Saturday, 6 August 2022

Que Sera, Sera

"Only three percent of people do this jump," said the local guide. "It is quite dangerous and you need to have the right technique or you might hurt yourself. But I think you can do it - you are a good jumper."

We were on our third jump. I've always loved cliff-diving. I don't have a fear of heights but I still get that rush of adrenaline in the few seconds when I leap off the cliff and plunge into the waters beneath me.

The local guide, Wayan, observed the way I jumped from the 5 metre and 10 metre cliffs. He said he could tell that I was the fearless type - I never hesitated before taking the leap. And that I had good technique - I knew how to control my motion and land safely into the waters.

I guess I would consider myself as (sort of) an adrenaline junkie. A couple of weeks ago, I went on my very first dirt bike trail. In fact, it was my first time riding my own bike. In less than fifteen minutes, I was taught how to operate the manual dirt bike and sent to the trail, which was meant for riders with experience. Again, the local guide thought I could do it; perhaps because I learned fast and seemed confident. I completed the trail brimming with pride, but also battered and bruised from the multiple falls. At least I didn't break any bones, I thought. 

Some people say I'm crazy but I love the adrenaline. It makes me feel alive. I go about my daily life with my attention split between countless of things. I'm always, always tired. And then there's the occasional anxiety, which dampens your spirit. But when your life is at stake, every ounce of energy is focused on making it out alive, and you could almost literally feel the blood pulsing in your veins.

But adrenaline is not what you experience every day. And in the quiet moments like this - as I'm sitting by the pool in my bathrobe typing away on my Macbook - I'm forced to confront my demons. And the ironies within me become clearer than ever.

There is a fine line between recklessness and courage. Recklessness involves a disregard of consequences while courage requires the mental resilience to withstand the fears and dangers that may come your way. I think my greatest irony is that I am reckless and give little thought to most of the things that I do but overthink every little detail when it comes to matters of the heart. And almost always end up in a psychological impasse.

Dating again after two break ups shouldn't be that complicated a thing. But in spite of my fairly big appetite for risk, cowardice prevents me from taking things a step further each time I'm at the brink of something more than just 'getting to know you'. I fall fast and hard, but choosing to be vulnerable and giving someone the power to hurt you requires a different level of courage. 

Or perhaps it is not courage that I'm lacking, but the confidence that I have the right technique to fall safely. To be hurt but not to lose myself in the process. And to fully embrace the fact that whatever will be, will be.

© Melody Sim | All rights reserved.