From The Clifftop

Side-note: A super old thing I never published from last semester.  Early last semester.  And a bit of this new semester.  Huh…

So I was in one of those weird states of mind as I stood looking out over the edge of a parking garage.  There’s a cement wall preventing cars and humans from falling on just about all of those.  If your parking garage is weird, then you’ll get fun, see-through railings that don’t provide much protection.  Not that I’ve seen those, but that’s beside the point.

I stood at the edge, my hands gripping the top of the wall, one vault away from falling.  And in that moment, I was seriously tempted to jump.  Not because I was suicidal in that moment, but because the wall was there, and I could feel the urge for my toes to leave the earth.  To take the leap.

Now, while I am by no means recommending standing at the edge of some height and contemplating jumping; after I forcibly removed myself from the edge (to remove the temptation), I started thinking about life and how it parallels jumping off of… something.

Aren’t we fearful creatures?  In that moment, despite not going through with it (fortunately), I was afraid that I was actually going to jump.  While being a different fear than ones at life’s edge, don’t we still have those moments?
Trepidation is a common thing, I’d say.  Uncertainty, perhaps more so.

I’ve always been uncertain that I chose the right path.  Only in some fantastic cases have I really been glad of my choices leading me to that exact moment in time.  And there’s the crux of the matter.  I’m so reliant on my own choices, being the egotistical fellow I am through and through, that I forget to stop and consider the possibility that I found excellence through the actions of others.

So, putting aside the whole “who led who where” (because frankly, I’m not sure how to handle that yet), why do we experience such fear when we’re about to take the leap into an uncertain future?
Well, as humans, the unknown is a strangely dangerous thing for us.  We get excited by it through curiosity, and become fearful when we think of all the [possible] cons that come with change.  I.e. just about everything, because we’ve most likely overthought it.

I’m afraid.  Afraid of the day that all my current friends head out to different states, different colleges, different lives.  Oh sure, we’ll have reunions and all that (hopefully), but it just won’t be the same anymore.  A new dynamic has to be formed, and new circles have to be found.
Yes, new circles.  Quite a fear of mine, actually.  My brother is one for encouraging me in his odd way to meet new people.  Just recently, he pushed me to talk to an unknown variable at college, who I’d noticed elsewhere.  Suffice it to say, it didn’t go quite as smoothly as I would have hoped…

I’m an awkward fellow, and for some idea of how awkward I can be, just picture a turtle retreating into its shell when you put a carrot or stick in front of its little face.
Offer me a deal of some sort (and by deal, I mean open-ended options for something to do), and I will vanish faster than the Flash on caffeine.

But this has tangented too far…
The point is, we like routine to some measurable degree.  Whatever your MBTI results, some level of routine is always enjoyed, even if it’s the routine of constant change!

So for something, anything, to burst our little bubble of the known is… terrifying in the extreme.  Refer to poorly drawn graphic below.

Known vs. Unknown

At some point however, we have to take the leap, and seek a new path.

After all: “An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.” – G.K. Chesterton

-M