Earlier this month I went skydiving for the first time. This is something I have wanted to do for quite a while, but the timing never seemed to work out quite right. When a group of friends from work were talking about going, I knew this was my chance to go, so I had to jump on the opportunity. We made our reservation for the weekend before I moved home; it would be my last California adventure.
When we showed up to the airport the nerves began to set in. After watching a safety video and looking at pictures hanging in the office, the reality of jumping out of a plane set in. I was going to willingly jump out of a plane at 13,000 feet. We geared up, got in the plane and took off. Cue freakout. What if the parachute doesn’t open? What if we don’t land correctly? What if I am part of the 0.0007% of the population that doesn’t live to tell the story? Fast forward 15 minutes and I was back on the ground filled with adrenaline and a smile on my face; I was so happy I did it!
There came a point up there in that plane that I had to give up control of what was about to happen. I watched the training videos, followed the guidance of the instructor, but even with my preparations, I still had no idea what to expect while jumping head first into the unknown (at 120 mph). That feeling I had up in that plane is where I am right now with leaving for the Peace Corps. I more or less have done everything I can to prepare for my move to Peru, but the unknown of what is yet to come still exists.
What exact projects will I be working on? I don’t know. What will my host family be like? I don’t know. Where in Peru will I be placed? I don’t know. How will I learn to salsa with two left feet? I REALLY don’t know.
But just like that parachute caught me while skydiving, I know I will have the support system in Peru to pull me back up and keep me safe as I head into the unknown. The unknown can be one of the scariest places to venture off into, but it often brings us the greatest rewards in life. In the words of the band Needtobreathe, “If you never leave home, never let go, you’ll never make it to the great unknown. Keep your eyes open, my love.”
Eight days til Peru, vamos!