Cliff diving

Posted on October 23, 2015


Two weeks ago, I jumped off a cliff.

And landed on water, of course. I went cliff diving. I dived from a cliff. For a moment, I lived my (morbid) fantasy of jumping from a great height.

IMG_20151018_173628[1]It was one of the best feelings I have ever had. Remember that Tears for Fears (EDIT: I just realized it wasn’t by REM) song, the one that goes, “the dreams in which I’m dying were the best I’ve ever had”?  I always thought it described how it feels to be depressed and suicidal, but now I realized how perfectly it described how I felt when I jumped off a cliff and into the sea.

It described freedom.

When I jumped off the cliff, I felt totally out of control. Being the anxious-borderline-paranoid person that I am, I have already thought of the unfortunate things that might happen to me if I jumped off the cliff: I could drown. I could crack my skull. My body could smash onto the rocks. I could get carried away by the current.

I was thinking and thinking and thinking. I kept thinking of all these possibilities, but there’s just something that pulls me towards the cliff. It’s as if something is making me jump.

So jump I did. Words cannot describe how light it feels to stop thinking and let gravity drag my body to the center of the earth. It was as if I was leaving my entire world behind – my world of broken societies and corrupt politicians, of obesity and world hunger, of religious fanaticism and godlessness, of reality TV and fake news, of bad grades and embarrassing poetry, of longing and the illusion of love – I was leaving everything behind to plunge into the waters that have been the same for thousands of years.

As I entered the water, I thought about how nervous I felt before diving. I thought about how ridiculous it was to feel nervous because it really wasn’t that bad. It was even one of the most freeing moments of my life. As I jumped, I was free from thinking too much about what might happen to me. I didn’t even care about dying –  what mattered was that I was free.

Not far from the cliff I jumped was another, even higher cliff. Once I become brave and confident enough to trust my swimming skills, I will jump from that cliff. I refuse to die before jumping a cliff that high.

Before that happens, I will jump the other high cliffs in life. Maybe that is supposed to be the meaning of life; maybe I am supposed to take risks and not give a rat’s ass about the consequences.  Because at some point, it was everything I ever wanted.

I know I will never be great. I know I’ll probably never find the cure for cancer, or be the next Nobel Peace Prize winner. I’ll never be a world leader, or an Olympic medalist. But I can choose to have something in common with the greatest people in the world – I can have the willingness to jump.