It came to my attention that I love to leap. While I do not particularly enjoy the feeling of falling, nor is it an easy thing for me to actually leap off from the steady secure ground. However, I love the feeling after I land. After I’ve leapt, it is an indescribable high that I feel that intoxicates and it is that feeling that keeps me leaping.
First it was the cliff. Then the podium. To be honest, the zip line was the hardest leap to date. It required that I first climb a tree. No easy feat at 200+ pounds. Straight up and searching for pegs and strength I never knew I had. I had to dig deep just to get to the tiny platform. And then I looked ahead at the tiny wire that was supposed to hold me. You barely kept sight of it through the trees and after my climb I felt as heavy as lead. My mom is going to kill me if I die swinging through trees on a wire. I stepped out and barely caught my breath as I was soaring through the green I’d come to know so well over the last few months. It was well earned bliss.
My latest leap has been metaphorical. Climbing pulling myself up the tree of higher education. Feeling the weight of every class, project, research assignment, committee, conference, and loan. I’m exhausted as I stand on the tiny podium at the edge of curriculum learning. From here on out it’s just me. Just like the green, I know the research world I’m leaping into. But just like the line, I do not know my path through it yet. I don’t know where it’ll take me. I can sort of see the start but nothing after that. It’s nearly time to step and just like before, my bliss will be well earned at the finish after my flight.
And next? Well…maybe that’s more like the cliff jump. Wishing like hell someone was there to hold my hand through it. Knowing that I have to do it alone. Thinking to myself, “Can you live with yourself knowing you were right here and didn’t jump?” Askingmyself to predict the unknown–what will it feel like? How’s the water? Will it sting? Will I get hurt? Unanswerable questions. I am searching desperately for relief for my anxiety. And I realize that the only thing that will cure it is to leap. So I do. And I will again.
I hope, and have great faith that, just like my cliff jump it’ll hurt a little bit. Nothing that will break me. My form will be awkward and clumsy but no one will remember that. The water will be warm and enveloping, as though I was always supposed to be there. Bathed in moonlight, I roll onto my back and look up at the sky and will be filled with a joy I can’t put into words. And perhaps just like John, someone will say to me–“What does it feel like to have achieved your dream?”