2010, Ireland.

My mom had come to visit me while I was living in Glasgow and we took a nice long trip to Ireland with lots of time for tours and exploring. I had been to Ireland before – as you may remember from the day I cried at Burger King or my recap of bathrooms in the country – but I was happy to be back, because Ireland is one of my favourite places on earth and we were going to visit a couple of towns I hadn’t gotten a chance to go to.

One of those towns was Dingle.

Funny name, adorable town.

Dingle

It was pouring rain while we were there (RAIN?! IN IRELAND?!) so we ran around trying to find something fun to do indoors.

That’s when we found this guy.

Pirate

“Arrrr,” he said to us (in my mind), “Welcome to Ocean World!”

For a girl who is terrified of the water, I love me a good aquarium. I think part of it is the anticipation of sheer terror. Kind of like when I was five and I was TERRIFIED of Harry and the Hendersons, but I watched it on a loop. I’ve seen that movie so many times, I could reenact it for you right now if you asked.

Okay, not right now, I’m busy blogging.

SIDENOTE: But that one scene where you see an extreme close-up of Harry through the viewfinder thing on the gun? GET OUT OF HERE. Scariest scene. I used to have to watch it through my hands. Scratch that – I probably still would.

The aquarium was awesome. Not huge, but it had a large variety of species. They even had sharks, which was cool.

Sharks

I could be scared and marvel at them from behind glass. Great.

But then we got to the end of the exhibit and we hit a huge road block.

A shark tunnel.

You know what I’m talking about, right? When aquariums have huge tanks with tunnels built into them that you have to walk through?

They’re one of my biggest fears. Because I’m terrified of the water AND sharks (and fish, really) and standing under glass makes me panic because I feel like (A) I’m in the water, and/or (B) the glass is going to break and we’re all going to die.

“Where’s the exit?” I asked nervously.

“Through there,” my mom replied, “Let’s go.”

“Are you kidding me?! I can’t!”

I scanned my surroundings. There was no other way to get out of the aquarium, save going all the way back to the entrance, which felt like it was miles away at that point.

“Shit!”

“Just walk through. It’s no big deal.”

(THANKS, MOM.)

I took one look at my mom, took a deep breath, and I ran.

Shark Tunnel

My mom thought it was super funny that I was running, so she walked behind me and took a photo.

I honestly didn’t breathe until I got to the other side. Then I waited for like, 10 minutes while my mom casually perused EVERY FISH IN THE TUNNEL.

Lesson learned: I have my brave moments.

OR

Maybe our fears only exist until we have to face them.

JUST KIDDING. Still 100% scared shitless of sharks and water.

xA

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