I look over my shoulder and six months of 2014 are riddled with footprints in the tides of my life. Without being a Debbie Downer, it’s been a personal roller coaster for my family and friends. But, in the greater scheme of things, I’m a big lover of interpreting life through the eyes of sociology, philosophical standards and gender roles.
With that in mind, when I took on the challenge of telling my protagonist’s story in Ameera Unveiled, I decided to share the challenge of facing forbidden zones, of growing up at the end of the Baby Boomer Era, and of approaching empty nesting. In spite of so many broken social barriers before 1958, there were still prejudices, expectations or even complacent pools directed at various communities.
In that light, I explored my character’s desire to recognize and release herself from the shackles of generally accepted standards as a female through no fault of any one message. Ameera faced many unknowns which included risk and vulnerability, conquering single parenting, dance and fear of spotlights. She wanted to find freedom…
In my own reality, I took baby steps to recover many adventures and experiences that my peers had done decades earlier. One of my freedom goals was to face my fear of the sea. I’d almost drowned twice in my childhood and didn’t develop strong water skills. But, in my late 30’s, I decided to immerse myself into scuba diving. It wasn’t (and sometimes isn’t) an easy experience.
Why do I do it? Because in seeking the freedom of that fear— I relinquish old tapes and restrictions. Each time I do so it forces me to face another battlefield for personal independence.
So, as I descend into open water, I give up my land sense. I become part of Mother Nature’s food chain. But, when I enter the wonderful ecosystem I submit to neutral buoyancy. Weightless and exploring the symbiotic world of fish, sponges, corals, turtles and other macro factors— there is a release, a sobering freedom. I experience a dance world in the sea. As a guest, I observe an innate choreography and absorb soulful saturations of the senses.
However, as I plan to dive, my mother (who loves to watch forensics and ID) frets if she hears of our scuba trips. She has a rule: “Don’t tell me you went diving until you get home.”
I respect the boundaries of her personal right to pursue happiness on land. So, as my husband and I headed to Cozumel in May, 2014 to wash off some of the heaviness of the year—I decided to take my mom diving with me. I wanted to share my sense of abandonment and allow her to observe the amazing world sixty feet deep through my regulator and camera.
I’d never made a YouTube video with transitions and music but I think it summed up the ability to turn off our mortal misperception of global dominance. Under water with the fishies, I can escape politics, cultures, ethnicities, genres and lack of moral compasses.
Between dives, I will face my daily responsibilities to battle societal rights and wrongs that have no clear lines in this millennium. But, abandoning terra firma and hear Enya’s Caribbean Blue and Lionel Ritchie’s One World as I chat with the fish—- refreshing. It helps release me from the challenges of everyday life. And it reminds me I am part of a larger global existence than just Kat Varn.
Freedom from labels— American woman, daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend. As I swim with the fishies, I’m reminded that I am a member of the school of life, sorting and balancing my destiny.
Enjoy the view!