Of midair leaps and burning bridges

I like this excerpt from “Central American Dreams” by Jennifer Bingham Hull, one of several stories included in the women’s travel anthology Go Your Own Way:  Women Travel the World Solo:

When the sages say, “Jump and the bridge will appear,” they don’t mention the other bridges burned or that moment in mid air . . . . In that space between the familiar and the foreign, you feel like your spirit could blow away with the first wind.

To me, this quote captures that feeling of gut-wrenching uncertainty that follows any major change of direction you make in your life.  When you purposely leap into the unknown, you necessarily close some doors, end some relationships, say “no” to one path or way of being and “yes” to another.  In a sense, there is no going back to where (or how) you were before.  The old ties — the ones that held you down and kept you “secure” for so long — have been cut, and you are now sailing through the air, untethered, unmoored.  Granted, you have before you your vision for the future, for the new life you want to build, but it looks so small and indistinct from where you are now.  Caught in mid-dive between the old and the new, you wonder, “Can I really hit that tiny little target I’m aiming for?  And if I can, is it really big enough to hold me up, to sustain me?  Was I right to leave a life of sharp detail for this fuzzy unknown?”

Temporarily stripped of your context and tumbling outside the bounds of your comfort zone, you might feel fragile, formless and uncertain about the decision you have just taken.

In this period of freefall, surrounded as you are by nothing, remember to do one thing:  wait it out.  Your goals will become clearer the closer to get to reaching them.  Your fears will subside.  And you have with you the one thing that you can truly depend on to get you through this moment — indeed, through anything:  yourself.  Trust yourself, and trust your motivations.  You’ll make it.  You’ll get where you need to go.

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