There are many blog posts that I have started over the course of this month that have never quite made it to the published region of this blog.  I have been working extremely hard since school as started.  As a result, I have been playing even harder as a form of stress relief, if you will.  There’s been diving and Disney and musicals and hanging out with friends.  It’s been fantastic.  It’s been hectic, but I’m in for the long haul.  I’ve been at the top of my game for a while now.  Things are going relatively in the direction I want them to go in, and while I may not have everything I want at exactly this point and time, I’m definitely headed in the right direction and I’m feeling on top of the world.  Nothing can go wrong.  I’m invincible.

Except I’m not.  When I started this blog, this part right here said yesterday.  It had to be edited because now it’s been about a month.  But anyway, about a month ago, I experienced an extremely humbling event.  We were diving over the weekend back to back to back to back.  😀  It was great diving even though weather reports earlier in the week were disheartening.  I caught my first lobster, my buddy found a compass, we saw massive sized groupers, caught a lion fish, saw a sea turtle and a shark just to name the highlights.  It was a good time.  Everyone out on the boat had a good time.  We established that we would go out for dinner with everyone before the three hour drive back.  My group was the first to arrive so we grabbed a table and waited for the others to join us.

One of the guys had gone back to the hotel he had been staying at the previous night to get his wife.  When they got to the restaurant, they sat down and he had mentioned that his left arm had pretty much lost all feeling.  His wife asked if he wanted to go to the hospital and he declined as most people do.  After the rest of our group arrived, however, he still wasn’t feeling so great.  In a matter of seconds, he had gotten to the point that we had a person going to get the oxygen we carry in case of emergencies and we were calling an ambulance. Needless to say, as soon as the paramedics did get there and established that we had been diving, he was rushed off to a helipad to be flown to the nearest hyperbaric chamber.    His wife was beside herself.  Our friend got bent.  For all you non-divers out there reading this, that means he suffered from decompression sickness (DCS).  It’s not a good thing to happen.  He is alright and is currently anxious to get back in the water and diving again, but it was definitely an experience to say the least.

In the interim of all of this, however, I definitely realized something that I was vaguely aware of previously.  The dive community is an extremely unique one.  We take care of each other.  That’s not to say that other people don’t take care of each other, but overall, as people, we don’t look out for each other as well as we should.  I don’t think that’s the case in the dive world.  The wife of the person who got bent was the one who truly pointed this out to me.  I had met her once prior to this incident.  I don’t think anybody else in the group had even met her before she had sat down at the table.  But no one thought twice about staying with her to make sure she was OK, driving her to the hospital where they had air-lifted her husband, or any other “hassle.”  Someone else had asked me about that the following day when they asked me why I was so tired – of course this happened on a Sunday.  The thought never even crossed my mind until that moment.  Everyone wanted to help and it didn’t really matter about the other “repercussions.”

I spent this past weekend diving as well.  On Saturday night, we stopped at this place in the middle of the woods to fill our tanks.  This place had fills, stuff to rent, stuff to buy, you name it.  And no one to supervise. Everything is on the honor system.  There’s a computer that you put your information in and what you got and you either pay with cash in a box or you use PayPal.  “It’s the dive community, we take care of each other.” That’s the response the guy who brought us there gave when the rest of the people were baffled by everything just there.  On Sunday, one of the dive teams borrowed a reel and was leaving earlier than the rest of us.  They asked if they should keep it and the guy they borrowed it from told them to simply place it on his truck.  The one guy curiously looked at him as if to question to get the response “No one’s going to take it here.”  And no one did even though it was just sitting there.  That shouldn’t be something I blog about in bafflement because we all know stealing is wrong and we shouldn’t do it.  But that typically doesn’t happen.  The dive community a unique world and I’m happy to be a part of it.

Not to mention that I’m struggling to stay sane until Sunday when I can get back in the water again.  I’m going through withdrawal!


The Real World

I am graduating in 75 days, 19 hours, 45 minutes and 17 seconds from this moment in time.  I’ve been here for way too long.  I’m ready to turn the page to the next chapter of my life.  I’m excited for this change.  It will be a drastic one, I know, but I am prepared for it.  I’ve been preparing for it and I’m looking forward to the unknown.  As I continue to express this excitement, however, I am getting many comments from the peanut gallery. 

“Enjoy life while you can.”

“You’re so young, don’t wish this away.”

“Once you start working, you don’t get to go back to how things are now.” 

I understand the demands of a job, especially the job I am going into.  I understand that I will not get to make the spur of the moment decisions that I can make right now.   I get that if I don’t show up to work one day, I’m not getting paid and I’m probably going to hear it from my boss.  There’s no questions about this.  But I keep getting told that going out into the real world isn’t as glorious as it seems.  In the back of my head, “Part of Your World” is playing.  People always want what they don’t have, right?  But I don’t see going into the real world as a drawback.  In fact, I see it as a benefit. 

My job isn’t your typical 9-5 job.  But for the majority of people (and ALL of the people who keep telling me to stop wishing my university days away), 9-5, Monday through Friday is your standard work day.  HOW, just HOW, can you possibly say that life does not get easier once you’re done with school?  The “real” world has bills and rent and obligations.  So I’m living in a fake world now?  I pay rent.  I pay bills.  I have obligations. NOW.  I’ve had them. 

Not only do I go to school, but I work over 40 hours per week on top of my classes.  And I do well in my classes.  Yes, my jobs right now are flexible.  Yes, my bosses allow me to miss a day here and skip a few hours there and take time to fnish an assignment, but I’m still working.  When I don’t work, I don’t get paid.  I already deal with this concept now.  Yes, the jobs I hold do not involve rocket science.  But my classes do.  So on top of classes and work, I have a life.  I go diving almost every weekend, I try to travel somewhere else once a month, and I go to Disney.  I attempt to be social and enjoy my life while doing these things. 

So how can you tell me the real world is worse?  In the “real” world, I don’t have homework that I have to pay to do every night.  I think I have a decent basis for gauging life in the “real” world.  When I worked with Continental, I was treated as a full time employee.  Spending time with the people who had worked there for decades, I learned quite a bit about their lifestyles.  They would work mostly from 8-5.  Sometimes there were late nights and early mornings.  Other times there were 18 hour days for 12 days straight. 

And then it would go back to working 8-5.  Fridays people would leave an hour early.  They would go home and have dinner with friends or family or head somewhere fun for the weekend.  There was no consistant homework.  At the end of the work day, you’re done.  School doesn’t work that way.  Not even close.  I leave my house before 9AM every week day.  If I get home before 8PM, it’s a really good day.  That’s my SHORT day.  And that’s standard working and class.  No exciting life moments thrown in there. 

In no way am I complaining when I get home later because I hung out with a friend or grabbed a bite to eat somewhere.  I just would like to point out that when I do get home, I still have homework and studying to do.  Yes, it’s my choice to keep my sanity with some social aspect.  I’m just saying.  In the “real” world, you get home and throw on the TV or fall asleep or whatever else.  Just a thought.  Graduation is now in 75 days, 19 hours, 21 minutes, and 22 seconds. 🙂