For a long time, I thought I was afraid of heights. The mere thought of going up on the roof or climbing trees would terrify me. At school, when other students leaned over the third floor banister to have a look down at the courtyard, I’d feel dizzy and sick and run for the stairs. It was only after I was on my fourth long haul flight that it occurred to me that I was not afraid of heights, but afraid of falling. The sensation of falling, that weightlessness, the loss of control, PETRIFIES me to the extent that I’m sure I suffer from Vertigo.
According to the experts, Vertigo is a symptom of a balance disorder - the illusion of movement when no movement is present. There’s a sensation of spinning or whirling that occurs as a result of a disturbance in balance (equilibrium). It also incites feelings of dizziness, lightheadedness and unsteadiness. Since I have all of these symptoms, especially when I’m on an elevator or above the ground, I’m adamant in my self-diagnosis.
I’ve spent most of December at our local Diving Club which boasts a rather large Olympic Size pool and a 22 meter Diving Pool. If you want to wrap your mind around 22 meters, think of a 10 storey building. It’s that deep. Anyways, as this month’s challenge, I thought I’d spend my days diving/jumping in an out of the Diving pool, trying to overcome my fear of falling and pushing my limits each time. It hasn’t worked. I’m still terrified. But I’m having a great time.
There’s nothing like crashing into that deep bright cerulean abyss and swimming to the surface like a mermaid. NOTHING. In those moments just before I come up to the surface for air, I find my happiness. And then I get out and do it all over again. Words can’t fully encapsulate my love for swimming. I’ve been swimming since I was a baby, since before I could walk. Mother was a good swimmer too and every summer for most of my childhood, that’s all we did almost every single day. As kids my siblings, cousins and I would swim from the morning until the evening in almost any weather, rain or shine. Those were and still are some of the best times of my life.
In other news, I can’t believe that it’s the end of the year already (I know I sound like a broken record). This year really flew by and was one of my busiest and eventful years ever. To recap, this year I registered for my MBA and agonised over it for the first three months before I decided it best to shut up and just do it. This year I was fortunate enough to go snorkeling in the warm waters off the coast of Mozambique and visit Inhaca Island with the cruise (& we had the best time ever!). This year I braved some other feats like White Water Rafting on Grade 3 and Grade 4 Rapids in the quaint little town of Clarens. This year I had a whirlwind trip to the UK, visiting my friends in London and touring Cardiff, Dublin and Edinburgh. This year I had an altercation of note and got fired. This year, I kicked some corporate butt and won a lawsuit and found what I was looking for in the process. This year I've lost a number of people close to me who’ve passed on, attended the wedding of the century and welcomed a new member to our family.
No doubt about it, it has been an exhausting year…physically, mentally, psychologically, emotionally... but I can see the good and the bad that was this year and appreciate it for what it was, for where it’s brought me and for the lessons I’ve learnt. Like I always say, I’d rather learn them lessons now, than learn them when I’m in my 40’s. Things aren’t always easy, but there’s always a reason for everything and life is for LIVING, not dwelling on the past or on the negatives.
To top off this year, I’m heading off to a part of South Africa I haven’t really been to before with my family. So this is my last post for this year and soon I’m leaving on a jet plane to go and recharge my batteries. I promise to come back in the New Year with loads of new stories, a new positive energy, lots of photos…and a surprise which is slowly looking like my single biggest Challenge and Adventure yet. But time will tell.
I’m going into 2010 with renewed hope and faith, that no matter what happens, I will live my life because life goes on. And not only will I survive, I will thrive too. Here’s wishing all the Christians a very Merry Christmas and to the world, a blessed, prosperous, healthy New Year InshaAllah!