The continuing saga of one girl’s plight with unemployment… and now, she finally has to face her greatest fear: Swimming with Great White Sharks… Read previous posts HERE
It’s cool to be an adrenaline junky, like Bodhi taught Johnny Utah to be in Point Break. Remember the look of pure ecstasy on Keanu’s sexy face when he caught his first big wave and yelled “YEAH!!” over and over and punched his fist in the air, or when he went skydiving and magically flew through the clouds, linking hands with Bodhi’s gang with a flying ability that would probably puzzle Superman? Wise Bodhi told Johnny, “100% pure adrenaline. Some guys snort a line for it, jab a vein for it, all you gotta do is jump.” That’s cool for some people, but I’ve never been an adrenaline junky and am just fine and dandy saying no to bungee jumps and cliff dives and sea kayaking. I think strolling around Manhattan is more relaxing than floating in the ocean, so that raises the question: then why the f*ck am I about to voluntarily spend three days in the middle of the Pacific Ocean hanging out in a cage (with gaps so big I’m pretty sure I could float out no problem) while huge Great White sharks circle around? The answer is: I don’t know.
But if I indeed did learn anything from Bodhi’s sagelike wisdom, it’s this: “Fear causes hesitation, and hesitation causes all your worst fears to come true.”
Hit the Jump to witness The Elf channelling her inner Johnny Utah…
“I’ve gotten myself into a pickle, all in the name of writing. And unemployment. And providing entertainment. Like a clown…”
I admit it: I don’t know. For reference, here’s a quick and painless backstory: Back in the fall I wrote about facing a fear of mine: attending a three hour meditation class in which sage was wafted at me, a dude in lace bell bottoms made “swish!” sounds with his mouth and supposedly pulled bad energy out of us, and a pony-tailed gent played a didgeridoo. That was scary to me because the combo of meditation, sage, bell bottoms, and a didgeridoo brings out my own personal Tyler Durden, who happens to be a skeptical, old-fashioned Texas girl who would trust a drunk, toothless fisherman before she trusted a high-on-life California yogi. But I faced that fear and got through the three-hour class.
That little adventure got me thinking that maybe I should try some more stuff that scares me… you know, like getting in the ocean with Jaws. Unemployment DOES lead you in unexpected directions I guess. It CAN make you a little loopy. It also can force you to get creative – enough babysitting, garage sale-ing, and plant watering for cash makes shark diving seem sort of awesome. I’ve spent a lot of my babysitting time discussing the Finding Nemo shark with Baby B, so that could have something to do with this caper too.
Anyhoo to make a medium-sized story short-ish, I decided to write a book that involved this shark adventure, launched a Kickstarter campaign, bugged the crap out of people for a month, raised the funds (thank you people who donated! I’ll make you proud… by not fainting before I get in the cage), and here we are. In three weeks from now, I step into the cage. Back in the spring, in the halcyon Kickstarter days, the idea of going shark cage diving scared me in a cute, kind of vicarious way. Now, it scares me in a visceral, WTF, I’m a wimpy baby and want my mommy way. Plus Shark Week decided to air right before my adventure and of course I can’t help but watch it, my eyes widening into vacant orbs of pure terror every time a shark jumps or swims or gnaws on an adrenaline junky in a chain-mail suit. “What a dumb ass,” I think as I watch the crazy divers tempting fate. Well, you could probably say the same thing about me. At this point, though, I’m only a dumb ass if I DON’T go through with this insanity. I’ve gotten myself into a pickle, all in the name of writing. And unemployment. And providing entertainment. Like a clown.
Johny Utah & Bodhi in happier, gayer times…
I should turn Shark Week off, I know. I can’t though. It’s like that thing that happens in junior high chemistry class, the Bunsen burner thing. Sometimes as I stared at the flame under the Bunsen burner, bored and daydreaming of the day Keanu Reeves or Johnny Depp would propose to me and carry me away to live on their private island happily ever after, I’d get this weird urge to stick my hand in the flame. You know, just to see. I’m sure most sane people got this same urge right? No? Just me? OK, whatever I never actually DID it. Point is, my burning desire to scare myself even more by watching Shark Week brings me back to the Bunsen burner days. That’s tempting fate, like Bodhi does. Maybe I AM an adrenaline junky after all! Watching Shark Week on TV. Thinking of sticking my hand in the Bunsen burner flame and then not doing it.
So it is my solemn mission, dear readers, to come back to you at the end of August with a Nobel Prize-worthy epiphany that links Great Whites, unemployment, Snooki, Paris Hilton, the economy, and the universe in one brilliant, gleaming ball of … amazingness. Or, alternately, I’ll just come back to you with a real crazy story that’ll hopefully make you giggle.
In the meantime I will continue to play the “if we don’t mention this shark diving thing we can pretend it’s not really happening” game with my parents. I will not think of sharks as man-eating monsters but as powerful animals to admire and not piss off or cuddle with. I will take deep breaths. And I will try and channel my inner Bodhi/Johnny Utah/adrenaline junky. I’ll get into that damn cage and find something funny about it, if it’s the last thing I do. Which it totally won’t be… THAT would not be funny.
See you in a month!