Stop waiting…Just Close Your Eyes And Jump!

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“We’re born, we live,  we die.”

Frankly, I never cared much for this particular quote. It sounds positively dismal to me.  As if, what’s the point?

Surely that’s not all there is to our existence?

Yet for some, somewhere between the “we’re born” and “we die” part of this phrase… they’ve stopped “living”.  Why is that?

When we began this journey as children, we started out by putting everything in our mouths that wasn’t nailed down. Complete sensory overload and we tried it all with great gusto.  The world was one big, bright, shiny, exciting, new adventure. We pushed every limit.  We ran before ready, we fell down while learning to ride our bikes.  Getting back up wasn’t an option.  Of course we would.

We were fearless then..

But somewhere along the way, some of us lost that youthful sense of wonderment.  We stopped trying new things, believing in the impossible…

When was it exactly, that we stopped getting up when we fell down?

Was it a divorce?  The death of a loved one?  An illness?  A betrayal?  An accident?  What was it that took away the wonder of life?  For most, it is not a difficult question.  They know exactly when the flame died inside.

I’ve had people tell me, “That’s just life, Michele.  We all grew up, that’s all.  Shit happens.  Life is just really hard.”

Yes it is.  Life is certainly filled with an abundance of doubt about it.

But here’s a fun fact:

Jumping out of an airplane at 10,000 feet, it takes approximately 60.5 seconds to touch back down again with earth.  60.5 seconds.  

What this means to me, metaphorically speaking of course, is that the thing I would fear most in the world…would be over in one minute.

This makes me also think about all the personal inner chaos that would take place before I  actually jumped.  The training.  The white-knuckle anticipation.  The sleepless night before the jump, questioning over and over and over, “Why was I thinking it was a good idea to jump out of a perfectly good airplane?”

Then, there’s boarding the plane.  Checking my equipment. Praying.  Lots of praying…  My heart racing, my hands shaking.  And all for 60.5 seconds of doing something unfamiliar to me.  After all, isn’t this the stuff nightmares are made of?   And yet, it would all be over in one minute..

It got me thinking…Maybe as we have aged, we’ve gotten our feet too firmly planted on the ground.  Could it be that we’ve gotten so busy being responsible, barely-coping adults that we’ve forgotten to seek out the thrill and exhilaration of new, unfamiliar adventures so much so that now they have become the very things nightmares are made of?

Maybe what we fear most, a job change, a move to a new city to start over, a new relationship, isn’t actually as scary as we make it out to be?  Perhaps it’s the anticipation itself, much like the time leading up to jumping out of an airplane, that is truly the worst part?

Is it possible that by allowing this imaginary “weight” we give to the fear of change, to plant us further into the ground whereby robbing ourselves of the abilities to jump into the next chapter of our lives?

Imagine if we had felt that way about riding a bicycle?  Or riding a horse?  Or dancing in the ballet?  Oh, the freedoms and moments of sheer bliss we would have missed out on!  I shudder to think of what we are allowing to slip by now, by allowing fear of change to hold us back!

But you say, “But that was before my divorce.. the death of my loved one… the bankruptcy where I lost everything. I was young then.”

I understand, truly I do.  Sometimes, there’s no denying it… the tragedies of life strips our sparkle away.  We feel old, tired and weak.  I know, I felt the same way after being knocked down by several life blows myself.  It’s hard to get out of bed in the morning…everything hurts, even the light coming in from the cracks in the blinds -hurts.

Here’s the good news:

That curious, adventurous child inside of you is alive and well.  The sparkle you thought you lost… it’s a pilot light way down deep, waiting for a little gas to ignite!  It’s true that passion, like love, won’t simply materialize at your front door. However I assure you, it’s out there for the taking!  But it’s up to us to take the first step..

Will it be scary to start over again?  Yup.  Will you be nervous going out on your first date after your divorce? Absolutely.  Will it take sheer will to get out of bed and call a friend to go to lunch? For sure.  Will it take courage to ask for that new job or redefine yourself for this new chapter of your life?  100%.

But remember, the worst part is always the anticipation BEFORE the jump.  

So stop waiting.  Reclaim your sparkle!  Fall in love again.  Fulfill your passion.  Go after a dream.  Travel.  Learn a new language.  Move to a new city.  Apply for a different job.  Learn to snow ski.  Don’t be afraid to START OVER!  Allow the child in you to come out and play again…

Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself!”

So ignore the anticipation noise in your head.  All it takes is one little jump to ignite your spark and restore your zest for life…  You can do this.


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Hugs and blessing to all,

Michele Mathews