…that’s what most people say when you ask them what they’ve been up to; ‘nothin’. Wow. Exciting.
Then I somehow turned into that person for a while. Not because I had nothing going on, but because I had almost too much going on, I didn’t know where to start. Once I lived here for a little bit and people had the general idea of how I randomly ended up in Perth, I was out of chit chat. I mean if you were genuinely interested in finding out about me, I could talk your ear off. Otherwise, ‘Nothin’. I hated saying it, but it’s all I could come up with. Mostly to acquaintances or people I didn’t catch up with all that often, but that’s generally the type of people you interact with everyday, right? Unless you were one of the 6 people that I updated regularly, I was at a loss for small talk about myself. It seemed like such an effort to bring people up to speed. How completely lazy of me.
Then, nothing DID start to happen. The whole time I’ve been in Perth I’ve been working full time. That was the plan. Because in London, I spent almost $5,000 just setting myself up. London is bloody expensive, by the way. And, after the London thing and then the Vietnam thing, I was broke. Dead broke. So, I’ve been a busy little bee working hard and saving cash for my next adventure. Except, the last little while I forgot I was on the other side of the world. I’d get up early Monday through Friday, pack my lunch, take transit to work, be responsible at my big girl job and then just plumb forgot to add fun into the mix.
That lasted about 6 weeks before I noticed.
So, then when people asked me ‘What’s new?’ I kept saying ‘Nothin’, but I really meant it this time. Shit. It just dawned on me one day. What happened?! How did I forget I was in Australia? Ugh. I bore myself.
That’s when Jean, Amy, Kat and I decided to go skydiving. We just needed to wake up a bit. Shake off the cool weather sleepiness.
And, holy shit did we ever. A full day of nervousness mixed with fear, nausea and raw adrenaline.
The first time I went skydiving was for my 16th Birthday. Most Mothers would never allow such a thing. They would tie their kid to a chair and wait until they forgot about the idea. My mother wasn’t one of those Mothers. She paid for the whole thing, hung around while I did the 9 hour course and took pictures as I plummeted to the Earth. I still can’t believe how young I was. What was my Mother thinking? What was I thinking?
Then it came to me. While I was sitting in the plane strapped to some random dude [who I made an instant please-don't-let-me-die connection with], almost completely frozen with fear looking at one of my bestest friend’s Jean, I remembered. Because she wanted me to really live. Not just exist and fumble through each day. I needed to be afraid, excited and experience nearly every emotion there is, in a single moment.
When that door opened at 8,000 ft in the air and I shuffled on my bottom towards the door, I didn’t even take one last look in the plane. I looked straight at the Earth, tucked myself in as small as I could and embraced my fate with everything inside of me.
I freefalled for 25 seconds. That’s a long time. Count it. Now picture yourself falling straight to the Earth like a rock for that long.
Once that parachute opened, it was pure bliss. We ended up jumping at sunset. Incredible. There are few things I’ve experienced more breathtaking than that moment.
Unfortunately, it’s next to impossible to capture the experience of skydiving, but we took pictures none the less. Thanks to Amy for taking the photos of Jean and I.
If you feel like you’ve been asleep at the wheel lately, jump out of a fucking plane. You’ll thank me.