“Jump!”, I hear everyone yelling at me. I was standing motionless at the edge of the cliff, 50 feet above the water below. My heart was racing and my palms were sweating. I wanted to jump like my dad and my cousin did before me but I couldn't. I was too afraid.
My fear of heights commenced when I was 11 years old. We were in Montreal, walking around the city. It had rained the night before so everything was slippery. I went up on a ledge next to the sidewalk where my parents were walking. The ledge started to get higher as it lead up to a hotel. I was running, wanting to catch up with everyone, and then slipped. I did not see the 50 foot drop beneath me that led into the parking garage. My feet were dangling over the edge, my bottom about to slip off, and my hands holding on for dear life. I almost fell, but luckily I managed to climb away from the edge, and away from my death. From that moment on, I was left with a fear of heights.
Standing on that cliff brought back that memory from 2 years ago, which caused the water below to start looking like the pavement in Montreal. I decided that I wanted to jump and get rid of my fear, but when I got to the top I had second thoughts.
I didn't know what I was afraid of. Why couldn't I just jump? I told myself, I am not going to get hurt because everyone else that had gone before me was fine. I noticed I was holding up the line and knew I needed to make a decision quick.
I took one more step forward until my toes were hanging off the edge. My family and friends started to cheer. They started a countdown from 10, and everyone behind me joined in. I heard them counting but I could not stop thinking about how high up I was. When they got to 1, I looked straight ahead and pushed off with my legs.
I was doing it! I was finally doing it! The whole way down I had a smile on my face and felt a rush of energy. I never felt so alive in my whole entire life. I thought the descent would feel interminably long, but it ended up being fast. Too fast. I wanted to capture that moment because I felt accomplished, satisfied, and overly joyed all at the same time.
To this day, I still get anxious when I am about to jump off a bridge or cliff into water. When I am hesitant, I just think about the moment when I first jumped and remember how in taking that risk, my life changed forever.
And this I believe: in order to have fun and experience amazing things, I need to be adventurous. I need to go outside of my comfort zone. I need to keep an open mind. I need to live on the edge and take risks. Without risks, adventure and always staying in my comfort zone will not lead to anything. I must be adventurous in order to truly know where I belong.