Who are we, and what are we doing here?

It's 2020. Our collective 2020 has probably been pretty similar, so I won't bore you with words like, "unprecedented" and "new normal." Instead, I'll introduce myself and tell you why I'm here, and maybe you'll stick around. 

My name is Ruth. I'm a Mexican lady who likes things like Kevin Smith movies and the Foo Fighters and Cafe Tacvba. I am expert in nothing, and didn't really have any hobbies to speak of, until 8 years ago, when I went to Puerto Vallarta with my boyfriend to celebrate my 30th birthday. We sat through a 90 minute time share presentation so we could do a Discover SCUBA session for free. My boyfriend (who is now my husband) had always wanted to go diving, he just never had the chance. I was terrified, but my reasons were silly. Most people say they feel claustrophobic, or they're not comfortable breathing underwater, but not me. What was my problem? Get this: I didn't like the idea of fish touching me. Why? I don't know. What did fish ever do to me? Nothing. 

We sat through the presentation, were repeatedly adamant about not wanting to purchase a time share, and off we went on our Discover SCUBA adventure. Much to our delight, we were the only ones who chose the SCUBA option. The instructor gave us our briefing, I got into a wetsuit for the first time in my life, I put my mask on, stuck the regulator in my mouth and took a deep breath. The water was nice and warm, so every step in the water was comforting. When we were in the water and it was time, my boyfriend and I looked at each other, and took our newly learned "descend" hand signal for a test drive. The descent was slow and I held my boyfriend's hand tighter than I ever had. I cleared my ears whenever I had to, and we made it to the bottom. I remember trying to so hard not to kick up sand or touch anything around me (out of respect for the ocean and, you know, the fear of anything touching me). For a few short moments, I had to remind myself to breathe. I was very aware of my inhales and exhales, constantly looking at my gauges so I wouldn't run out of air. We swam around a small area, but for my very first dive ever, I'd say it was pretty successful. We saw a turtle and a sea horse, which, I didn't realize at the time, what an amazing thing that was. 

I know you're wondering, and don't worry: nothing touched me. In fact, a few minutes in, I stopped worrying about anything. I was in awe. I was overwhelmed by this part of the world I had never experienced. For the first time in my life, I was IN the moment. I've never been able meditate, or relax when getting a massage; my brain is ALWAYS on. This time, though, I focused only on my breathing, and on taking in the environment around me. When we got out of the water, my husband and I looked at each other and decided to get certified as soon as we got home. That was in September of 2012. By November, we were open water certified. 

We spent most weekends going to Laguna Beach to dive. We went on a few all day boat trips to Catalina, and had the time of our lives. A year after we got certified, we went to Cozumel, in Mexico and I was officially hooked. I fell in love with the Palancar Reef and all the dives there. 

From then on, all of our gifts to each other were dive related. Every single vacation has been a dive trip. When we got married in 2017, we went to Belize to dive the Blue Hole. My husband eventually became an instructor. We discovered a thing that we love and could do together, but more importantly, I found a passion I couldn't stop thinking about. I grew increasingly concerned with the ocean and its inhabitants.

Fast forward to 2020. I was furloughed from my job and decided that I would focus on the things that I always said I didn't have time for. I cleaned a lot, got caught up on laundry, lost a little bit of weight, and launched this site. Why? Because I want you to love the ocean, too. I want you to worry about the sea life that depends on the coral reefs that are dying. I want you to not be scared of sharks. I want you to get excited at the idea of seeing a sea horse. I want you to make a difference by buying something here, knowing that a portion of the profits will go to conservation efforts around the world. 

I also want you to just come here to read a fun(?) story and get to know me, and what I'm trying to do here. Sometimes, we'll figure that out together. So know you know a bunch about me, how I came to love the ocean, and we'll dig into that a little more later. We'll talk about other things like, why is diving as cool as I say it is? Why is reef conservation important? What are some diving tips for beginners? We'll talk about movies about the ocean, and I'll tell you some of my favorites. Every now and then, maybe I won't talk at all. Maybe I'll get some of my friends to guest blog for you. Who knows? We're on this roller coaster together. Thanks for joining me.