I’m also not saying to never combine the groups, but balance people.  Balance!

It’s not just significant others either though.  Siblings and best friends can get like this too.  “I can’t go because my sister has a doctor’s appointment.”  That’s understandable if you already agreed to give your sister a ride to the doctor or whatever.  But when your sister is thirty and has a slight cold, I’m sorry, but how does this have any bearing on whether or not you can make an event?  In the three hours MAX to eat dinner with a group, she’s going to spontaneously combust without you there by her side?  “I don’t feel good” somehow translates to your “best” friend being unable to attend a trip that’s been planned for the past three months?  I know I’m jumping around here, but I can’t be the only who deals with these excuses!

Most of my fencing team from high school is still pretty close.  There’s about six of us that still communicate on a rather frequent basis.  And we like to do things together.  But lets face it.  Between work and family and school and you know, life, getting six people with completely different schedules together is insanity.  Especially last minute.  So if I want to do something with all of them, advance planning is a must.  But of course there’s that whole life thing that gets in the way.  Suzie’s grandfather showed up out of the blue for the week so she can’t come to the weekend we planned skiing that cost us $500 each and no refund available.  This is sad.  Unfortunate that she can’t come.  But then Maria can’t go either because she feels bad that Suzie can’t come.  I love them all and of course I want them all to come, but really?  Then there’s the ‘I’m in town for the weekend.’  Usually it’s a last minute thing and nothing was planned.  So I send out some kind of communication deal that’s all “I’m going to this place at this time and hope you can show up.”  Somehow that becomes an upheaval of but so and so can’t make it then and so and so has this after and this and that and the other thing.  I realize not everyone can make it work all the time, but not EVERYONE has to ALWAYS be there.  Yes it’s nice if they are, but again, life and all.  Will it really be that bad if you go with the rest of us?  Will you really have a better time being at home because whatever?  The names and specifics are obviously completely made up, but the principle and idea behind it is legit.

Anyhow, I think this rant has gotten the point across.  If you’re one of these people that I’m talking about here, be aware of it.  And change it.  At least make an attempt.  Your friends will appreciate it too! 🙂