Last Saturday, I checked it off the bucket list.
The Thursday before, I was writing in my journal, musing about my upcoming decision. While skydiving is fairly safe, 1 in 100,000 don’t make it, and those are WAAAAY higher odds than winning the lottery.
“I want to be at peace with my choice. Yes, if I forgo it, I’m safer. But at what cost? Letting the fear win is NOT the answer.
This experience, skydiving, is symbolic. Will I fly, or fall? Will I let my fear consume me and back down?
I’ve been living in fear. Not all the time, not dramatically. But it’s there. The fear of failure, the fear of shame, of guilt, the fear of not being good enough.
It’s no way to live.
To live, truly live, is to be afraid, and push on. It’s barreling through the fears that serve no purpose and becoming experienced in rejection and failure, sheltered by your own strength to be able to continue on.
I’m scared. Of course I am. We don’t know what it’s like. Dying. Or what is after, yet we all must do it. If there was a time for dying, could it be any more fitting for me to go while skydiving? While we may agree that going quietly in bed is best, going out while living, really living, is… beautiful.” – Thursday June 23 2016
I didn’t know what would happen. Of course, the realistic part of me was telling me I’d be fine. There wouldn’t be a whole industry around it if everyone died while doing it. But still, that small part of me couldn’t help but add “if we survive” to anyone’s plans for us past our Saturday fall. It was a fear of the unknown. A fear of doing something insane, scary, crazy… and failing. Or in this case, falling.
I found that as I thought about it, and worked my head around it, this jump was significant, and symbolized more than just falling out of a plane at 14,000 feet. It was how I’d live my life. Will I not go big at opportunities because I was too afraid of failing? Would I miss out on my chance to fly? Even with really great odds, are we willing to go for it?
“Sam brought me to the opening.
It wasn’t what I’d thought it would be. I didn’t get lifetimes to consider my actions. I didn’t get to examine the wing, the sky, or how dangerously far from the earth we were. Standing on the step outside, feeling the icy cool breeze despite being in the heat of summer, I vaguely realized that Sam was rocking, and the 3rd rock was our cue to fall.
And we fell.” – Monday June 27 2016
And we fell. Are you taking the metaphorical “fall” in your life? Are you trusting in your abilities, trusting in your odds, trusting in your acceptance of failing and re-doing enough to go for it, and survive? They say that “If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.” But most other activities in life, even those we consider risky, do not have such an expiration rate for failing. MOST things we do or actions we could take DON’T end in death, and yet we are scared of them all the same.
Why? Why do we let these fears control us? Why not put our minds to the wind, breathe the brisk air and and devilishly face failure straight up while trusting that we’ll be okay?
Sometimes we have to fall, to fly.