The coolest thing happened today.
Off of a 7 or 8 foot high rock into the North Fork of the American River just past the Foresthill Bridge.
It was one of the most terrifying, fun, courageous things I’ve done in awhile.
The thing is: the majority of the time I sat on that rock, psyching myself out, hundreds of metaphors filed into my mind. “So many metaphors are coming to me,” I told Anthony who was back on the rock next to me after his first jump. “Sometimes being a writer is a curse.”
A couple of other people were on the rock next to us just jumping into the water. I think they came back three times while I sat up there.
“Why can’t I be that brave?” I asked out loud.
“If you can ride roller coasters, you can do this,” Anthony said to me. “You’ve just got to do it, babe.”
Of course this advice applies to every aspect of my life. If I can jump off of a rock, then I can:
- get up early and exercise or do yoga before bed
- write a story and see it through to publication
- overcome vaginismus
- never be tied to credit cards
- grow my little internet home into something bigger
If I can jump off of a rock, then I can do anything – I can do everything – I set out to do and be.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
– Lao Tzu
A published book on a shelf at Barnes and Noble starts with me putting words on paper.
The journey to Financial Peace starts with budgeting and getting out of debt.
The journey to a healthy body begins with putting an exercise routine into place.
Back on that rock, the momentum built up. I wanted to walk away. To just go back into the water the way I came. But there’s a reason they say the best way to get used to cold water is to jump in.
I moved to a lower “shelf” of rock. Anthony moved to the one I had just recently vacated. He looked at me. “Jump with me. On three we jump. You ready?”
I said no at least twice. What could’ve been the third time he asked, I said “no” again quickly followed by a “just keep counting anyway.”
I jumped. Screaming on the way down.
I need to hold my breath.
Back up for air, swimming toward the opposite shore with a racing heart and wobbly legs. (I’m not the best swimmer.)
Today, I jumped. Off of a 7 or 8 foot high rock into the ice-cold water of the North Fork of the American River. It was the most fun, terrifying, courageous thing I’ve done in awhile.
Writing metaphors are everywhere in my life. I am aware of them more than I’ve ever been and I’m pretty sure it’s because of this blog, because my heart of hearts beats to the drum of Writer. It just takes a single jump. It may be incredibly terrifying. Actually, if it’s something you could do the rest of your life and love it in spite of how hard it will be, there is 100% chance it WILL BE terrifying. But I promise you: it’s so much fun on the way down.
If I hadn’t jumped, this positive, confident blog post wouldn’t have been written and posted today. Because I jumped I am going to – for the hundredth time – create a writing schedule. I have writing dreams that are stuck in Dreamland because the only person who can move them into Reality is unhappily comfortable residing in Dreamland. One day at at time. One step at a time. One jump and many ripples are created.
What is one step you can take today in the direction of your dream?
P.S. There is no epic photo of my husband and I in mid-jump. There will be no iPhone filter enhancing the brightness of the river water or the rays of sun streaming from the left-hand side. I was totally tempted to yell across the river to my sister to grab our iPhone-turned-camera-only and just start snapping pictures of the entire jump. Afterwards, I even voiced my wish that it had been documented. But, thinking back on it, I’m kind of glad there isn’t one because I can see it my head. I know how bright the sun was today. I know how clear the water was. I remember what it was like to plunge straight down into the icyness and fight my way back up. I can see our hands in the air. I hear myself screaming to give myself momentum. I will always remember the day I jumped. No photo necessary.
P.P.S. Also, the “thing” that held me accountable to jumping: the person who jumped with me, counting to three. He’s been jumping beside me for five years. Anthony Paul, thank you.