Taking the Plunge

The photo above is my fifty-year-old husband doing his first skydive last weekend. It was a tandem jump, where the instructor is latched onto his back with carabiners that can hold 3200 lbs. Supposedly the instructor is there to make sure everything goes right.

My thoughts? The extra guy is another 200 lbs of weight to plunge into the ground when the chute doesn’t open. Let’s make sure they’re good and dead.

Okay, remember, I’m a writer. I go for the worst possible scenario every time. Everything went fine, hubby had a blast and wants to go again as soon as possible. I didn’t have a problem with him doing it, since three of my brothers and one of my sisters have been jumping out of perfectly good planes since they were sixteen, and they’re all still alive…and old. (I’m the baby, have to rub it in whenever I can.)

Anyway, my husband was not the least bit scared to do the jump. He was excited! But I sat there and watched the faces of the others going through the short training session with him. Some had the same goofy look of elation on their faces as my husband. Others, especially this one woman, looked as if they were about to wet themselves.

I know that feeling. Oh, do I know that feeling. Slightly queasy, skin feeling too tight, the thought of “What the F*** am I doing this for???” repeating through my mind in a chant that becomes stuck in my head and won’t leave.

Only, that feeling comes with sending my books out into the world.

I’m well published. I have a small fan base. I’m “comfortable” with what I’m writing and publishing.

But I’m thinking it’s time to take the plunge and do something daring again. Maybe I’ve become too comfortable? I haven’t had that sick feeling for a couple of years. I’m too confident in what I’m doing, I’m good at what I do. Where’s the excitement? The thrill and fear?

That woman who looked like she would lose her lunch if she stepped into the plane was laughing like a loon when she landed safely in the grass with her instructor cheering her on. The excitement in her eyes matched my husband’s. She’d done something she was terrified to do and had come out feeling better than she had in probably a very long time.

I’m going to take a plunge and do something daring. Finish a book that is far from my comfort zone and throw it out there into the world. I’m scared. What if they don’t like me anymore? But it’s time I get back to feeling some fear…and excitement.

I’ll let you know how it works out.

Anna Leigh

5 responses to “Taking the Plunge

  1. I’ve been collecting quotes about fear for years, mostly because I try to step out onto the tightrope as often as possible, not just in writing, but in life, following Eleanor Roosevelt’s rule, “do one thing every day that scares you”. I don’t make it every day, but I make it many of them (do you think that’s because I’m scared of so many things?).

    One of my other favorites is “Everything is sweetened by risk” Alexander Smith. These two quotes work together for me – the DO IT and the REWARD.

    Good on ya, Anna Leigh

  2. Comfort zones breed complacency. Go for it, Anna Leigh!!!

  3. If you don’t buy a ticket, you’ll never win the lottery! That phrase has guided me along the twisted path I’ve come. And though it isn’t always pretty, I wouldn’t change the way I do it. Go for it! If you soar like an eagle, enjoy the view, if you plummet like a one-winged duck, get up, knowing, you bought a ticket and you took your chances. That’s a Hell of a lot more than most folks can say!

    Knock ’em Dead


  4. That long first step is something I’ve contemplated for a long time. Whether I’ll get around to doing it is a coin toss, but for someone who’s acrophobic, I’ve piloted gliders (lots f times), so overcoming that fear is well within the realm of possibility. Go for it Anna Leigh!

  5. I think it’s always a good thing to push myself and do something outside of my “comfort zone” once in a while.
    I never want to feel too comfortable in my own skin for fear it will make my writing voice sound stagnant. Thanks for reminding me to do something new – thought I must admit skydiving never entered my mind!

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