You are onto something. Here you are, at the edge of a cliff, looking down at the dark, narrow bottomless pit you are about to crash into. But you’ve made your decision. You’re taking that jump. You’re also stupid. You didn’t make it.
Congratulations for crawling back alive. Your hands are bruised, your knees are shaking, your voice is parched from screaming before you hit rock bottom. There’s blood on your forehead. There’s probably more on your scalp but no, you’re too afraid to check it. You know you’re hurt. That’s enough data. But again, you roll your fingers, form a fist, bite your lower lip and comb away the dry, cold flakes with your teeth. One more try, you whisper. One more try.
Shakily, you step back. You can hear your shoes crunching on the ground. You’re making a run for it. This time, I’ll go faster, you say. You do. You let off, feet hovering from the ground, and then gravity. It slurps you in like a long strand of noodle. You fall. You lose.
But the other side is your goal. Sure, you’ve fallen in the pit twice, but maybe you just didn’t get something right. Maybe it’s the angle. Your blued, bruised hands tremblingly clutch against the rocks as you heave yourself up. One more try.
And here you are, standing on the edge of the cliff, the same place where you once were, looking at the bright side across the gaping hole. You know the length and breadth. You know your speed. You’ve calculated the nearest point where your feet will most likely land. To not try again is stupid.
The ground cheers you on. Dust flies as you eject yourself off the earth, legs swinging up in the air, arms reaching wide to the sky, to any piece of branch you can cling to. The other side. That’s your goal. You have been looking at it far too long not to make this jump. Your legs crashed. Your arms cross as you protect your head from the sudden tossing. You roll on the ground. You broke your joints. But you’re here, on the other side.
There’s a reason why first tries fail. And maybe even the second, or the third, or the fourth. But each time, you don’t just blindly propel yourself against the current. No; you look, and you learn. And each time, you’re doing something different. A new attempt.
It might seem foolish to some — pain is a bitter teacher — but the truth is this: you are not where you were. You are not who you were. So take your time. Take your jumps. The present may seem like a pit you can’t escape from, but you’ll get to the other side; wiser, stronger, braver, better.