My one wild and precious life


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.


(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.



  1. Sarah on August 29, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    Confession: I “star” a lot of your posts in my Google reader, including this one. I don’t know what that means except that I like them :).

  2. Michael on August 29, 2012 at 6:54 AM

    YES! I love that smile! And of course you screamed…you jumped out of a plane! Screaming is called for.

  3. carin on August 29, 2012 at 7:16 AM

    That is amazing. Congrats.
    Love, Mrs. Chesney

  4. Val on August 29, 2012 at 8:25 AM

    Your. Hair. Looks. AWESOME.

  5. Emily from Seattle on August 29, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    You make me want to haul out my bucket list and see what kind of things I can make happnen right now. :)

  6. Julie on August 29, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    Inspiring! Thank you, Annie!

  7. Little AP on August 29, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    This is so awesome. :) You are so awesome.

  8. Nicolas Frisby on August 29, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    I can confirm that you were better off not reading the release form! I made that mistake — but I still jumped :)

  9. Kerry on August 30, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” A deep, deep question we all need to ask ourselves. And then get to it! I LOVE that about you, Annie P. You are an incredible example to us all!

  10. Amanda on August 31, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    Um, Matt is hot. Please tell me you noticed this.

  11. Emily from Seattle on September 3, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    I agree with Amanda…just didn’t want to be the first to say it. :D

  12. Friday Finds: Starred Posts on October 5, 2012 at 6:05 AM

    […] 5. I love Annie Parsons. If my google reader indicates that ”Hootenannie” has a new post, I read that before anything else. Sometimes she makes me laugh, sometimes she makes me cry. This time she made me beam and nod my head, YES. “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” You can read about jumping out of a plane here: My One Wild and Precious Life. […]

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