Photography by Alissa Sandoval
When I looked out at the coral reef from inside my kayak, it was not anything impressive. I was able to spot a few rocks poking through the surface of the water and peer down at some sort of dark shapes, but that section of ocean basically looked like any other. That all changed once I got out and jumped in.
Streams of sunlight beamed down from above, illuminating an active and colorful other world. Yellow, white, blue and silver fish darted in and out of the coral. Octopuses slinked in the shadows, while sea turtles chilled near the surface.
Then, with a flash of silver and a surge of bubbles, a tiger shark darted out from behind some coral. Its dorsal fin stood threateningly erect and it seemed to snarl at me like a guard dog protecting its property.
Just kidding. I did not see a shark that day, but I did discover a world underwater that I never would have guessed existed from my view on the surface. All the hustle and bustle of the schools of fish, the colorful population of marine life that surrounded that reef, would have remained a mystery to me had I not gotten out of my kayak.
This issue of The Point has a very introspective focus. Instead of staying on the surface, we are diving down beneath the reflections and waves to a place completely submerged in who we are, not just who we appear to be. The world 100 feet down is like a foreign country compared to the way things work on the surface. Sometimes the things in the world beneath are so foreign, that we are unable to recognize them for what they are: the ultimate affecters of our actions.
In these pages, we had to stretch our lungs and test our swimming abilities in order to really go deeper. As the cover conveys, we can limit our view to the surface — the waves, the sun, the wind — and forget about the stuff underneath, the heart of the issue. By trading in our snorkels for scuba tanks, we tried to uncover the forgotten stuff deep down that nobody really sees from the surface, but has been there the whole time.
We want you to experience that exploration along with us as we discover the basis for issues such as self-esteem, expectations and even fashion.
We know people can have bad self-esteem or good self-esteem, but how does that come about, what shapes that and what does that actually look like in a person’s life? As we graduate college and enter the “real world,” is it healthy for us to have expectations of changing the world, or does that only prove detrimental to us in the long run? To many people, fashion is an avenue of self-expression and individualism, but do we ever recognize it as the God-ordained part of culture it is?
Although it may be painful, uncomfortable and require us to hold our breath for longer than we ever have before, realizing the specific emotions and reasons that constitute our existence can be so healthy and helpful for growth. If we remain clueless about the things below the surface, we will never have a complete understanding of who we really are.
So, get ready, take a deep breath and dive in.