We were going back through the shots of the birthday party after I had already pronounced myself finished processing them (it's just a reality that when you take nearly 500 pictures of an event, you have to be choosy as to which ones are given the special treatment). And I saw this one. I was drawn to the energy and the much-younger version of myself I saw in it.
|jump like you mean it|
photo by kirsten michelle (2010)
This is Dacia, our niece. She's the one on the diving board, arms thrown back, knees bent, poised to jump, daring the water. She's not scared of jumping in, she's not hesitating, and she's not being quiet about it.
Once upon a time, this could have been me. This picture spoke to me and made me wonder so many things: about what happens as we get older that makes us scared and hesitant and too practical for our own good, about how we start to be afraid of the water instead of daring the water to be afraid of us. Somewhere along the way, I stopped throwing my arms back and jumping in. Somewhere along the way, I became the type of person to dip my toes in first, to slide into the water gradually and let myself acclimate to the temperature instead of making a splash.
I became the type of person who cared if her hair got wet. What the heck?!
I'm not talking about becoming irresponsible, but living with passion and abandon and enthusiasm, of taking some calculated risks, of giving something your all -- of daring the water to be afraid of you. Because you're fierce. Because you are a force to be reckoned with. I know how the ability to live this way is lost; what I'm more concerned with is how I get it back.
I really want to know your thoughts on this:
Do you feel like this has happened to you at any point in your life (losing your ability to "jump right in")? What does this look like? Have you made changes in any area of your life that allow you to live this way? Any stories, anecdotes, experiences, or insights you have in this regard are welcome here.