First and foremost: “WHY?!”
Why would I voluntarily consider falling out of the sky with nothing but another human strapped onto me?
Strangely, since scheduling the appointment, I’ve caught myself wondering more about that very person — the angel on my back — than about the entire procedure of skydiving. I know he is going to be impressively skilled and come with some sort of a life-saving apparatus on his shoulder blades. But what I want to know more is:
Will I be able to talk to the guy?
Will he be one of those delicious badass looking creatures I can daydream about later?
Basically: Will he be — a friend? A comrade?
But still (and here I quote my more sensible comrades): “WHY?!”
I have once caught a postcard urging me to do something fearless every day. (Is there any other company more presumptuous in its vision than Hallmark?) And I wish I could say that I’ve decided to go skydiving at the end of this summer, in order to challenge my most fearful self.
Truth be told, however, for a while there, I haven’t even considered fear.
“Aren’t you scared shitless?” one of those more sensible comrades of mine texted me yesterday, as if confiding on some shared secret.
I searched my body for any disturbance by its adrenaline. Blood flow — even. Heartbeat — chill:
Skydiving is just something that I’ve decided to do. It’s just an adventure.
Thus far in life, I’ve had plenty of those; but most of my adventures have happened as consequences to my decisions to better myself. So, as I switched hemispheres in pursuit of my education years ago, adventures would come as part of the package. A once in a lifetime deal, eh? And when I would change states or cities — again, while chasing better opportunities — I would eventually establish a habit for it.
It would feel strangely calm as I would land in every new neigborhood and watch it pass the windows of my cab or train. Immediately, I would unpack my bag. (I still do that, even if just crashing for a night in a hotel room, in an unknown city.) And I think it always had something to do with pitching a temporary home base as someone who’s never had a home to speak of.
Home, for me, was wherever I landed.
Then, I would always take a stroll, or, as of recently, a run through my new neighborhood. I would study the manners of the locals and would often get confused for one of them, by my new city’s tourists.
“Sorry, I’m clueless,” I would confide in these strangers on our shared secret.
My adventures would come unannounced, never pre-negotiated. They would be something to cope with — NOT to anticipate. So, it seems that I’ve never really made A CHOICE to have adventures, in life: I just chose an adventurous life; a fuller life that challenged me to never get content for long enough to give up on my curiosity or wanderlust — but to continue the pursuit of my growth.
So, to quote another more sensible comrade of mine:
“Why the fuck would you wanna kill yourself?”
My decision to jump out of the sky — is in a whole new category of an adventure. It’s a chosen one. With it, there comes a privilege of knowing that I am finally in a position to be able to afford myself, however selectively, these new curiosities that arise; and my gratitude immediately follows. So maybe, in leading a fuller life, not only have I acquired a habit for adventure — but an addiction to gratitude.
That seems just about right.
But now, as wait for the hour of my newly chosen adventure, what do I do with a slew of my more sensible comrades’ expressed fears? Well. I measure them. Or rather, I measure myself against them. I admit to myself that my life has been unlike anyone else’s. My life belongs to someone who’s never had a home to speak of.
Immediately, then: I start measuring myself, despite my comrades’ fears, however sensible. In a way, I must stop listening to them, so that I can continue with my steady blood flow — my chill heartbeat — so that I can overhear the perseverance of my courage. And then: I start looking for the new ground upon which I can land.
So, instead of continuing our chat about the fears of my more sensible comrades, each time, they’ve asked me:
“WHY?!” — I’d changed the topic; and I would express my love for them, my gratitude.
And that is exactly what I’ve spent the last twenty four hours doing: I’ve spun off endless messages of love into the phones and emails of my beloveds; to every comrade, however sensible or fearless, that I have acquired in this adventurous lifetime of mine. Because for me, they are the only valuable possession of mine. And as someone who’s never had a home to speak of, I’ve learned to think of them — as my home bases, all over the world.
So, now, no matter where I go: I always have a place to land.
And I shall always land on my feet, my beloved comrades — the angels on my back! So, don’t you worry: I shall see you on the new ground again, after I’ve fallen out of the sky.