A safe distance from the edge, I looked out and saw green grass, rolling hills, and beautiful blue skies. I looked below and saw a river; my heart began to pound. This was real.
My shins were uncomfortable from the equipment pressing so tightly, but that’s what you want when bungy jumping. Tightness. The harness around my waist was secure and ran the length of my legs, connecting it to my ankle restraints. I walked like a penguin closer to the edge; it was difficult to move at all. Part of that came from the safety equipment and the other part came from the paralyzing fear I was beginning to feel.
Would these ropes hold? Were they measured correctly? Would I have a heart attack before the cord even stretched out? Bungy jumping is on my to-do list. I couldn’t come to New Zealand and NOT bungy jump. My common sense told me that I would be stupid to jump off something so high with only nylon, metal, and other ordinary stuff keeping me from killing myself. My stomach started churning.
I waddled a little closer. The weight of the thick cord pulled me down when it was dangled from the ledge. I felt as if I wouldn’t have to fall or jump; the cord’s weight would just jerk me down. The more I thought about it, the more scared I got. I began to shake and fear that a stiff breeze would blow me off the platform.
“I can’t do this. I mean, I really can’t do this.”
My mind was made up. The cord was pulled back onto the platform and the equipment removed. I was disappointed in myself. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would not follow through and jump. Why did I let my mind get in the way of this experience? I vowed never to let fear stop me from doing something I desired, no matter how scary.
I originally wrote of this experience in November 2011, but recently, the feeling of this failed bungy jump again enveloped me. I wasn’t standing on the edge of something high about to hurl myself into some vastness below. No, this was a metaphorical jump, simply a conversation with my boss, a person whom I adore.
It was time for me to go. I knew it. She knew it. I was stretched thin trying to do everything. In the end, I wasn’t doing my best at anything, which wasn’t fair to my employer, family, friends, site, or myself. Something had to give. So, at the end of February, I will no longer be in corporate America working in a comfy technical writing position. There’s no more guaranteed paycheck with a 401k and paid holidays and vacation. To me, that’s much more frightening than jumping off a bridge. At least by jumping I’d quickly know the outcome.
As of February 28th, I’m dedicating myself 100% to my writing, this site, and a couple of other business ventures I have in the works. My bosses have given me a life boat of sorts. They’ve offered part-time opportunities and told me that I am welcome back. I appreciate the offer and am honored that they think so highly of the job I’ve done. Perhaps I’ll step back into the cubicle at some point, but right now it’s time to jump or get off the ledge.
Without a strong support system there is no way I would be able to simply quit my job and pursue my travel and writing dreams. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity and humbled knowing that there are people that believe in me in such a way.
Featured Image by Roughley Originals