Monday, September 30, 2013

Go Jump Off a Cliff


A friend told me recently to go jump off a cliff. I know this sounds harsh, but she meant it in the nicest possible way. I have spent my life strapped in, buckled up, ears open, eyes alert. I have worked, striven, yearned, and achieved. I have planned, contrived, scaled, and navigated. What’s next, I ask myself now? What is next? I’m not sure, really. What IS next? I have found myself lately very unsettled, a homing pigeon who cannot find home, a rat in a Skinner box when there is no treat, last to bat and the crowd has all gone. WHAT is next? WHERE am I to go? HOW will I know? What the freaking hell do I want to be when I grow up? I’m fifty. I should have this part down. So, my friend tells me to just go jump off the cliff.

But jump into WHAT?

I remember as a little girl waking up to a bowl of Cheerios and cartoons on a Saturday morning. Still in my jammies and parents in bed, I cozied up to the likes of Underdog (Never fear. UNDERDOG is here!!), Popeye, Tom Slick, and Snagglepuss (Exit, stage left.). Probably the most frustrating of all those Saturday morning cartoons, however, was The Roadrunner. Inevitably Wile E. Coyote, after rigging contraptions, painting mountainsides, and setting ambushes to do away with his quick and clever nemesis would, himself, take an anvil to the head, smash into the fake landscape painted onto rock, and run off the cliff after becoming victim to his own trap. He did this every time. Also without fail, cliff falling involved spinning feet, hanging midair, and dropping dramatically into the vast unknown.

“It’s like you’re standing at the edge of a cliff wondering which way to go. Just JUMP.”

Another friend told me this. Fine. But jump into WHAT? If the jumping is figurative, as I assume it is, I need something toward which to jump. I have nothing in my life right now that beckons or calls. I am content. Not passionately happy, but content.

“You need to put more joy into your life. Just lie back and let the waves carry you where they will.”

I was also told this. Asking ME, however, to lie back and allow is like sitting a napkin in front of Martha Stewart and expecting her not to fold it. I can sit and allow for about five minutes, then a notepad and a game plan will magically appear. My friend suggested that the jumping is not so much a jumping INTO something as it is just a jump. I need to practice, she suggested, saying yes more, overthinking less, being open to what comes my way. Making friends with destiny, karma, synchronicity. Standing vulnerable to the forces of nature and God, the Universe and fate. Opening myself to a bit of serendipity and all things that are good and true and meant to be.

Well.

I have tried everything else. It may be worth a shot. Turns out, I am, indeed, not the Almighty. I do not have the power, despite having believed so, to make all things happen. Who would have thought? And maybe the powers that be did not intend for me to always struggle, to always suffer, to always work so damned hard for every single thing. Maybe my lessons don’t all involve rolling up the shirtsleeves, pulling myself up by my pretty pink bootstraps. Maybe some of those lessons aren’t work at all, but are packaged, instead, as gifts, and it is my job to learn to accept those gifts just as I accepted the work and the struggle. Maybe it is my job simply to learn to allow, to smile, lie back, and be.

So, this is me, World, letting the waves carry me where they may, saying yes more, overthinking less, being open to what comes my way, to the destiny, the karma, the synchronicity. Allowing. Allowing for Divine timing, the will of the Universe, fate, and a bit of serendipity. This is me, running full speed at that cliff, arms spread, breeze in my hair. This is me. Exit, stage left.

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