On Friday morning, I went skydiving – and I smiled the entire time. Do you need proof? Oh, I have proof.
Here I am with my dad beforehand. Smiling.
Here I am about to climb onto the plane with my instructor/partner/my-entire-life-is-in-your-hands guy, Matt. Smiling.
Here I am in mid-air. SMILING LIKE IT’S THE BEST THING THAT’S EVER HAPPENED.
(Come on, is that not the HAPPIEST you have ever seen me?)
And here I am, windblown but safe and sound on the ground with Matt. Smiling. Smiling. Smiling.
As one with a historic fear of heights and smashing and death, skydiving might seem the wrong activity – but I can honestly say that my fears never came into play that morning. I showed up calm, put on a jumpsuit, pulled my hair back into a ponytail – and then, jumped out of an airplane.
In a culture full of suspicion and defense, it’s a magnificent thing to trust a perfect stranger with your life. I had no idea what I was doing – didn’t even read the release form as I signed it (which is probably for the best) – but I never questioned the instructions I got from Matt. I took him at his word. And as vulnerable as that may have made me, I never felt afraid.
I did, however, scream involuntarily for long stretches of time. I couldn’t help that part.
Mary Oliver asked, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” I hope that my answer always includes an amount of risk, the extension of trust, and falling face-forward into whatever may come… wearing a gigantic smile.