Monday, September 24, 2012

I can fly.

By the seat of my pants.
Over the first big hump and giant fall on a rollercoaster.
Off a diving board.
Through my favorite online shops in .2 seconds flat and pinterest the heck out of them.
Through 2lbs of raw green beans in 30 minutes flat.

And out the side of a mother-loving plane 13,000 feet up.


So much has been up in the air.  My living situation, my job changing yet again, plus all the magic, random, greatness summer throws at you 794 times a week; all of these have made for a few months of so very much uncertainty, and a scrambling-frazzled-slightly-kookoo Sarah.  It's all I've talked about!  Because: it's true.  

In the midst of a run a while back, I got a call from one of my nearest & dearest who was having a rough evening due to some general douchebaggery that she had, unfortunately, experienced.  After calming down my inner rage-monster (don't mess with my loves, and don't keep me from working out - I go green and play with SUV's like they're Tonka Trucks), I met up with my friend, and a pretty grand opportunity arose.

Her:  "Wanna go skydiving?"

Me:  Instant elation, mental image of running and jumping out of a plane at full bore, intense desire to do it immediately.  And then I used my word(s)...


I've never had an intense desire to skydive, but as soon as this opportunity presented itself, it was done.  I was smitten with the idea.  I could not wait until the moment I got to jump out of a plane, and this mental video clip, of sorts, just kept replaying in my mind of me sprinting unreservedly out of a plane with the biggest grin on my face ever.  It was done.

As soon as we got there, I saw this guy.  He was nutty.  He was loud, hilarious, rough around the edges, and looked like he'd be a whole lot of fun and/or trouble.  So, when I heard him say, "ALL RIGHT - which one of you's SARAH?!" I was pleased.

I kept waiting for the moment when I'd get nervous or have second thoughts, but it never happened.  They even had to make us wait to resolve an issue with the plane, and that made me even more excited.

Fast forward past some coffee, great tunes, and watching others make it back to planet earth a few times to me, dangling out in mid-air, strapped to the chest of Crazy Todd.  My eyes are closed, yes, but it was a moment of happiness, I assure you.  

The butterflies that accompanied the initial drop were unreal. That moment of dropping straight down, feet first, was one of the greatest feelings I have ever experienced.  Falling.  Just falling...

I've felt a bit like I've been falling all summer - having jumped off of something with no bottom in sight, no person strapped to my back ready to pull the cord for me, and a frenzied, flailing, rather ungraceful fall.  I've been so concerned with seeing what I'm about to come careening down into, that I've neglected taking in the view of all the great things that have happened along the way.

Before I jumped, I had a chat with another one of the divers who worked there.  He asked how I was feeling about it, and I let him know that at this point, my only emotion was thrilled anticipation.  He gave me some great advice: no matter what, do not look down.  It wasn't that it's scary to look down, but he said, "Why bother staring at the ground, when all of the good stuff is straight ahead?"

So I took his advice.  I checked out the landscape a few times, but I spent what felt like an hour watching the skyline.  I watched as I grew closer to the clouds and then blew right through them.  I watched as the skyline faded into a slightly lighter blue.  And I smiled.  I smiled so much my face hurt when it was over.

Was it scary?!
What about the whole you-could-die thing?

I didn't think of that...  I really didn't.  There was a pro stuck to my back, and all I wanted to do was run and jump and fly.
Why not?  

It was so quiet.
It was so peaceful.
It was magical.
It was absolute bliss.

The combination of being out of control yet completely at peace with the moment was just...  Correct.  I can't think of another word.  It was right.

Learning to be at peace with where you're at is something that I've been trying to learn for a long time.  During one of the key moments in my life, totally disconcerted and depressed with life as it was, my Dad told me, "Sarah.  You will not be able to progress until you are at peace with where you're at."

This is something that has come to mind more times than I can possibly recollect, and has been a bigger lesson than what I could have imagined.

So, what now?  Instead of feeling as though life is currently an ungraceful, frenzied, frightening fall with nothing but uncertainty and an impending rocky abyss awaiting to meet me, I'm going look ahead.  I'm going to remind myself that while I may be in mid free-fall, I need to take in the view and appreciate everything that's going on right in front of me.

I gave myself some time this summer to take a break and remember what it's like to live without being so overly control-freaked-out that I missed out on life.  I ate things I shouldn't have.  I drank things I shouldn't have.  I went places and did things at the drop of a hat.  While it was great, I've also been guilt-ridden the whole entire way. We'll talk more about this soon.  But, what do I have because of my giving in a bit?  Some amazing memories and life lessons, including learning to realize that the difference between falling and flying is as simple as putting my chin up.

Even if my face looks like this:

PS - Don't even pretend you haven't used "Pinterest" as a verb, too.