Leap of Faith
(Note: This post originally appeared on Alyssa's personal blog.)
When I was younger, a friend of mine had a trampoline and we would spend hours on it, hurling ourselves through the air and laughing in awe when each time it allowed us to bounce back up again. And then once, she stood completely still, shut her eyes, and let herself fall backwards. And I tried - you have no idea how many times I tried - to do the same. But each time I felt myself fall, I couldn’t handle it; I would panic, bend my back and snap my eyes open, landing on the trampoline in the fetal position.
I worry about everything. Every. Thing. I say that I’m sorry when I don’t know what I’m apologizing for, I’m afraid of not knowing what I want, I’m afraid of knowing exactly what I want, and I’m so far in my head that I have no idea how to even begin to find my way out of it. The only reason I made it onto another continent was because going abroad was so huge for me, so panic-attack-every-time-I-thought-about-it-frightening, that I didn’t even know how to let myself deal with it until I was crying on the plane ride there. And I’m doing it again now with graduation, putting it out of my mind, ignoring the countdown, and the very real fact that it is happening.
The truth is, I’m nervous. The real truth is, I’m terrified.
For reasons even I don’t know how to find, I’m afraid. Afraid of falling, of flying, of failing, of everything and of nothing at all. And I don’t cope with it very well. I don’t cope with it at all, actually.
I was hashtag-blessed with the best friends and family, and I must have been a saint in my past life to have them now. But they are so unlike me in every right way, and so much braver than they’ll ever understand. Talking to a stranger at the bar. Driving without a GPS. Buying a one-way ticket. Having the courage to find the words without having three mixed drinks to do so. To me, that is fearlessness. And to me, fearlessness is the biggest hashtag-blessed miracle in the world; letting go and falling back onto the trampoline, trusting yourself enough, even if it’s only for that one moment.
Not to go all English-major and push how I feel you can solve anything through writing (and because it’s cheaper than therapy …), but I’m going through my Jack Kerouac phase right now and every single sentence he utters is filled with such beauty and wisdom and poetry and he is bae. But I digress. His novel On the Road is a combination of my biggest fears and biggest dreams and I won’t even attempt to sum up its amazing-ness. But he laughs at worries, at doubts, at going through life being anyone else but himself. He wants to go west. And he does. No questions asked.
“They have worries, they’re counting the miles, they’re thinking about where to sleep tonight, how much money for gas, the weather, how they’ll get there – and all the time they’ll get there anyway, you see.”
Whether he somehow got access to a time machine as well as my journal and wrote that about me, or maybe because sometimes we all are afraid without knowing why or how not to be, I’m not sure. But since we basically write our own books of our own fears, can’t we change them? We are the authors, after all.