Saturday, May 7, 2016

Let it be

If you have ever experienced the adrenaline injection of doing a static line jump from a plane then these words are probably stuck in your mind forever. They reckon that when a person jumps from a plane for the first time, his body experiences initial shock and loses all relations to its environment or familiarity with being on a steady surface. If it wasn't for these words that were drilled into you during your training you will either pass out or try your best to run back to the plane in mid air. I guess that is why people start kicking when you throw them off a building or a bridge....
It takes about 6 seconds from the time you leave the plane until your chute opens. In these 6 seconds you would probably (and preferably) have felt the strong jerk on the static line meaning that you were indeed hooked onto the plane and that your chute is now deploying. Once that happens you do your checks to see if everything is in order praying for the absence of an unlikely event referred to as a "malfunction". Those six seconds would have felt like six hours if it wasn't for the counting, but still for a few seconds you had no idea what the hell was going on.
A year ago I decided to leave the 9-5 grind and enter the world of "The Free". I knew it was going to be a shock to my system, but nothing could prepare me for it. I believe I jumped without the basic training signed off on my new log book. The first second of free fall was fantastic, but after that I realized there were no Terra Firma underneath my feet. I started grasping at everything I could find for a place to hold on to. I realized I jumped and I was falling fast, but I was not counting like I was supposed to. In any case, do I count in seconds, days, weeks or months? Am I hooked in? Do I even have a parachute on my back?
It is a year later. When I look back I shake my head in disbelief. The highs and lows I've been through over the last 12 months has gone from one extreme to the other. Some days it felt like I was on ecstasy, some days I wish I could get hold of more serious stuff. I made new friends, I lost old friends, got hurt by people I loved and received love from people I hurt. I visited exciting new places and got teary-eyed over places I haven't seen for a while. Some days I could feel like the riches person in the world only the next day to feel like a beggar asking for as small tip to buy some dignity at a spaza shop called Self-Esteem. I grew my hair then cut it again, worked sparingly with my savings and then wasted it again, went to the beach for inspiration and then avoided that same beach because of the lack of motivation. I was falling and never looked up to do my checks because I did't know whether I was still within my "6-seconds-before-you-start-sweating" period or not.
For months now I kicked, pushed and grabbed hoping that something would stop my fall, instead of enjoying the view from above. I wanted to force myself in directions which did not feel right hoping that a parachute would open. What I did not realize was that I have to look up and see if there was anything happening above me at all. What I did not do was to just let it go and let it be, to wait for Life to take its course. Life is certainly not moved by my impatience and anxiety, that I can tell you.
Looking back over the last 12 months I have achieved a lot, I have learned a lot, experienced a lot, gained a lot, but I nearly made the mistake of not acknowledging and appreciating it a lot. I cannot force it anymore, I am letting it be. I might not have counted, but I am pretty convinced that I still have few more seconds left before I start worrying about a potential malfunction. Kicking and pushing doesn't help, I am opening myself up to 'Life' to take me where she wants me to go. I'm pretty sure that many of the spectators on the ground is looking up at me and wishing that it was them doing their first static line jump from 3000ft.....trained or not!
I'm leaving you with the lyrics of the famous Beatles song, Let It Be. Thanks to everyone who stood by me and is still standing by me. I am planning a month of just letting it be. I want to relax, take my mind of everything and travel, surf, take photos and see where it takes me after that. I might still regularly post pictures or I might not, I might write more soppy essays or not. I'm just going to let it be and let the answers come to me.
When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And when all the brokenhearted people
Living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be
For though they may be parted
There is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be
And when the night is cloudy
There is still a light that shines on me
Shine on until tomorrow, let it be
I wake up to the sound of music
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

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