I think that’s what the universe is trying to tell me.
After my crash from hang gliding, it suddenly occurred to me I had a similar traumatic experience in the past. And there’s a theme.
Fu and I were on a course to get our scuba diving license. In scuba diving, everyone has a buddy for safety reasons, and Fu was my buddy. We were the last pair to drop from the boat and Fu deflated his life vest and descended below the surface first.
When I went underwater, I couldn’t see anyone. Not Fu, not the rear instructor, not anyone else. As I continued my descent, still no one in sight. Nothing but a screen of blue that stretched on forever in every direction. I was legitimately uneasy by then.
As I took my next breath, I was caught by surprise that water somehow got into my regulator and nearly caused me to choke. I was unable to expel the water as I didn’t have enough breath left from stopping my intake partway due to the water.
As if things weren’t bad enough, my mask started to fog up and I was quickly losing vision. Clearing the mask would require me to open up the mask to fill it with water and then exhale through my nose to replace the water with air. Air I didn’t have.
I was suspended in a vast space, all alone, unseeing, out of air.
The eerie watery silence was deafening as it held its monotony steadily. Unchanging, unwavering, everlasting. It sounded like the beckoning of death. Yeah yeah, some people say the sound of the ocean is peaceful and whatever. They’re lying.
I was far from the surface in a foreign environment and my panic level instantly shot straight to OMGAMIGOINGTODROWN.
Instinctively, I made for the surface as if my life depended it. Actually not as if. It DID depend on it. It’s actually dangerous to do that because decompression sickness aside from ascending too quickly, a jetski or boat could have been passing by and lopped off my head. Obviously my air-deprived brain couldn’t care less.
That first breath. I don’t think I’ve been happier or more grateful to breathe freely!!!
A few moments later, Fu and the rear diver magically materialized around me.
WHERE WERE YOU GUYS WHEN I WAS DYING?!!
Shortly after, we descended again and this time I kept checking my regulator and clearing my mask literally every few seconds like a paranoid fidgety squirrel. No way in hell will I allow myself to going through the same thing again.
If Fu had been there, things would have been very different. Needless to say, I berate Fu for abandoning me and subjecting me to such an experience to this very day.
So, universe: FINE. I GEDDIT. I won’t pretend to be a fish or a bird and stay on land. Happy?