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Although I woke up that morning and most likely performed my usual routine, I cannot recall what was going through my mind. I can tell you for sure that I had no idea that day would end up altering the way I value life. Before the sun ruptured the stillness of the morning sky I was already in the car, asleep, as my parents were headed to a lake. On that nippy Saturday morning, my father and I were hoping to complete the testing that promised us our scuba diving licenses. We underwent the customary routine of donning our gear and followed the instructor carefully beneath the murky waters. At twelve, and the youngest of the group, I felt the need to prove my merit to the adults sneering at my incompetence. I heeded the instructor’s words carefully and followed closely behind him.
While I proceeded cautiously into the unfamiliar waters, the depth began to drastically increase whilst the temperature steadily declined. At certain points, the only sight I could muster was that of my hands and the fins of the person directly in front of me. Exhausting myself in this harsh terrain for some time, I realized my mask was unexpectedly filling with water. Under standard procedure, I began to purge the fluid to regain my ability to see and breathe. Several minutes passed, and the same problem struck me once more. I swam as quickly as I could to the instructor and displayed the signal alluding to the loss of oxygen in my tank. Before I could clearly present it to him, my lungs stopped functioning. As a natural reflex, my mouth gaped open, only to be filled with water.
Choked and passed out, all I remember was a vast white aura enveloping me. The first thing I thought was, is this the renowned light at the end of the tunnel? Although I felt calm in it, I realized that my parents would not receive a final good-bye. Furthermore, the dreams I had for the future were going to depart with me that instant. As I saw the light emanating with brightness, I immediately began to fight an unknown entity to resurrect myself. At the last second when the light was most intense, I opened my mouth, and once again felt the crisp open air seep into my lungs.
The life I choose to live, and the choices I make for the remainder of my existence were changed by the two abrupt minutes when I was unconscious. I came to the realization that the dreams I almost lost, had been given another chance. Those aspirations will not go unanswered, because I have become determined and committed to any task I attempt. Realizing that there is much to see and learn, I now seek adventure even if it entails risk. Two weeks after the incident, I revisited the lake, returning home not only with a certification, but a new mindset ready to pummel any obstacle treading my way.
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