Staying Close to Shore

I can do this. I am not afraid. I can do this.

That was sort of my mantra this weekend as I stepped into a pool for the first time this year. Since childhood, I’ve had a major fear of large bodies of water (including swimming pools) and I typically hyperventilate when the water reaches past my ankles.

It may have helped this time that I had a buddy with me in the pool. I don’t want a lot of people in the water with me, but having someone you know there just in case is especially reassuring.

For the most part, I stayed in the shallow end and around the edge of the pool. That felt like the safest place in case something happened or I needed a quick escape.

People reading this who know me are probably thinking that’s the way I approach many things in life. I like to have the backup plan in case there’s a failure and I tend not to venture out from the safe shore.

It then can lead to an internal conflict where I want to try something new, but the change seems scary and I don’t want to fail or leave the comfort.

I also do this in relationships. I have tended to stick with relationships that were toxic or where I was mistreated, but I would excuse it by saying it was safe and comfortable.

It’s sort of like in the scene and dialogue from Pulp Fiction, where the character says (pardon the offensive language): “That’s when you know you’ve found somebody special. When you can just shut the f*ck up for a minute and comfortably enjoy the silence.”

I’d argue that just because there’s comfortable silence, it doesn’t always mean you have found the somebody special for you. Maybe it’s just that we fear what is out there that is still unknown.

Now that sounds like some bad fiction.

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