… the abyss looks right back at you and asks, “Aye, you gonna jump or nah?
“I know you want to….” you hear, as the taunting echoes trail away.
The unknown (assumed) territory that lays low, low beneath a steep cliff is always presumed to be dark and treacherous. Scary things lurk down there. They’ll get me if I fall into the depths. Or I’ll get an uppercut from jutting-out rock appendages on my way down. Or I’ll die just from the sensation of falling (I really don’t like falling or feeling like I’ve been flung into the air).
I used to be a coward. I still am a coward. In the sense that I’ve had a tendency throughout my life of short-changing myself, undervaluing my potential and using all of the above to choose paths that required the least amount of work. Because I was terribly afraid of failing. For shame, Bossadi, for shame.
I don’t know how this manifested into a thing, but I shied away from anything that was challenging and wouldn’t take up anything that required hard work and long hours. Perhaps because I’m lazy, or because I hate putting myself in a position where I feel like my performance would be subpar. I don’t take risks often, I’m not fond of putting myself through the ringer for the hell of it. Most of the risks I can remember taking had less-than-positive results and it’s that knowledge that has kept me from pushing things.
Now I don’t wanna be that person but I snapped out of this actually-self-destructive mindset after I gave birth. Childbirth was the pimp-slap of my life, made more effective by how lonely my final trimester was, with my family hundreds of kilometres away. For all of 2014, I kept telling myself “you’ve gone through childbirth and you survived, don’t tell me that you can’t do this or that because of x and y”. I didn’t apply it to my life doings until 2015.
I have a job now, the kind of attitude I had towards doing things is no longer allowed. From the first day until the last day of my internship, I need to consistently prove that the person who my manager met in the interview and the one she hired are the same person. If I’m expected to undertake a task, I do it without complaint. In fact, I ask myself “Can you do more and better?”, and if the answer is yes, I act accordingly. I can’t hide behind anyone else, or leave the bulk of the task to my colleague.
I do think about how different I would be or what additional achievements I would have had to flaunt on my LinkedIn profile, if I wasn’t such a wuss about sticking my neck out. I’d have probably made more mistakes, but felt prouder for making them because they would’ve imparted some hard lessons I don’t think I’ve got onto yet.
We’re all familiar with the global sentiment that the world sucks, is going to end, should end or needs Jesus. It shouldn’t be right to expect, as a human being, to go through a lot of hell to earn respect or reach a happy place. The world shouldn’t need to be horrible by default, but it is. A lot of people emerge stronger and wiser from being dealt hard blows or just standing on the precipice, unsure of what lies at the bottom but willing to take the plunge. I’m learning to do that, to accept life’s nonsense, plan around the nonsense and flip on life like “Ha! B*tch, you thought!”.
My family and I are on a precipice of our own, warily looking down. Change and “brokeness” are the themes of our year; all we can do is walk forward or, in this case, jump. Maybe the darkness beneath us is not darkness at all but trapped smog, under which there is light, and not ice-cold water or suspiciously-upright wood planks. Maybe, once we leap, we will fall forever. But I think that’s better than standing up there, waiting, hesitating, all the while the ground crumbles from under our feet.