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It Feels Like Skydiving (Act One of Letting Go)

December 9th, 2013

You have no idea what it’s like to skydive, but you imagine it feels very similar to what you are preparing to do. You are about to let these hands go and your feet will follow from beneath you. None of it feels natural, none of it feels safe, all of it feels like the scariest thing you’ve ever done. You’ve done it in the past, all the landings before this one have been awkward, some have even caused injury; especially the last one, you told yourself you’re never going that high again. Ground zero, where you were always in control, was safer.

But the thing about ground zero is it all feels the same after awhile. There are no thrills at the street level. The only time you’ve ever felt alive is when you’ve gone that high and landed, awkwardly. To convince you it’s okay to go up there again, that you’re not crazy, you’re going to fully trust the person who is on your back, jumping out with you. They’ve done this too, had their own share of awkward landings, and they’re a little nervous as well.

YOLO you two say (not out loud, in your head) and then you jump.

There is no ceremony for act one of letting go. It’s a singular, quiet act witnessed only by the affected. You get no credit for it, because, hello, you’re kind of doing what you’re supposed to do. That’s what they tell you, but thinking of it as an obligation might be your first mistake. If you want who you say you want, you are doing what’s necessary but it’s also kind of what you want. Contrary to what some people think, a person not letting go isn’t solely driven by selfish behavior. As I’ve said on this blog before, more women equals more headaches and you don’t want that. You want to be free from a life that arguably had too much freedom.

But fear keeps you there.

The reason you get gun shy when it’s time to let go of all the other people who have been in your life, dating you, paying you attention, making you feel good, is because you have yet to trust the person you really want to be all those things. And yet, you know if you continue to seek solace in these people, you will never get the results you want. And the other people in your life, the people who have dated you, paid you attention, made you feel good, deserve better.

Positive attention comes at a premium. There is something to be said for the people who have no obligation to commit to you, who don’t wait for the titles to bend over backwards. Their kindness, their love (and make no mistake about it, that’s what it is), is a gift. Their presence is indeed charity that contributes to your well-being. You appreciate it, reciprocate it even by being equally supportive.

But then someone comes along and for whatever reason, you want to make room for them. What that means is letting go of all these other people who have kept you safe, who have not hurt you, who have been reliable. The question as to why this person and not the others, isn’t worth asking. It only begets more questions. You will ask why, and someone (maybe your inner voice) will say, why not? You have no answer for that nor any other question. You try to tell people it’s your gut that’s telling you to just go for this, but you know your gut has no idea what it’s talking about.

You know you can’t predict the future. The best you can do is plan for it. You have no idea if letting go of all the others before you’ve even gotten a commitment out of this one person is going to work in your favor, but that is not why you do it. You do it because everyone who has been in your life prior to this person, deserves this one act of fairness from you, and this new person who you claim to really want, deserves your best effort.

This is act one of letting go.

Don’t fall, fly; forget about the jump, forget about the landing. Feel alive as possible in the space between where you left and where you’re headed.

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  1. December 22nd, 2013 at 16:31 | #1

    Reading it, I was mesmerized by your description. Amazing.

  2. Persona
    March 5th, 2014 at 18:37 | #2

    I would feel more connected to this story if it wasn’t a rinse/repeat of the whole dating process. I’d like something more specific to the person than the actual act of how we choose who will be the boyfriend/girlfriend. Most of us do this a minimum of 5 times in our lifetime, and that’s an indication that we always do not make the right choice.

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