I knew I’d be scared. I knew I’d be nervous.
But it was going to happen anyway.
It had to, there was no turning back. My life had taken a step forward and I had to follow, whether I was ready to or not. Just had to be done. So I thought I’d do something scarier than turning 40 on my 40th birthday. Something to start off this decade in a way that would change my perspective on life moving forward.
You see I wasn’t having a big party, and I wasn’t taking a great vacation somewhere. I wasn’t doing any of the awesome things that people do when they turn 40. I wasn’t able to, but I told myself I still needed to do something, something just for me, something to make me forget that I had a really tough month. Something that was bigger than 40, but something I’d always remember doing when I turned 40. Something I’d be grateful for and something that would change me. Something off The Bucket List.
And so … I went skydiving.
I didn’t tell too many people my plans, wasn’t sure if things were going to pan out, considering the personal drama I was undergoing that week and the fact that I had a vacancy in the best friend department that left me having many conversations with myself in an attempt to make sense of it all. And even though the week, or the month, didn’t go as I imagined it to be, this day did.
This day turned out exactly the way it was supposed to … and that made me smile, that made my heart feel good, the kind of good you get when someone who loves you gives you a strong hug, and holds you a little bit longer. That’s the kind of feeling I got. I had a moment that lasted the whole day. I had a Super Soul Sunday moment myself and it happened at 10,000 feet.
Perspective, passion, happiness, gratitude, inner peace, strength, vitality, amazement, and reaching Zen happens all at once.
It doesn’t hit you when you’re approaching the Pacific Coast Skydiving hanger, or when they’re strapping on the harness and belts. It doesn’t hit you when you get into the plane, or when you’re flying over the California coast and can see the Pacific Ocean. No. It happens after you face the scariest part.
The door opens and he says scoot over.
I felt my heart drop.
There I was, my legs dangling over the edge and an inch of my butt barely touching the door frame of the plane.
This is it. I mean I know it’s it. That’s why I flew up here. For the “it” moment. My heart started beating faster, and the nervousness was building into anxiety and fear.
This is it.
This is really it.
“Ready? I’m gonna say one, two, three,” Tom said smiling.
One … I closed my eyes.
Two … I took a deep breath.
Thr–You know, I don’t remember him saying three, I just remember opening my eyes as he pushed us forward and out of the plane.
And then I screamed and laughed some more.
I couldn’t believe I was actually doing it.
The feeling made me forget about everything crappy that happened during the week. It made me forget about cold feet before 40, made me forget about losing a friend, made me forget about my writer’s block, made me forget gray hairs and anti-aging creams, made me forget the stress in my life and the wrongs that were in it.
It made me present in the moment, the most present I’d probably ever been.
I don’t know how long I was free-falling, I just remember how it made me feel and how glad I was for feeling it.
Then the parachute deployed, the straps tightened, and I eased my way down to the field below, but not before Tom, my skydiving partner who was keeping me alive, did some stuntman swirlee-twirlee tricks reminding me why I don’t get on the Scrambler Zero Gravity carnival rides. I laughed and screamed through that and then we landed safely.
I high-fived Tom and smiled.
I made it. I had done it and it was an awesome way to start the morning of my 40th Birthday.
40 felt good then.