Five Minute Friday: Dive

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I never learned how to do a dive properly. I told myself I couldn’t. I wasn’t brave enough. I wasn’t graceful enough.

One summer when I was young, my next door neighbor tried to teach me how to dive. I would watch her closely, trying to memorize her form. Arms arched gracely above her head, fingers overlapping. Body curved, head down, she gripped the edge of the pool with her toes. With hardly a splash, she entered the water and surfaced with a smile, inviting me to follow her lead. That summer I mastered the cannon ball and belly flop, but I never learned how to do a proper dive. It just wasn’t in me.

Sometimes I’m the same way about my life. I watch from the shallow end where I sit with my legs dangling in the water. Close enough to feel the splash from those who dared to go deeper, but not part of the pool party.

But some days I’m different. Maybe now that I’m in my forties I’m finally becoming more comfortable with who I am. Maybe I’m not as afraid of mistakes or messiness or even failure as I was when life seemed more like a perfect piece of white paper I was afraid I would mess up with my childish scribblings.

Lately I’ve been bolder. I used to wait until someone gave me permission or at least invited me to try something new. But on a few occasions, I’ve been the one to offer my services. I am starting to trust myself to know what might be in me better than others.  Life’s too short not to try the things that scare me. I don’t want to wonder what might have happened if I knocked on few doors rather than wait for someone to open them all for me. I’m learning to trust  I have more of God inside of me than I’ve allowed the world to see.

For this season, I live in a house that has a pool in the backyard. Maybe 2013 will be the year I finally learn how to do a proper dive.IMG_1079

Today I’m participating in Five Minute Friday with THE GYPSY MAMA.  On Fridays, Lisa-Jo offers a prompt and participants write for five minutes without editing or worrying that every word is perfect and every sentence grammatically correct. Take a look at what she and other bloggers did with today’s prompt.

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7 Comments

Filed under Five Minute Friday

7 responses to “Five Minute Friday: Dive

  1. Great post! It’s never too late to leave the shallow water for more exciting ventures!

  2. Oh, you will. I know you will. Love you so.

  3. I never learned to dive either (in a pool or in life). In my mid 30s I’m still the cautionary dip my toes in kind of girl… maybe that will change in five years! 🙂

  4. What a wonderful post! Your story of the neighbor who dove perfectly is so much like all the other mothers, wives we see now who, through our eyes, seem to be the epitome of perfection. And then we “grow up.” Thank you for the inspiration! And what a lovely pool… 🙂

  5. Linda

    Aw Amy-that is what they mean by life begins at forty – but are unable to put it into words. Before then we have lived our lives for other people and their (presumed on our part) expectations, or our own ideal of who or what we must be to be acceptable. By our forties we are realizing that the real me is not quite who I percieve others expect me to be, nor who I tried to be. We now have the freedom to be that perfectly wonderful enough, imperfect, us that God delights in. It is the spiritual equivalent of not having to to “Hold your stomach in.” We are afraid we will become slovenly if we we relax a bit-but just the opposite happens-we really are sailing through life with more grace and ease! You can’t help but enter the water elegantly Amy, it’s “Whose you are!” Thank you for having words to express the Life Begins at Forty axiom!

  6. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I do feel much the same as you. I try not to regret all I missed out on when I was younger and even as a young adult. I grew up painfully shy and self-conscious so I learned to stand back and observe so the attention wouldn’t be put on me. It’s hard to shake old habits, but they are changing slowly. Maybe by the time I leave this beautiful earth I will have overcome it!

  7. I never learned to dive either. My roommate tried to teach me one summer during college. While correcting my posture, she touched my butt. I turned around to see what she was doing, but in the process elbowed her in the face. That was the last lesson she provided.

    Later that week the lifeguard decided to take a crack at teaching me. I listened intently and gave it my all, which, apparently, was too much. She kept saying “Arch your back more!” Well, I hyper-extended my back. My toes literally touched the back of my head as I entered the water. I couldn’t walk for three days and suffered back problems for years after.

    I still wish I could dive, but am not so eager to try again. 🙂

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