When I was a preteen, I had a huge crush on a boy named Jeff. Our moms were friends, so I ended up hanging out with him and his brother a lot for a season. We played Atari (yes, I know I just totally dated myself) for hours on end crushing money rounds of Pacman, Miss Pacman, and Donkey Kong. They had an indoor pool and hidden passageways throughout this amazing house. I’m not quite sure if my ‘crush’ was just on Jeff or on all the cool things he had in life.
Jeff and his brother were the only 2 boys, other than my cousins, that I remember my mom being ok with me hanging out with. So, in the Summer I was allowed to run around their neighborhood with them. I remember 1 day in particular clear as the sun is shining right now. We came to a bridge over water, a high bridge. Jeff and his brother climbed up on the edge and looked at me as I stood frozen in disbelief realizing what was happening. They said ‘Come on Theresa, let’s jump’. My immediate thought was that they cannot be serious, have they lost their minds? But sure enough, they turned around and both jumped! Remember at this point I am basically frozen. For a split second my mind was racing to catch up with what just happened as this bridge was not over a small creek (or crik as we say here in Lancaster), and then I heard screaming and laughter from below. Up the hill, they came and to the edge of the bridge again. But this time each one grabbed one of my hands and said ‘come on, you’re jumping too. You’ll love it’. I think I may have stopped breathing altogether for a second and in the next second thought, what if I die. (dramatic preteen girl)
After about 10 1-2-3s Jeff yelled ‘Just jump already!’, and away we went. It was exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time. We jumped, again and again, each time it became less and less scary, each time I became more and more confident and felt free. *side note, this is the very first time I remember stepping out of my comfort zone. And in all honesty, I was sort of pulled out of it. But in my book, it counts nonetheless.
Too bad I didn’t continue doing that very thing of stepping outside my comfort zone until the last few years. I’ve learned when you step out it can be scary, fun and you feel free, free to experience so much more in life with a much greater passion for it.
So, next time you get the chance………count 1-2-3 and JUST JUMP ALREADY!!!!