Sometimes life pushes you to the edge of a cliff and forces you to make a decision – do I jump? The fear of the unknown is sometimes an answer in itself. Some people fear the unknown and never change because of it. Sometimes they are complacent people that fill their lives with the sameness, the “everydayness” that Binx so feared in The Moviegoer, a short novel written by Percy Walker. The more removed from that book I am, the more I love it. I read it nearly two years ago in English 2145 with Dr. Watson. The main protagonist fears the “everdayness” of life and does everything that he can to prevent it. Without giving you a book review, I digress….Then there are those who aren’t complacent, but are just so fearful of giving up what is comfortable, what is known for something that is not.
Some come to the cliff and look over the edge. They walk about it, seeing if there is a better place for them to jump, only finding that the cliff is as unchanged from one end to another. It’s a bitch no matter where you jump, and there’s no clarity – the fog is thick, the bottom unknown. The only way to go is down, away from what is known, and away from what they are comfortable with. Either that or they can stay, sitting there, looking over and thinking about what might have been. They may think about some way to climb down, a little bit by little bit, hoping for the possibility that, should they come to something that they don’t like, they are able to return to that in which they came. It’s not necessarily that these people are afraid of change, or are complacent, or are too afraid to fly – it’s that they are hesitant of the unknown and are cautious.
Then there are those who don’t even see the cliff in front of them. They go barreling forward, running full speed ahead, and don’t even realize they are falling through the air until they hit ground. They are carefree, usually spontaneous, and full of life. They are what life represents to those who watch from the comforts of their suburbia homes as people travel around the world, loving life, learning what life is and learning love. For some reason I always think of these people as people that you would find at Burning Man. I had a patient once, a quite hilarious guy, who was a man of simple, honest words. I was talking to one day and what he said next, I never expected. Steriotypes, perhaps? He was a seemingly older, reserved gentleman, but some how or another, Burning Man came up. He said that he went in his youth multiple times and it was the best thing he’d ever experienced in his life, even better than sex. I stood there, completely aghast, at the front desk with the “zomg” befuddled face. It was amazing.
I’d like to think that I’m an ample mix of the three, but only that of lately. I’ve mentioned how wrecked my life became because I fell into the world of complacency. I was starving for life, for what I wanted out of life, so when I finally decided to jump off that cliff I opened my arms and let the wind catch me. I welcomed the wind in my face; I welcomed the fall with an open mind and heart and was just hopeful that something would catch me on the way down, or that I’d magically have a parachute on my back. Sometimes I think about this as an imaginary comic strip where instantly objects pop onto the strip. I jumped without anything and I magically grew wings and flew to another cliff. When I landed, the wings vanished again. I made it there safely, but now that I’m there I have new questions and new reasons to jump. I have to jump again without knowing what there will be to catch me.
So I’ve come to a point in my life, again, where I’m sitting on the edge patiently watching as the waves crash against the mantle crest below. My feet dangle carelessly over the edge. I’m here, I’m ready, but now I’m holding back. There is so much temptation in the unknown for me right now. The only thing that I know is that, in my life, I want to be happy and I want to hold onto happiness. I want adventure. I want happiness. “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return” says Moulin Rouge. I don’t know where I’ll be in five years, I don’t know where I’ll be in fifteen – I don’t know who I’ll be with, or if I’ll have anyone but myself and a bunch of cats, but all I know is that I want to be happy and I want to say that I’ve had an adventure. I want to go crashing into my grave saying “that was a helluva ride” and that I had faith in my decisions and that jumping was the right choice.
There is no absolute in life. If there were, it would be pretty boring. If someone told me that they knew when I would die, I wouldn’t want to know. If someone told me that they could tell me exactly where I would be when I’m seventy years old, I wouldn’t want to know. There is no fun in knowing – because then you’re just fighting the inevitable. That does not preclude me from wanting to plan, a little bit, about the future though. Only because I have to. I have things that I’m absolutely responsible for and that I have to take care of, but that does’t mean that I can plan for everything…it just means that I’m trying to balance. I’m trying prepare and get my head aligned for when I do jump. I’m not a jumper without thought, I’m a jumper with preparation. Just because I don’t know what will actually happen when I leave this cliff doesn’t mean I can’t spend ample time walking around the edges peering over each side. As Collective Soul said:
“So I walk up on high
And I step to the edge
To see my world below.
And I laugh at myself
While the tears roll down.
‘Cause it’s the world I know.
It’s the world I know.”
I’ve jumped already, I’m falling though and I thought for a second I didn’t have anything to catch me. I feel like…Kiwi.