A greater conquering

Published 12:36 pm Friday, December 10, 2021

From college to the real world

You guys, I did a thing. You might hate me for it. Or you might love me for it. Kevin will roll his eyes, and Mom––well, you’ll thank me. 
But first, let’s chat about how this all happened––this thing I mentioned. A week ago, my friend called me and said, “Alright, are we doing this or not?” I ran upstairs, opened my laptop, and started laughing at the spontaneity of it all. 
“This is crazy,” I said.  “I’m so scared.”
“You’re scared? You said you wanted to do this!” he said.
“No, I don’t want to do this.  I have to do it.  This is about proving to myself that I can.”
“Alright,” he said, “so let’s book it then.”
Thirty minutes later, we agreed to go skydiving together on Wednesday at 11 o’clock in the morning. He was to drive to my house, be here at 9, and off we’d go. He entered our information to book the tickets, and said, “Okay, are you sure? Like, are we doing this?” And I ran away and went to lunch with my parents and said I’d call him later that night to confirm, THEN we could purchase two tickets. Did I get scared? Did I get a pit in my stomach when I thought about this non-refundable purchase? Absolutely.
But like I said in the last column, could you imagine if I ended this year without doing the thing that scared me most? Not that I’m afraid of heights. No, I’m afraid of the fall. I’m afraid of feeling like a coward for not doing the one thing I swore I’d have to do to complete my Year of New Things. To fulfill my path from college to the real world. This would be the icing on the cake. This would be the ending to the best year of my life, because this was the scariest thing I could do. It’d make me bold. Brave.
But early on the morning of December first, another friend called me and said, “Hey, we made it to December first, the Christmas month!”
Indeed, the last month of the year.  That’s when I told him all about how I almost booked tickets for skydiving and how I had thirty-one days to do it. And instead of saying how cool that’d be, like everyone else has, he started to ask me why I felt like I had to do a thing that I didn’t want to do.
“Riddle me this:” he said, “It seems like you have a greater fear of not doing it than you have of doing it.” To which I agreed.
He went on to say, “There’s greater conquering in not doing it.”
And finally, I could find peace in the idea that I didn’t have to force myself to overcome my fear of falling from an airplane. That’s not to say I’ll never do it.  That’s just to say that I won’t be doing it in 2021. So I can say with confidence that I accomplished everything that I wanted to this year. I even got over my fear of not going skydiving. Can you believe it?  It only took eleven months.
A year ago today, I graduated college. On my last drive to school, I remember being nervous because, at that point, two job opportunities had fallen through, and I had no clue what I’d be doing once the hustle and bustle of Christmas was over. 
But a year later, here we are. Here we are, reading about the ending of the beginning of my first year in the real world. Here I am telling my faithful readers that I couldn’t be happier with how this year is ending, despite the inevitable valleys of 2021––despite the falling apart of plans, but rather the building of growth. 
But things fall apart, I realize now, so they can fall right into place. Turns out jumping from a plane wouldn’t have changed anything at all. Turns out, in fact, that I’m totally happy being firmly planted on the ground. Dearest readers, if we don’t speak before the holidays, then do have yourself a merry little Christmas!

by Macy Cochran

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