The pool I swim in is a typical Olympic sized swimming pool, divided into three large lanes by floating plastic lane dividers. Within each wide lane are three smaller lanes, divided visually by wide stripes of blue tiles on the floor of the pool.
When I swim I like to be next to a lane divider. For some reason, it gives me a feeling of security. With a lane divider to one side, and a blue stripe of tiles on the other, I have boundaries around me. I swim in a straight line, 50 yards in each direction. When I started I was swimming about 10 laps. Now I'm swimming 20 or 22 laps. 36 laps (down and back) equal one mile. So I'm swimming a little over a half mile.
Often I am swimming at the end of the lap period, and just prior to an exercise class. If I am really pushing it to the end of lap swim, the lifeguard releases the pool dividers from one end, and walks around to the other end to pull them out of the water. This is invisible to me until the lane divider starts to float in odd directions, towards me or away from me. When the divider is pulled from the pool, suddenly my boundaries are gone. I am swimming in the same pool, in the same direction; it is the same size. But suddenly my marker is gone, and I feel... a little lost, a little frightened actually. I begin to feel anxious.
This is what I feel like now that the idea of coming out has sprouted from a tiny seed, and is beginning to take root. Someone has pulled out my lane dividers. I am swimming in a larger pool, one that is just a little more anxiety-producing for me. I keep looking at the blue lines on the bottom... the ground of the pool. They are still there. If I keep my eye on them, I think I will be alright.
It's going to be longer than a half mile though. By a long shot.