Thursday, August 12, 2010

Taking the Leap

"I'm going to jump."

Jessica and Irene stare at me like I'm crazy. Darryl gives me an encouraging look.

"Yea. Darryl and I have decided we are going to bungee jump when we get to Macau."

"What?!" My sister exasperates. Her big eyes get even wider.

"What?!" My cousin questions? Her frown lines growing deeper.

This idea stemmed over a conversation Darryl and I had recently, where we decided that the only logical way for me to get more endorphins would be to do something crazy daring like bungee jumping off of the 233 meters Macau Towers. I had suggested just going for a run but bungee jumping of course just makes much more sense.

"You can't jump." My sister says. "You have to get Mama's permission first."

"I am! I am! Watch me!" I crowed to her.

"We'll see." She says. And then we ferried off to Macau. That night, Darryl, Irene, and Jess wreaked havoc in the Wynn casinos. Irene made off like a bandit with the winnings and Jess and Darryl didn't do as well. I tried to keep up with these gambling fiends but by the time the clock struck three, my eyelids shut down and I yawned my way up to make use of our luxe penthouse suite.

I wave goodnight to my loved ones. "Bye, I'm going to sleep in preparation of jumping off a building tomorrow."

"No you're not, don't be stupid. Mama will kill you." My sister says.

"Not if I'm already dead." I har-harred but then, that's not really funny so we let the joke drop.

You could hardly tell we barely slept.

The next morning, I wake up feeling like I just got mowed over by a truck. Don't get me wrong, the Wynn Penthouse Suite king-sized bedroom is amazing to sleep in but I'm a baby and need a certain amount of hours of sleep a day. So I'm woozy and a little disconnected from the world. Probably not a very good time to bungee jump. Or probably the best time.

"You're not going to do it." Jess says. "I won't let you."

"You can't stop me. I'm bigger than you." I say defiantly.

Bigger but not smarter, my sis was probably thinking.

So we head over to the Macau Towers. As I got to the building, my first thought was, "Shit, it's high."

Splat? I'd rather not think about that.

We buy tickets to visit the top floor and once I get there, I think, "Shit, if anything goes wrong, I'm smacking cement and then getting run over by cars and buses. That's not how I wanted to die."

But I had already said I was going to jump. My pride is not going to let me live this down. No, I must persevere on through.

Putting on a brave face while my heart is trying to pop out of my chest.

So we circle the glass building, each time as I stare at the casinos and traffic lights and trees and people below me, a flash of fear races through my heart. The whole time, my head is battling with my gut. I make a list in my head.

I probably wont get hurt.
I probably won't die.
I will be awesome.
I can post it on my blog.
I can brag to my friends.
I can be "that girl who bungee jumped."
I can feel like flying for four whole seconds!

I might regret it.
I might never get a chance to do something like this again.
I might cower in a cave for the rest of my life afraid to do anything cool or daring or exciting or adventurous forever. FOREVER.
Mama won't kill me.

So, it seems like logically, I should jump. So then why do I feel so scared?

"Why don't we just go to lunch and you can think about this?" My sister says with a smug smirk on her face. This girl knows me too well. She thinks I'm not going to jump. I can't let her win. I'm going to jump.

"Sure." I say, but only because I really was really really hungry.

We go to eat. Darryl seems really calm. His calmness makes me want to jump because it's like, if he's going to do it, I have to do it too right? If he jumps, I jump. What is that saying again how if somebody jumps off a bridge, I have to do it too, right? Oh gosh, I'm really tired. And scared. But excited, right? No, mostly scared. And then I think about my blog. This blog. Man, it'd be really cool to post that I went bungee jumping on my blog. For the sake of my work, my art, alone, I should be jumping, right? I need sleep. Or I need to wake up. You know what will wake me up? If I jumped. Yea, I'll bet that'll wake me up real good.

We finish eating and at this time, I still have not confidently declared my status to jump. My sis and cousin go to the bathroom. They take a long time. "You know they're talking about us, right?" Darryl says.

Yea. I know. Just like my sister knows me, I know her.

Sure enough, they pop out and my cousin says, "Janice. You're taking too long deciding whether to jump or not so I'm going to make the decision for us. You're not going to jump. We're going to get a portuguese egg tart instead."

Every stubborn inch of my body wants to fight back, wants to say, "No way! Let's go! I'm ready! Let's jump!" but instead, I just say, "okay" and walked over to press the elevator button to go down.

Did I feel like a failure? Yes. Did I feel I feel like a wuss? Yep. Did I feel like my actions didn't match my words? Definitely. The old Janice most certainly would have jumped. She was always up for anything and everything, enjoying the here and now and worrying about the consequences later. The old Janice would have wanted to rack up another good story to tell. The old Janice would have looked at the new Janice and been like, "whoa, how boring and safe of you. You are not on my level. I judge you. Judge, judge, judge."

But this new Janice is more careful. This new Janice has learned that racking up good stories is great but following her guts (which was screaming, DON'T JUMP, YOU CRAZY LUNATIC!) is also a good idea. This new Janice is accepting that she probably won't be the most fun, most dynamic, most exciting person all the time and she is okay with that. (As long as she is one for most of the time.) This new Janice knows a thing or two about timing, a thing or two about patience, a thing or two about just letting things go after the moment's passed.

I wish I could tell you that I jumped.

That jumping was a metaphor for me taking the leap into the unknown with my life, just trusting what He has planned for me (which is hopefully a safe landing). But I didn't jump. I still trust that He wanted me to take something away with this (probably to not be a crazy, reckless lunatic) and I don't think this will deter me from taking a leap anywhere else in my life. I think this mostly showed me to distinguish myself from the person I want to be as the person I really am. I see pictures of friends who went skydiving and I think, "I want to do that!" But do I really want to do that or do I want to do that because my friend did it? I think I want to be the girl who bungee jumps but do I really want to bungee jump? Not really, because that day, at that time, I'd rather eat a portuguese egg tart.

Which we did. And then some. Macau and all of its non-casino, Portuguese glory taken by the amazing food blogger and not-so-secret-anymore photographer, Irene Wang.

Thanks Jess and Irene for knowing me so well to push (not really push, more like blow) me away from jumping. Sometimes, I just don't know things for my own good! And Darryl, maybe we will jump together another time- when I'm ready.


Anonymous said...

Nice post. Smiled throughout.

- Anonymous non-jumper

helen said...

i love this methaphor for your life. you are amazinggggggggggggggg. definitely wiser, definitely more patient, and MOST DEFINITELY filled with the grace God has bestowed upon you!!! LOVE YOU

but still, let's jump. one day.

Anonymous said...

aw janice. i really liked this post too. i think it's probably my favorite of yours. felt the adrenaline and struggle and a girl's sincere look into herself come through :)

Unknown said...

Hahhahahahhaha! I couldn't stop laughing the entire time while I was reading this :) cause everything is sooooooooo true! Gosh, Jie. Your an amazing writer and I must say I am so proud and in awe of you! Yes, I know you like you know me. Love you!

Love your story telling! Keep it up, miss and love you! Love reading your blogs!

Unknown said...

Hahhahahahhaha! I couldn't stop laughing the entire time while I was reading this :) cause everything is sooooooooo true! Gosh, Jie. Your an amazing writer and I must say I am so proud and in awe of you! Yes, I know you like you know me. Love you!

Love your story telling! Keep it up, miss and love you! Love reading your blogs!

holden said...

always entertaining to read janice.
maybe cause you love life and life is too meaningful for you to take any risk. I bet most Christians or people feel the same way...

thanks for sharing the lesson...

Jan said...

@holden, haha i don't necessarily believe that! i do think it is important to follow your gut and to wait for the right time. my gut was telling me to NOT JUMPPPP

The Cupcake Princess said...

super cute story! when did you not do this?
portugese egg tarts are the best!