Reading my last post, you may have worried that I was unhappy the past three months. You also may have worried that I am a total brat and should shut up and be happy I’m not in a working at Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Stand in Albany, New York.
I appreciate the concern, but its not necessary. I’ve already admitted to my initially troubled relationship with Cayman, but my affection for this island grew slowly and steadily until now, when I can genuinely say I feel sadness at leaving.
Cayman’s greatest asset is the water and that is where I found a lot of peace this summer. Since learning to dive last year, I looked forward to dives and genuinely enjoyed it as a hobby. I still struggled with key components like buoyancy and control of my movements. But as with all great things, practice makes competence. Between diving for fun with Mark, for education by completing more courses, and for work doing underwater video, I developed a comfort and appreciation for the underwater world. And then I bought my underwater digital camera. In the first week I went for four dives. And it was on one of them, gliding through the water slowly, quietly, I realized I was at peace. And I was in love. I promise not to get all third-eye spiritual on you here, but I’ve realized that diving is my meditation. I’ve never really been able to master that in the yoga studio, where my mind tends to fall to how many minutes are left in the class or what I’m eating for lunch. But down below, where total silence and slow movements take over, my mind can abandon the stresses above. Holding a camera and seeing things through a lens allowed me to even more appreciate the beauty of what I was seeing.
Photography was, of course, a massive part of my summer. While it was tough to accept that I was going to be having a profitless summer for the first time in years, once I moved past that I realized I could not have asked for a better internship experience. From working with Heather I have developed a diverse portfolio, a great reference, a summers worth of experience, and a great friendship.
And that was not the only friendship I made. Through the amazing diving community in Cayman Mark and I were able to make so many great friends, many of whom I know are friends for life. On my leaving night I looked around and felt lucky to have met so many funny, smart, kind people that are all out living their dreams. I was surrounded by great examples every day of the kind of life I want to lead. And that is the most valuable thing I will take away from Grand Cayman.