When the year 2014 came to a close, leading to the beginning of 2015, I had several new years resolutions. Most of my resolutions were incredibly typical, but two of my new years resolutions were original to me: to be more adventurous and to say yes more. So when I was telling my cousin, Callie (who also happens to be one of my greatest friends), about my intentions for the year 2015 and she asked me to go skydiving, of course I had to say yes.
In January, we committed to jumping out of a plane together at some point in the summer to follow. In May, we purchased our tickets and in July, we jumped.
I write that story so simply because through my experience I learned something: doing these spectacular things in life don’t have to be anything but simple. Doing what we dream of doing doesn’t need to be complicated. Excuses can be made for anything and everything, but they don’t need or have to be. I learned that we need to Just Jump.
Now, don’t get me wrong–jumping from a plane flying 11,000 feet in the air is not something I would describe as “simple.” In fact, skydiving was absolutely, up until this point in my life, the greatest thing I’ve ever done. No words will ever begin to describe the experience. So instead, I write this post to shed light on the fact that the greatest thing I’ve ever done was done simply: I made a couple resolutions, I bought a ticket, and I jumped out of a plane. It was exhilarating. And it was done simply.
And you want to know something else? The scariest part of my entire skydiving experience was the times I spent psyching myself out and thinking of everything that could possibly go wrong. “What if my chute doesn’t open?” “What if my instructor passes out?” “What if I pass out, or my heart stops?” — But I fearlessly write this, knowing I’ll have the confirmation of anyone who has done it before: when you Just Jump, skydiving isn’t scary at all.
Ironic, right? Isn’t that life in a nutshell? Some of the scariest, darkest parts of life are (for the most part) all made up in our heads. Anticipation, imagination, and trapping ourselves in our own minds can be scarier than the physical act of doing what we’re thinking of. Things can go wrong regardless of what we are doing, whether that be jumping out of a plane or driving to the grocery store. We aren’t called to live in fear, and we definitely shouldn’t let fear stop us from living. And besides, at the end of the day, doesn’t doing what makes us scared in turn make us feel the most alive?
My point is that you don’t need to over complicate anything to feel exhilarated, illuminated, or have breath taking moments. If we allow them to, those very moments can be led up to by simplicity. Life is just life, and we shouldn’t let fear stop us from living it. All you’ve got to do is Just Jump.