The edge is so very near. All you have to do is take the first step. What will happen when you do though? There’s no one to catch you, and you can’t see the bottom, so what do you do? Do you sit and wait, hoping that your circumstances will miraculously change on their own? Or do you peer your head over the side and wonder? With the adrenaline pumping, you gather your courage, lift your foot…and you fall.
The first day of college was the day I fell. The wind was rushing past me, tears were streaking out the corners of my eyes, and I was rushing towards an unknown fate at a speed that felt much faster than 9.81m/s/s. I was falling, and I didn’t even know it. As far as I was concerned it was a normal day. I woke up talking to myself; stretching and squealing out a couple of dinosaur sounds. I threw open the curtains saying good morning to the sun, and made my bed as a parting gift for whomever should choose to appreciate it. I stumbled through the bathroom door, laughed at myself in the mirror for being ridiculous, and got ready for the day while jamming out to boy bands and John Mayer.
I was falling.
I packed my life in the car, waved goodbye to my empty room, and hugged my siblings quickly because we were running late as usual. I ate breakfast in the car, sipping on the coffee my dad had made me, and bounced off the walls with excitement.
After a short drive, during which I annoyed the life out of my poor mother, I was dancing with welcome week leaders, and helping my mother unpack and set everything up in my new home for the year. I was smiling at strangers and hugging the stranger I was now expected to eat, sleep, cry, laugh and live with for a year.
I was excited, I was happy, and I was falling.
The rest of the day was hectic and exhausting as my mother and I ran around town, trying to pick up all those last minute items that everyone seems to forget. Then, as suddenly as it came, the immediate excitement of move-in was over, and I said goodbye to my mother, my rock, my guardian angel. I was left in a small room with a stranger in a city filled with strangers.
I was falling.
That night I explored campus in a group of adventurous new faces. Strangers alike, we talked, laughed, and shouted into the dark sky, marveling at a freedom none of us had ever experienced before. I was happy beyond the power of words to describe, and I was excited for the world that I could see opening up before me. I now had four years to myself ahead of me to discover what this one, small teenager wanted to do in a great big world. I didn’t feel insignificant though, not at all. In fact I felt on top of the world because for the first time my life was in my hands. It was my turn to decide, and to accept the consequences. The ultimate challenge had finally been laid at my feet, and I had jumped.
I felt so much in that moment that I threw my hands in the air, and walked down the middle of my campus with my arms spread wide saying “this is my home.”
Was I falling or was I flying?