Once, not too many years ago, I was sitting on a bridge in New Zealand having my lower legs tied together. I decided that no visit to Queenstown could go without leaping off of the Kawarau Bridge, and paid to leap 43 meters into a river. Clearly, I was out of my damn mind.
My memory of this day is so vivid. I remember what the air felt like, what the sky looked like, what I was wearing, what music was playing. The man who tied my legs was named Sully, and he was a Brit with green eyes and glasses. And I was silent. I was shaking as he wrapped that towel around my shins, and then cinched a canvas strap around my feet. I looked down at this (handsome. Stupidly handsome.) man, who was singing along to the Metallica song blaring through the loudspeakers as he tied my legs together.
“If I don’t jump, Sully, will you push me?”
He looked up, as he was kneeling at my feet. He pushed his glasses up his nose and said: “Nope, girl. It’s against AJ Hackett policy. We believe that you have the power in you to leap – but you have to be brave enough to take that first step.”
I did leap. I screamed the whole way down, but I jumped.
This past week, I have been thinking about that leap. How much courage we hold within us, and, specifically, how much courage I have. I have spent a lot of my life afraid, scared to move or point in a direction. Lately, I’ve been trying for direction in my life. I have a pile of goals that require movement, that require bravery – and lately, I’ve been acting like a big old cowardly lion, holding my tail for fear.
No more. I can’t wait anymore. My soul can’t stay in this holding pattern. I need to free myself from my fear and leap off this proverbial bridge. So I’m writing it down. I want to lose weight. I want to find my way to peace, I want to silence this inner screaming child howling for peace. I want to be HAPPY, dammit. And not just “Oh, look, a new X-Men movie!” happy. Enough happy that I never need to search for it again. Dear Sugar would say that I need to be braver than all of it – she’s written that I need to be brave enough to break my own heart.
Today, I don’t feel brave. To be perfectly honest, I feel like a big, fat, miserable failure. As of right now, though – I’m starting with leaping again. Sully was right – I do have the courage. I just need to find it.
Maybe this time I need to jump out of a plane instead.