Leap of faith – bungee jumping is a lot like life
Today we went bungee jumping in Chiang Mai.
I know it’s a very touristy, but Meagan, Bella and I really wanted to try it. Turns out that I not only had fun, the whole experience had meaning for me. I feel like it was an analogy of life…deciding to do it, being excited, nervous, then frightened as the little car I rode in neared the top.
When I got to the top, my kids looked alarmingly small down there on the ground – it was higher than I thought! The platform was tiny.
I had committed to do this though…the guide told me not to wait to long to jump…so after a brief moment of terror, I didn’t wait for him to count, I just said a quick, “three, two, one,” and made a leap of faith.
It’s a funny feeling when you find yourself off the platform and hanging in mid air.
My brain almost admonished my body – what did you do? We’re in the air now with nothing to support us…and then just as quickly, I was zooming through the air…and it’s fun! All too quickly, the tension increased on my feet, suddenly I was bouncing up and down in the air and the jump was over.
I took a leap – it was scary, and it worked out fine. Life is often like that.
When I was planning this year-long trip, I was excited and confident – just as I was when planning the jump. As it got closer, I was a nervous. Leaving my job was tough as I had always worked and I drew much of my self-esteem from success at work. People criticized me harshly for my travel plans with my children…but I had already committed to doing it, and I was confident the plan was solid.
The kids and I took the leap, sold our things, got on that first plane, showed up at that first volunteer project, and made our way through it all – or at least the first 8 months of it (so far)! I can see the positive effects of the trip on all of my children, and I am certainly benefitting, too. You can’t meet so many people, experience so many different philosophies and so many ways of living without learning many valuable lessons about love and life…about what is really important and what isn’t…much of which you once considered important.
Travel has also taught me to roll with the punches.
Can’t build houses because of the monsoon is going on longer than usual? the luggage didn’t arrive? the plane is too expensive? whatever it is…I accept it with less stress now. I figure it may even be for the best – part of some grand plan. Why not? I am not sure of my exact religious beliefs, but I like the grand plan idea. It doesn’t hurt me and it certainly helps to believe that the many small frustrations I deal with, the sad life events that appear to be tragedies as they happen, and all of the confusing things that happen, really do make sense when viewed from a much bigger perspective.
Whether or not it is true almost doesn’t matter, it gives me great comfort and helps me act as a better person when I think that things will work out in the end…even if that end encompasses many lifetimes. I am not always successful at being more calm and accepting about things, but I am getting better.