I have always wondered what it would be like to have a dream come true. How would it feel, in that moment, heart pumping overtime and adrenaline rushing, smiling from  ear to ear, to know that you’ve finally accomplished what you would lie awake at night thinking about, the first thing to cross your mind every time you wished on the nights first star or a coin tossed into a fountain?

As of a few days ago, I was able to answer that question. And let me tell you – it felt pretty amazing.

As is mentioned in several songs, one of which by Disney, a dream is a wish your heart makes. Sometimes, the criteria upon which your heart makes that wish is questionable, but the heart wants what the heart wants. And once it decides what it wants, it will make every effort to see its wishful dream turn into reality.

Some dreams can be accomplished by hard work, determination, and skill. Others, simply luck. And others just require a little extra success in the wishing department (or, in my case, the vocalization of such wishes and dreams to my personal wish granting department, otherwise known as my lovely parents).

A few years ago, I departed on a March Break trip with my Mom, Dad, and younger sister. Our trip began in Atlanta, Georgia.

As you may recall from one of my earlier posts, my favorite animals are sharks. Because of this, I love the Ocean, and all things in it. So, it was fitting that our travel itinerary included a visit to the Georgia Aquarium.

Upon arrival, I was stunned by the sheer size of the building, and then again once inside by the amazing and intriguing animals inside. The highlight of my visit to the Aquarium was seeing the Whale Sharks. Called the Gentle Giants of the Ocean, they are massive in size, and surprisingly peaceful for animals of their size.

The Georgia Aquarium is home to four beautifully majestic whale sharks, the only aquarium outside of Asia to boast this title.

As I watched the sharks swim around, surrounded by other incredible animals, including manta rays, zebra sharks, and a plethora of large fish, a sign caught my eye. Soon, the message on the sign had enveloped me. It advertised what to me looked like the experience of a lifetime; the opportunity to swim with whale sharks.

I left the Aquarium that day with one clear thought in my mind: I needed to go back. Several years later, I finally did. I was now old enough to meet the eligibility criteria, and I was even more excited than I had been on my initial visit.

Swimming with the whale sharks was an incredible experience, one that I will not soon forget. Though I have the entire experience on video recording, some parts of it cannot be captured through images or words, like the feeling as I stood in a wet suit on the deck to what looked like a giant pool but housed magnificent creatures, or the feeling when the whale shark passed underneath me, once brushing my leg.

It was in moments like these, with my body tensed up and the sensation of not being able to move, but with a gigantic smile on my face, that I was reminded of what I was doing: living out my dream.

I am so happy, not to mention fortunate, to have had the incredible experience to be so close to whale sharks and see their beauty and grace up close. But many people in the world don’t know of these things.

Whale sharks, like other sharks, are evil, they think, and deserve to be killed in the startlingly large amounts that they are. Some people look at sharks and, instead of seeing beautiful creatures, see money signs.

This doesn’t just go for sharks, but also the environment. I think if everyone in the world had a chance to swim with whale sharks, they would realize how precious the Ocean, and the environment are – not to mention how precious life itself is.

It is true that time is like the ocean, as you can only hold a small bit of it in your hand. However, as I swam with whale sharks, and fulfilled my dream, I felt as if time, and the amazingness of life, were infinite, and that is a feeling that I will treasure forever.