I was standing over a 35-foot drop into the frigid waters of Lake Superior.
While I thought, “Yesyesyesyesyes!”, every bone in my body said, “Nononononono!” Even when I saw my friends go and knew it was safe to jump, existential fear pulled me back.
Then I just said “fuck it” and jumped.
Time stood still. The water’s impact was a punch to the gut. A rush of endorphins flooded the system. “Ugahugahugahuga!” my vocal cords released involuntary yodels as I lasted one minute in the water.
Afterwards, I was an uncomfortable shivering mess. Even so, I was so dang happy. I just expanded my comfort zone! The Darkness just became a little less dark!
Time for the underrated self-help cliche:
Every day holds an opportunity to cliff jump into the Darkness. Most of us don’t, because we anticipate the initial punch in the gut. But maybe if we say “fuck it” and make a habit of jumping, we could get comfortable with being uncomfortable. The rewards for doing so exceed every punch.