Feeling Ready to Fly

Every young chick must one day learn to fly. But even when it believes its ready to spread its wings, something can prevent it from taking the leap. It could be a lack of confidence or an unwillingness to leave the comforts of its nest. It could even be that the chick has no idea where to go once it takes off.

As a semi-young person currently experiencing what can only be described as her quarter life crisis, it's surprising to me how much I can relate to that young chick. The desire to spread my wings and to journey off into a completely new place has never been stronger. Despite this, something inside of me is keeping me from taking that dive. I don't know where exactly I want to fly to next, I don't have a flight path mapped out, and the skies are cloudy and gray. All signs say, "Wait".

While the last thing I want to do is wait, I remind myself that sometimes conditions simply aren't ideal. Being patient will pay off eventually, and this is true for all kinds of flights, metaphorical or not.

Back in March, I had this crazy idea that I wanted to skydive for my 25th birthday. I was able to wrangle up four brave friends, two of whom are terrified of heights, to go with me. On the date of our original dive (sometime in April), I received the sad sad news that our dive was cancelled due to poor weather conditions.

Instead of letting the cancellation ruin our day, my friend Will and I decided to utilize our Six Flags Magic Mountain annual passes:

Warmed up with the beastliest of beasts: X2

Now fast forward to June 4, the day of our rescheduled jump. This time we had a full day of adrenaline planned: go to Magic Mountain at 10A, play until 2P, and then head to our skydive appointment at 5P. I mentally prepared myself, and even notified my family.

But June Gloom reared its ugly head, and the lovely people at Skydive Coastal California had to again cancel our jump due to poor weather conditions. And again, we went to Magic Mountain:

The day we experienced Twisted Colossus 

Hardened by our disappointing experiences with last minute cancellations, we were slightly pessimistic about our June 29 jump date. But I was still so amped up about the jump that I dedicated a Mood Monday to it:

Episode 9: "Ringtones" by Xiu Xiu (Remixed by Superhumanoids)
Mood: Ready to fly
Location: Barnsdall Art Park
Videographer: Selina Ruthe

The whittled down group of three jumpers (Will, CJ, and me) again made plans to play at Magic Mountain in the morning and then to head to our skydive in Camarillo in the afternoon. We checked our phones all morning for that cancellation call, but it never came.

When we pulled up to the skydive location, a part of me still had this inkling that our jump would be cancelled because of extraneous circumstances. It wasn't until we were flying thousands of feet in the air in a tiny airplane did it dawn on me that it was all really happening.

And before I knew it, I was standing on a tiny metal plank at the edge of the airplane:

I felt a variety of emotions throughout the dive; it wasn't just a simple adrenaline rush. The initial part of the jump was a bit terrifying, but the moments before the parachute released were exciting and powerful. I felt like I was flying intentionally as opposed to falling erratically. Once the chute opened, I felt euphoric.

I had thought a long time about skydiving before even calling Skydive Coastal California. Even after I mustered up the courage to make the appointment, it wasn't until months later that I would finally get to jump out of an airplane.

Similarly, I have been reflecting quite a bit on my life and where I see myself in the future. I'm at a place where I'm finally being honest with myself, and even feel ready to take the next step and to jump. But there are elements beyond my control; unpredictable weather that signal it isn't the right time for me to go.

In the mean time I'll keep myself busy, and continue to prepare myself for the journey. One day the sky will clear, and everything will align. And that is the day that I will take the leap and soar.