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I remember standing on the edge of the “high” dive when I was learning to swim. In all honesty, it wasn’t really that high, but it was high enough to make me feel a deep-seeded fear. I’d never purposely thrown myself off anything, and I didn’t really want to start now. But there was a line of kids behind me who were way more excited about this whole thing than I was. So I closed my eyes, plugged my nose and jumped.
It seemed like it took forever for me to resurface from my first dive. I was a little disoriented and lost and the water seemed so big and so scary. But, I made it out. And got back in line to do it again. There was something about that rush of excitement and that moment when you’re free-falling that I wanted to experience again. I wasn’t in control and it was fun. Until the next time I dove – instead of slipping into the water, I hit it with the full force of my body. That pain made me never want to dive again.
As an adult, I dive with as much caution as I did that first time on the diving board. I don’t dive literally anymore (although I still think it looks like fun), but I dive into relationships, work and life with a caution that is rooted in fear. Diving in means taking a risk that I might not be accepted. That I might fail. That I might not fit. That it might hurt.
2013 is a year about diving in and risking more. It’s about sending more articles out for publication, even if they all get rejected. It’s about carving out time to write that book, take that walk and take control of my life. It’s about diving in to the experience, even when/if the experience is painful and leaves me bruised and sore.