It took me a long time to learn to dive off the diving board. I didn't have a problem diving into the water from the side of the pool, but something about that extra 3 feet really freaked me out. I'm pretty sure I may have climbed back down and given up at least the first time I tried. I distinctly remember a series of jumps from the board where I lost my nerve at the last minute. I can still remember the feeling, though, of standing out on the edge of the diving board, looking down at the water, and being momentarily paralyzed.
I don't know what it was about the diving board that freaked me out. Perhaps it was the fact that the water was so deep. I wasn't (still not) the world's strongest swimmer, so maybe I feared something would go wrong and I'd drown. Maybe it was a fear of "doing it wrong" while others were watching. Or just that I really wanted to get it right the first time.
We are about to "go in the pool" for the adoption - meaning, all our paperwork will be checked off and we will be "waiting" for someone to choose us to parent their child. I feel like I'm on the edge of that diving board again now, looking down at the water, paralyzed.
Except this time, I'm acutely aware of all the things that are freaking me out: the water is deep, maybe I'll drown, I want to get it right.
As a kid, I couldn't stand on that diving board forever - there was a line behind me, waiting their turn, after all. So, finally, I took a deep breath and dove in. It wasn't pretty. I made a loud smack. It hurt. But, then, I came up for air. Swam over to the ladder. And got out to do it again.