Do you guys remember swim tests during summer camp? You would have to swim from one side of the “deep” end all the way to the other in a certain amount of time and you couldn’t show weakness and you could not struggle and if they noticed it, you would fail.
Sometimes as I am walking through life, I am hit with memories of those swim tests as I am submerged in the water and looking around, seeing the other people swimming with ease and no discomfort and I hope, I dream that someone will notice. I am failing at this, why are you not seeing this?
However, I would pass the test and each and every single time this sense of pride would hit me and regardless of whether or not they understood, it meant something to me because it meant that I was able to put a facade. But at the same exact time, I felt this complete and utter fear because they were able to see something, see this ability that I knew I did not have and I worried that it would blow up in face. Because of this, I would rarely go into the deep end. I would go on the slide and then immediately get out, fear that I would fail and something would happen.
When you feel like that in the real world, like you’re in the middle of the swim test and you feel the water all around you and your heart is burning because you need to stop swimming but you keep swimming anyways, the struggle slowly getting harder and harder and you can’t stop.
The last possible thing you can do is stop because the second you stop, you have everything coming raining down on you, the water gets higher and it gets even harder and people can pretend they understand, they can assume and ask you ridiculous questions but they don’t really know the truth. They don’t bother asking what the truth is.
Sometimes I dream of someone helping me out of the water, realizing that I am struggling and losing desperately and that somebody would be on my side but what’s crazy is that the side that is struggling is never the easier side. It’s easier to side with the bullies and the jerks and the liars because they have done it so many times it’s practically like water coming up slowly during the high tide, something slow and easy to get out of but really their entire demeanor is like a wave crashing down on you and keeping you under the water for hours at a time.
What do you do?
You fight it, you hope they don’t notice because when it is all finally over, it pays off because then you can go down the slide and you’ll be on the winners side and you were never the liar, the person who fought on the wrong side during a battle that seemed unwinnable and you do. You exceed, you excel, and you win.
Cause in the end, that swim test is just the battle that leads to winning and excelling at the end of a long, hard battle.
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