22 March 2014
PBDC Day 22/31: Morning
I do this because I was on a submarine.
Yes, I've been out for almost ten years, but what I experienced and learned while in the US Navy (not to be confused with Old Navy, which I'm still happy to be with), applies to my life every single day and helps me to appreciate what's around me.
Let's just be out with it: There are no windows on submarines. Yeah, I know the Yellow Submarine, Nemo's Adventure at Disneyland, blazi, blazi, blah. But on actual functioning, deploying, diving, Silent Service submarines there are no windows or portholes to "watch the fish swim by" or "look to see where you are."
There are so many things that I appreciate so much more after having served aboard a submarine than before, one of which is natural light. Think of all those times you turned on a lamp out of habit instead of opening the blinds or drawing the curtains? If given a choice, I go with sunlight every time. It just feels better. Really.
Those days when you walk outside and literally stop for a couple seconds to feel the sun warm your face? When's the last time you did that in a hallway under fluorescent lights or LED lamps? That's right, you didn't.
I fully recognize that there are billions of people who will never experience the privilege (or sentence) of serving aboard a vessel devoid of windows and natural light like the USS Hyman G Rickover, SSN-709, but that doesn't mean you can't appreciate things many still take for granted.
Like that coffee maker on your counter, or that toaster. Or that water heater, oven, or dishwasher. Or those windows in your apartment that you live in by yourself with out hundreds of other people in the room with you. Or fresh vegetables and fruit.
I'm very proud to have served in the Navy, but also a little bit ashamed that it took me such a drastic lifestyle change to appreciate things I was privileged to have as a child, and still today. Like I said, you don't need to serve in the military to appreciate certain things (like those who served in the military), you just have to open your eyes are really see. Open your mind and really feel.
Open your heart and really live.