<h1>Derin<h1/>~ [[deep waters]]
I was born in Shreveport, Louisiana at 2:05 in the morning. I was 6 pounds 5 ounces and it took me an entire 7 seconds to take my first breath. I was early and I chose to come into the world head first. Solidifying that I was rebellious even before I could gasp for air. My name, Derin, was given to me on the spot and was chosen by my grandmother. It is the Turkish word for deep waters. I was the only Derin in the hospital that night and I am still the only Derin at UNH today. My name has been a given differentiator, along with the father in the military and 4 separate home towns. A constant in my life has been that I am different, I have never had an issue with someone forgetting who I was. This is a blessing and a curse. The water has always been my [[safe place]], whether it was a swim practice, surfing, or just being at the beach [[I long for it.|Fearing Trust]] Surfing legend Frosty Hesson once said “We all come from the sea, but we are not all of the sea. Those of us who are, we children of the tides, must return to it again and again, until one day we don’t come back leaving only that which was touched along the way.” I fear landlocked areas, being trapped in once place surrounded on every side by ground makes me anxious. Maybe it was moving so many times, or my longing for change but the constant movtion of the waves helps to keep me grounded. I have found over the years that valuable connections with people are harder to come by. So real relationships become less routine and important, while my connections with my surroundings grow. Basically I spend a lot of time by myself. In the least cliché way possible I have trust issues. I am not alone in that. For the purposes of this essay I surveyed about 30 friends and family on their perception of trust. 38% of them said they have issues trusting people. That same percentage would also not lend a stranger $5 and an even larger amount, 57%, would not lend their friends money. The Oxford Dictionary defines trust as “a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.”. Trust issues can mean you have a hard time trusting people or you are too trusting. The best part about [[the ocean]] is you don’t have to worry about trusting it, it will remain without fail. The tides will change, the waves will break, but the ocean doesn’t leave.
[[The Sunlight Zone|Epipelagic Zone]]
[[The Twilight Zone|Mesopelagic Zone]]
[[The Midnight Zone|Bathypelagic Zone]]
[[The Abyss|Abyssopelagic Zone]]
[[The Trenches|Hadapelagic Zone]]
[[The End]]Epipelagic Zone
<l1>The top layer of the ocean is referred to as the Sunlight zone, or Epipelagic zone. It lies from the surface to 656 feet below the surface. Light and heat are abundant in this layer and pressure is minimal. Almost all oceanic and human activity occur in this zone. This is where coral reefs are found. This is where I flourish, first impressions. When I was in the 7th grade a woman told me that I should strive every day to make one person smile. The best part about doing this to a stranger is they don’t know you and they don’t need to. This is where you get the I love community service, and never frown Derin. It’s the face I put on when I teach swim lessons, and let me tell you it is exhausting. I asked the question “Who would give a stranger $5?” specifically for this top layer. 61% of people surveyed would. I would give a stranger $5, mostly because I am too uncomfortable to deny someone I don’t know. I think this layer may be the one I like the most because it requires the least amount of openness. You present a completely fabricated persona to a someone who will never see you again and you can change their life. It’s great because it shows that you don’t have to be having a good day to help someone else enjoy theirs. Maybe it is the most beneficial layer because this is the one that most of the world sees. I hope that everyone is using this layer to make someone, anyone’s day just little bit brighter.<l1/>
<l1>In the layer before the surface you find your most bizarre animals. At the Twilight or Mesopelagic Zone, you can find the swordfish and the wolf eel. Sun rays are able to penetrate this layer. I would put my large group of high school friends there. The “closest” 17 girls you have ever seen… she says sarcastically. This is where you find the girls who you trusted enough to share who you had a crush on. Knowing they probably went and told someone immediately after. They know when your sad, but only care to ask why so they can tell someone else. I regard this layer with the most disdain. it is where you find your most superficial relationships. The ones that can be advertised on social media but won’t contain any substance other than a few likes on Instagram. I avoid them like the plague when I am home from school, but know it is only a matter of time until I get sucked into another draining, wholeheartedly shallow Instagram photo opportunity. This would probably be the list of girls that gets added into your wedding only after you cringe knowing they really added nothing beneficial to your life as a whole, but would somehow still manage to cause a commotion if not welcomed.<l1/>
<l1>The Midnight or Bathypelagic Zone, this is the last zone that natural light can be seen by sea creatures. Whale species have been found at this level searching for food. Most of the animals that live here are black or red due to the low level of light penetration. Pressure is still intense here however, many animal species have been found to survive regardless. This is where my close college friends are. They haven’t seen train wreck high school Derin, but they have had a taste of the new slightly less wrecked college Derin. Whether it’s my roommate who, god bless her, takes care of me on the weekends or my big who has been my person from the start. These relationships have a lighter air, they aren’t weighed down by the mistakes and loss that others have gone through with me. It doesn’t mean that I think they would not be able to handle that weight; we just haven’t had to deal with it. Together we have suffered through hard tests, bad grades, and sometimes even worse dining hall food. <l1/>
<l1>The zone before the Trenches is called “the Abyss” technically referred to as the Abyssopelagic Zone. Located at approximately 13,124 and 19,686 feet below sea level. The water temperature is almost freezing at this level due to the lack of light penetration. The majority of the ocean floor lies within this zone. The weight of the water at this level allows for only sea stars and squids to survive. This zones name was coined from the Greek language. It can be loosely translated to “no bottom”. Most of my baggage can be found here, my best friends, current and ex-boyfriends know this layer well. Here you find my fear of being alone, and death. You know that suicide and mental health issues are important to me, and you know why. If I bring you here, you know that I start celebrating Christmas in November because there are two deaths to mourn on December 1st. You might know about how I was raised, and why I never will put my children through what I went through. You will know that I am tough because there was no other way, and that I push those I care most about away. Most importantly you know that once you have reached this layer I will care about you forever because you have cared for me.
When I inquired in my survey who it was that knows everything about you, one person put “you”. I knew who it was without even having to ask. There is something to be said for the friends you have had almost your entire life. My best friend can finish my sentences, with one look she will know exactly what I am thinking, and even though she is across the country we still talk every day. She has been my best friend since the 6th grade and together we have conquered every major and minor life event together. Lily is the person I call when everything is going perfectly, and when I just can’t seem to do anything right. I appreciate her brutal honesty when I am about to make a horrible decision, and her support when she knows that there are just somethings that will make me happy. I do not have the words meaningful enough to express my gratitude for her friendship. She is truly one of the strongest, and best friends I have ever had. <l1>
<l1>The deepest part of the ocean is commonly referred to as “The Trenches” or the Hadalpelagic Zone. This level of the ocean is between 19,686 and 36,100 feet below the water’s surface. The deepest trench to ever be explored by man was 35,797 feet below and is called Japan’s Marina Trench. Natural light does not reach this part of the ocean and the pressure is so intense that most of the creatures capable of living here are invertebrates. Similar to the deepest part of the ocean only one person has ever explored this layer of my being, he was my best friend. Now I know what you are thinking, a boy, this never works out. This was a high school romance gone wrong, a failed attempt at first love, and in a way it was. We became friends when I was a junior in high school. I was freshly out of what I thought was the greatest relationship I could ever have. We bonded over a similar sense of humor, a shared enjoyment of drinking, and the ability to talk for hours without pause. His mom was put in rehab that year, and I experienced firsthand the effects of a culture that has allowed sexual violence to be swept under the rug. Fresh friends brought together through grief and mutual support we found ourselves in the uncomfortable limbo that is [[‘are we friends or are we more than friends?’]].<l1/>
<l2>He truly saw me for everything that I was, the good and the bad, and I broke his heart. He was the first person to really show me that [[I was special.]] To this day I still [[do not have words meaningful enough]] for the apology he deserves. When 50% of people responded to my survey saying that there is no one that knows everything about you I was surprised. In vain I thought to myself that it isn’t fair that the one person who does know everything about me is no longer communicating with me. Maybe I am not the only person afraid to [[let people in|I saw him]]. </l2>
It’s hard to portray someone that you care about in a way that fully embodies everything they are to you. I feel as though nothing that I can say or write will accurately depict everything he was to me. Someday, when I am able to find the words I hope he will be ready to hear them. He wrote once:
"There is no replacing her. I don't want to. It's funny how one person can change your view of things, like the weather. Rain reminded me of being with her that one day. Now it reminds me of missing her. Sunshine was almost hopeful as I was excited to spend what time I could with her in the summer. I hope she knows she's special."
"I do miss her. I love her. I don't need her but I really want her. This isn't profound or a poem, this is me saying I love you. I love every part, feature, everything. The way you laugh, your humor. You're too good for him and he doesn't see how special you are. He is a fool and doesn't deserve you, neither do I. No one does."Weakened in a time where I wasn’t sure how to trust someone again I felt safe with him. He protected me and made sure I always knew no matter what I would be okay, it was through him that I found strength again. He saw the me in the darkest part of my life, when I was selfish and self-destructive and he loved me regardless. We would spend hundreds of hours laying out on the pavement behind our middle school talking about life until the sun began to rise. He understood my humor, and my tough exterior knowing beneath it was so much more. I allowed all of this to happen knowing deep down that I wasn’t ready to be the person he was for me in return. His sincerity scared me, so I did what I do best, I pushed him away.I Saw Him
Before I knew him I used to compliment his eyes in passing. They are a bright blue, and I would call them “Beautiful”. I know them now very well. I have seen them glow. It is surreal to watch someone love you when you are doing something that seems so ordinary. We would be driving and laughing about something and I would look over, he would already be staring. It was as if he saw me for the first time every time. His face cocked to one side appearing almost childlike, masked with vulnerability unbeknownst to himself. His eyes turned up, and scrunched in the corners seem to be radiating. He would half grin, shaking his head as if to snap out of it but the look never went away completely. My darkest thoughts and my hardest days have sometimes been saved by that look. It’s the one that shows great love, the kind that people write books about.
I have also watched them turn grey, filled with tears. I wish I could have stopped them and I think the worst part was I knew I could. The ocean is mysterious, full of layers, and creatures most of the world has never seen. Maybe my connection with the sea is destiny, or maybe just a few crossed lines. Maybe I, a child of the tide am destined to return, and people were meant to hurt me so I would always turn to the waves. Maybe life gave me him to show me that one day I will find my safe place with someone. Until then I will continue my fake smiling to strangers, eye rolling at frenemies, laughing with the people I love, and hopefully someday finding the words to say I am sorry.