Part of Your Ahhhh Don't Touch Me!

Part of Your Ahhhh Don't Touch Me!

A first time snorkeling experience told by someone who hates fish.
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A week ago I went to Maui, Hawaii for the first time and experienced so many things that I never would've thought I would have the chance or courage to do: I went to a luau, I ate fish, and I even swam with some. Well, I'm lying to be honest this wasn't actually the first time I have swam with sea creatures. I did participate once in swimming with baby sharks and stingrays at Typhoon Lagoon but I think I did to much woosey screaming and hyperventilating to make it count as a real first time snorkel event.

For someone who loves the aesthetics of mermaid life, I for one do not think I actually have what it takes to be a mermaid. Mostly because the idea of a fish touching me makes me want to gag.

This comes from the fact that I pet a dolphin long ago and it was way to slimy feeling than I thought it was going to be. Plus how could we forget Jaws the main cause of many ocean swimmers's fears and the final ruining of my mermaid dreams.


That being said, when I went on this trip and had the option of snorkeling as an activity, I finally decided I was going to face my fears and swim with some fishies gosh darn it. The mental preparation for the excursion was probably the most terrifying part as my mind was racked with thoughts such as: what if I got eaten by a a shallow water dwelling shark, what if a fish actually touched me, what if my red hair attracted a sea witch that would steal my voice, and what if I ended up in the eye of a Sharknado without my lucky chainsaw?

the terrifying possibilities were endless. However, I girded my loins, slipped on my flippers, and clumsily flopped into the ocean.

At first it wasn't terrifying, mostly because I was told that if you moved your arms around a lot the fish wouldn't bother you. So I pretty much looked like this the whole time I was in the water:

and needless to say that it did work and I was still able to see some pretty fish.

I was starting to get the reason on why people enjoy snorkeling, then of course the Godzilla of turtles started to stalk me. Now, was it cool to see the real "Crush" from Finding Nemo?

Yes, but then suddenly everywhere I went he followed. It was such a strange moment because I was struck between being in awe at a gorgeous animal following me and terrified because it was so massive. I actually had to take a break because I was tired from trying to out swim this turtle, and yes I know they are naturally slow but you try it and don't get tired!

Once I got back in the water after my mini break I decided that maybe this time I would be more comfortable, with the sea life and start to swim like a real mermaid for the fun of it. It was too convincing apparently, because five seconds later this scary dead eyed eel pops out of a coral and I am pretty sure it was about to ask me to follow it to a sea lair. I politely said no to the little guy by swimming away very quickly.

While in the process of swimming away I may have also choked a bit on sea water making the experience a little more terrifying.

When finally I got away and back to a calmer part of the area things settled down to where it was just me, some pretty yellow fish, ...and some guy with a spear swimming up behind me?

I guess you can fish in the same area where tourists are merrily floating along. And I know you can't really say excuse me with a snorkel in your mouth but you think there would be some way to tell someone "hey I'm coming up behind you with a harpoon please move".

As I'm staring at this spear the fisher had while he floats past me I then notice a string trailing behind it and attached to it which turns out to be 10 dead fish, that he had already caught,looking at me with faces that said "please help me!". That's when I decided it was really time to swim back at definitely Michael Phelps speed. Because where there is fish blood there will, probably but not very likely in such shallow waters, be sharks.

Despite all the terrible things that happened though, would I try snorkeling again? Yeah I think I would. It was a kind of creepy but also exciting experience that I would definitely try again. Just as long as there are no fishers.


Cover Image Credit: Wallpaper Abyss

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22 New Things That I Want To Try Now That I'm 22

A bucket list for my 22nd year.

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"I don't know about you but I'm feelin' 22," I have waited 6 long years to sing that and actually be 22! Now 22 doesn't seem like a big deal to people because you can't do anything that you couldn't do before and you're still super young. But I'm determined to make my 22nd year a year filled with new adventures and new experiences. So here's to 22.

1. Go sky diving.

What's crazier than jumping out of a plane? (Although I'll probably try indoor skydiving first.)

2. Go cliff jumping/diving.

I must be the only Rhode Islander who hasn't gone to Jamestown and jumped off a cliff.

3. Ride in a hor air balloon.

Up, up and away.

4. Try out skiing.

Cash me in the next Olympics, how bout dat.

5. Try out snow boarding.

Shawn White, I'm coming for you.

6. Go bungee jumping.

Because at least this time I'll be attached to something.

7. Go to Portugal.

I mean I'm Portuguese so I have to go at some point, right?

8. Go to Cape Verde.

Once again, I'm Cape Verdean so I have to go.

9. Vist one of the seven wonders of the world.

I mean hey, Egypt's on, my bucket list.

10. Try out surfing.

It's only natural that somebody from the Ocean State knows how to surf.

11. Learn a new langauge.

Because my little bit of Portuguese, Spanish and Latin isn't cutting it anymore.

12. Travel to a state that I've never been to before.

Fun fact: I've only been to 17 of the 50 states.

13. Go paddle boarding.

Pretty boring but I've never done it.

14. Go scuba diving.

I'm from the Ocean State so I guess I should see the ocean up close and personal.

15. Learn how to line dance.

There's actually a barn in my state that does line dancing, so this one will definitely get crossed off.

16. Go kayaking.

All this water around me and I haven't done a lot of the water activites.

17. Stay the night in a haunted hotel room.

I bet if I got my friends to come with me, it would be like the Suite Life of Zach and Cody episode, minus the ghost coming out of the wall but you never know.

18. Get my palms read.

Because who doesn't want to know their future.

19. Go to a medium.

Like a medium that can communicate with people that have died.

20. Take a helicopter ride.

Air plane: check Helicopter:....

21. Sleep under the stars.

Because sleeping in a tent is more like glamping than camping

22. Just to try new things in my everyday life.

Whether it's trying a new restaurant, getting something different at my usual restaurants, changing my usual style, going on the scary rides at amusement parks, and bringing things I used to do back into my life now.

Cover Image Credit:

Author's illustration

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Minimum Wage Says A Lot About Our Country, And Not In A Positive Way

It's basically saying that if employers were able to get away with paying their employees literally nothing, they would.

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Minimum wage is defined as "the lowest wage permitted by law or by a special agreement (such as one with a labor union)." It's also the amount of money that every high school and college student makes working part-time summer jobs.

In most cases, the minimum amount that a worker must be paid is set by each state's law, though the federal government has set a $7.25 an hour baseline that has not changed in almost a decade. The state wages, however, have increased over time due to inflation. The minimum wage in some states is higher than it is in others.

BUT the amount of pay is hardly enough for anyone to live on.

If you think about the term "minimum wage," it's basically saying that if employers were able to get away with paying their employees literally nothing, they would.

(Though with the Trump administration, I would not be surprised if a bill making that legal was ever introduced. But anyway.)

I hate to say it, but America is a country literally run by corporations and the one percent. And those corporations and one-percenters have absolutely no sympathy for the working, middle and lower classes. You know, 99 percent of the country?

So a corporation's profits may go up, but those profits will certainly not be passed on the store employees.

In 2016, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York passed legislation that the statewide minimum wage would increase to $15 by 2021. Many business owners complained that this would lower employment and kill the economy.

However, studies have shown that higher wages put more money into the pockets of workers. And these workers, in turn, put more money into the economy by buying things. Because, you know, they can now afford them.

Not to mention, higher pay at their jobs could mean that employees are happier at said jobs, ensuring better service and increased profits for the businesses in question.

And trust me, the billionaire CEOs of major corporations will never be short of money, even if they did start paying their employees a decent amount. They're just greedy.

Look at the tax scam bill that Congress just passed back in February. The tax cuts are for big business and those making six figures a year, including the politicians. The rest of the country? We get to pay higher taxes! Yay for the GOP-written bill!

This means that those of us who are stuck working one or more minimum wage jobs have to then turn around and use our meager paychecks not only to pay taxes but to feed ourselves, continue to pay rent/mortgage and provide for our families if we have them.

Minimum wage is a reflection of how the U.S. runs on capitalism, and capitalism can kill the middle and lower classes - aka average Americans.

Cover Image Credit:

https://pixabay.com/en/american-bills-business-cheque-1239040/

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