“Everything around me is changing, and yet I am more myself than I’ve ever been…”
I just finished watching How To Make an American Quilt. In the movie, which is based off a book, there are a few women sewing a love quilt where the theme is “Where Love Resides,” the movie journeys through these women’s love lives. But the part that gets me the most is the very last scene. One of the women meets the person she ends up marrying while she is diving. They also go diving on their first date. Through the course of the movie, he ends up leaving her. She doesn’t dive anymore. But the end of the movie, with the score swelling as it happens, she is an old woman and she climbs up to the high dive and jumps in. That’s the way it ends. And I cry every time. I cry because I love that even though she’s had so many crappy things happen to her, she was willing to go back to her passion and remove the limit she had put for herself. The rest of the movie is great, but that scene just inspires me so much. It doesn’t matter what point you are in life, you can jump off the high dive.
After I watched it, I was reminded of the quote that I posted at the beginning of this post. I strongly believe in change and always been intrigued by the old phrase of doing one thing a day that scares you. All the times I’ve said I would never do something. I almost always did do them and enjoyed them. I laugh thinking about the things I survived that I thought I would never do. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I had stuck to my mantra of never doing certain things. It’s sad to think about to be honest. I realized, I needed to do more things. I realized that I was limiting myself. I was giving myself unnecessary boundaries.
I hate running. I said I would never ever run. And then I started thinking about why. And I could scarcely admit it to myself, but I was self conscious. I grew up with siblings who ran and a best friend who was a crazy good runner. Comparatively speaking, I was in no shape (both figuratively and physically) to even be close to them. So I shut it down without ever really trying it. I decided to be brave. Take a jump off the high dive. I went on a run around my neighbourhood. And can I tell you: it was so liberating. I realized I loved how it felt. I loved being able to focus on something and also be processing my day in mind at the same time. And while it’s not my favourite thing yet, it is slowly developing into something I enjoy. I hope to do a half marathon before the end of this year.
People seem to think that since I am a very public person that I trust people. But I realized doing this (still on-going) experiment, that I never really let people in. I treat life like a chess board, always looking forward and moving my pieces around until I win. I like to always be ahead of the competition. I like to know what my opponents are thinking. And if I sense any emotional danger, I run. I like to analyze what moves make the most sense at specific times. But the thing about life is that there are people in it who are most definitely not pawns. Most people are on your side of the board. They’re not your opponents. They’re protecting you. And while it may be scary to be vulnerable and let them in, it’s so much better and more fun if you do.
Finally freeing myself to saying, “yes, I think I will try that” has allowed me to become more who I am inherently. I hope all those who read this will be able to realize the limits they are putting on themselves. Then go jump off the high dive with me! I hope I can look back on my life, and know I tried all the things possible. That I took risks, jumped without knowing all the consequences, that I had the courage to change and become more myself every day. And when it didn’t work out, that I climbed right back on the ladder and dived again.