Jumping Off Of Cliffs

I have a minor case of acrophobia (fear of heights). I realized this at the age of 10 when I was at a friend’s house on the 12th floor in Mumbai and was looking straight down. The world seemed to tilt and all of a sudden I had the feeling that the building was sagging, that we were all falling uncontrollably, to meet the earth. I took a step back and have always maintained this distance.

The reason my acrophobia is minor is because I truly enjoy climbing. I love vistas and the journey often endeavored to get to that point. I oft find myself inching towards the edge – taking a quick look down – and then running back to the safety of a hilly plateau.

Kuang Si Waterfalls, Laos where I hugged a rope swing to jump in

I also love jumping – off of cliffs, waterfalls, bridges. Granted the stark height is less of an issue here and I am breaking no new ground, my internal conflict before jumping off of each edge grasps me. That moment, when on tiptoes I stand looking down at the turquoise of a deep water pool, I struggle. Each and Every Time. Getting up to that cliff, to that rope, to that ledge is never the issue. All that involves is walking and following another person who has just gone before me. And then my turn arrives – the world closes. My mind wrestles between “Just Do It” and “Are You Serious?” I stand there as if the time has stopped, the world has stopped moving and it’s just me, my mind, and the water below. I do not know what that water holds – to me, my experience – that depth is entirely unknown, completely unfamiliar. Yes, I saw the person before me jump into the same and emerge just fine. But this is my fear, my perception.  Eventually each and every time, I feel will power slowly come in to render a decision. Determined – I go.

I don’t close my eyes, I forget the consequences, I leave my fear behind. And I drop, engulfed within microseconds by the cool arms of the once seemingly treacherous water. Waves of exhilaration and accomplishment soon follow and I glance a look back up at the stable ground that I just left and all I have left with me is a smile.

Oft, living life requires a similar debate and a similar determination. It is always tempting to choose an easy path – often at the sacrifice of doing something that one might have loved but one that required time, effort. In these cases, life soon becomes monotonous – the flavor evaporates, the color fades. Therefore, it is always important to wake yourself up – to dive, jump, run – and start beating once again.

Cenote in Cancun, MX that I jumped off of

Cenote in Cancun, MX whose dark waters I jumped into

Summer’s Twilight in Vermont

Blast from the past:

Same time last year – late August 2010 – I had taken a solo roadtrip to sightsee New Hampshire and Vermont on a weekend. The reason I did it was because somehow, in my heart, I knew that my time in New England was coming to an end within a year. It was a wonderful, enriching trip. Beautiful Vistas. Cool Waters. Warm Sun. 

I had written this piece during that time. It’s fun reading it this year – looking back and remembering the uncertainty that existed in my life at that moment. 

—-

I know that I am going to look back on this afternoon and wonder, life was full of possibilities then – did they ever become realities? Perhaps at that juncture in life, they might have remained possibilities and I got lost in finding my way to realize them. Perhaps though, that when I look back to this moment, I might try to taint my then reality to measure at least some form of success.

The Greens of Vermont

I am sipping a perfectly blended iced-coffee, with a taste of Vermont, of Maple Syrup, in its flavor. And I am composing this entry, sitting on a shaded porch, in a dusty armchair, looking onto vast farmlands and beautiful, picturesque rolling hills. Life cannot be more peaceful than it is at this very moment. I cannot be more at ease than I am right now – with no immediate deadline and just wallowing in a vacation phase and darkening under the glory of Summer’s last sun.

I had thought that this trip would be one that was reflective, a trip that would open up my mind and ideas to get started on those pending essays that will decide the future of my career. Instead, it has turned out to be one where I seem to be withholding my foray into an ambitious future and instead, immersing myself into the last of my carefree days.

I am no longer young. 24 is the emerging of adulthood and I have to leave behind my early twenty, exploratory, hippie spirit. This trip, then perhaps, was a last hurrah. I know that I cannot afford many more of these. At least not until I have a good, future path set in stone. This is for the benefit of my life after all – I don’t want to wake up and suddenly realize that I am 30 and still musing over what to put in my personal statement for M.B.A. school.

Yet –once the planned, (if realized) future gets into place and I find myself successful, will I be happy? Or will I miss these days of the carefree, when my spirit had finally woken up to all the beauty that Living has to offer.

I am single. I travel alone. And still, I continue to be blissfully, pleasantly happy. It is only then that I glance up, smiling and lost in my sense of self, that I am jarred back into this reality as I realize Time’s ever-ticking presence. It truly stops for no man.

So, I say, make the most out of these days but they are my last foray into running wild and unhindered as I need to now, heavy-heartedly but with a finality, plan for the future and jump into it without regrets and without looking behind.

To Youth. To Freedom. To Life.

Written outside of Jeffersonville, VT at Brown & Jenkins Coffee. Pure Bliss. And what a view!

View from Brown & Jenkins Coffee Shop

My Anthem

Baawara mann dekhne chala ek sapna
Crazy heart set out to see a dream

~

Reflect upon life and ensure that you capitalize on living every moment. It is only when you do this that you know that you have lived. Never have regrets and be free of fears. Pursue the dreams that your heart wishes. Pursue growth. Pursue happiness. Pursue freedom.

Have an optimism, have an equal sparkle for both the simple and complex things. An enthusiasm about life – your life – will inspire visions and thoughts even in the dullest of places.

Be an Individual. Be courageous enough to break from the Circle and explore outside your comfort zones. It is only then that you will experience a life that is so preciously colorful and amazingly vibrant. You will meet people from all walks – persons you would have never met. You would envision things from all layers of society, from multiple angles. Experiences would be drastic, dramatic even. Living will suddenly have a new meaning. You will have lived. You would have given rise to dormant aspects of yourself.

To achieve this – it is not so much  about Travel as it is about Interacting with the tactile, wonderful elements about you. One can see the world and still not have grown, lived if all one did was just see the world.

Do it early – do it practically. But Live.

Ever since I was introduced to the Latin phrase that added a meaning to my thoughts, it has become a heartbeat to my very being:

Carpe Diem

~*~