Clutching at Straws

On the 2nd May 2014, I stood on a bungy platform on top of a mountain, poised to jump. It was a freestyle bungy and I had somewhat foolishly elected to take a run up and dive off the platform. The drop was only 47m and I had done a bungy before, but nerves set in on my way up the mountain and my mind was desperately trying to convince me that to jump would be suicide.

My body had other ideas. When the jump master counted backwards from three, my feet did not hesitate. I flew off the platform, arms outstretched to embrace the abyss. Seconds later I was dangling over Queenstown, heart pounding in my chest as I took in the view. Lake Wakatipu was clear and still. The snow-capped Remarkables seemed close enough to touch. Everything was bigger, brighter, bolder. It is a view I still yearn for in the depths of my soul.

I jumped that day for no reason other than to prove to myself that I could. When I wrote about it HERE in my short-lived travel blog, I quoted Eleanor Roosevelt. “We must do the thing we think we cannot do.”

Last night I booked my flight back to England. I leave in 13 days. I hadn’t planned on leaving so soon, but tomorrow is my last day at work and I would just be haemorrhaging money and drifting aimlessly otherwise. I am at once desperate to stay and eager to leave. It breaks my heart to walk away from so much good stuff – a job I love, incredible friends, a nice flat and life in a city that never sleeps. Were I to stay till the very end of my visa, I would be clutching at straws, prolonging the agony. I owe it to myself to run towards something, to make that leap voluntarily, to take my own advice and, “grab fear by the balls, take that risk and just fucking jump.”

It took over two hours, a few tears and a large gin before I finally plucked up the courage to click ‘book now’.

Turns out I still have it in me to jump. Yippee-ki-yay, motherfuckers.

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