It’s the summer before second grade. I am standing on the edge of the diving board eagerly waiting to take my first swimming test.
All of my friends and teachers are watching from the sidelines. The smell of chlorine suffocates me. The whistle blows and I jump with in with the enthusiasm of an Olympic swimmer.
My tip toes hit the concrete bottom and I push myself up with all of my might. All of my might only got me halfway to the top. This is the moment when I accepted the fact that I didn’t know how to swim. I panicked. And I flailed. And I tried to scream as chlorine filled my lungs.
I had no idea what was going on above the water, but apparently the lifeguard was frantically taking her shoes off and jumping in to save me.
My mom told the teacher that I didn’t know how to swim, but I spent that entire day convincing her that I absolutely positively knew how to swim.
Swimming looked easy. I could swim. Why wouldn’t I know how to swim? Who cares that no one ever taught me to swim.
The lifeguards arms pulled me to the top. I couldn’t believe I was still alive. I took the deepest breath I ever breathed.
I spent the next three months wading in the shallow end of the pool, and refusing to take my arm floaties off.
The best way to figure out what you should with your life is to look at how you did things in the past. We all have these pieces of our personality that are always a part of who we are, and those pieces affect the way we make decisions.
I still assume I can do anything I want. I jump in head first with the same excitement I had way back when. I get in too deep most of the time. I panic and flail and scream. And then I wait. Because I know there is always one person waiting above prepared to pull me out if I can’t quite make it.