You’re on a boat in the middle of the ocean. There are other people on that boat but for a brief moment in time, it’s just you and the sea. The wind hit your face a mile a minute, your hair’s a mess, but you’re content. You tune out the distant chatter and focus on the here and now. The ocean has a way of making a person feel part of something bigger than themselves.
As the boat accelerates onwards, the deep and shallow parts of the ocean swirl together to form a white foam. The dark blue seems endless. No one’s ever touched the deepest parts of the ocean floor. Maybe it is endless.
When the boat stills, you jump. You’re scared at first, but it’s something you’ve always wanted to do. No life jacket, because you’ve decided to trust your ability to tread water. And you swim. You swim in the vast openness with no end in sight.
You think for a second about what would happen if you drowned. But why would you sink? You’re strong and capable. You’ve done this before. Maybe not in the same context, but you know how to survive.
After a while, you feel more confident. You push your thoughts on failure to the parts of your brain that store all those shitty middle school memories you’d rather forget.
When you grow tired you move to your back and float. You’re adaptable, you know how to adjust your path in order to become more comfortable. You know how to float because you’ve done this before.
The ocean is filled with creatures that will hurt you, but it’s also filled with harmless fish that just want to find their dad. You can’t always avoid the danger, but you’ve learned enough to understand how to swim around impending doom to try and avoid it.
As you become impatient and restless you make your way back to the boat. To your safety, away from what was once unknown. The chatter becomes louder and you’re welcomed back with open arms.
As the boat departs you look back at the vastness you’re leaving behind. Look at how far you’ve come. What you did was scary, but it’s not the last scary thing you’ll ever do. It’s that trust in the unknown that keeps everything afloat.
You learn about yourself when you do something new and often terrifying. You learn that you’re more aware and able than you originally thought. Because you’ve done this all before, only in a different context.
You’ve fought the current you’re whole life and managed to make it out on the other side. You’ve trodden water when things got challenging, often for hours. But eventually, you start floating and then you begin swimming onward again.
It’s okay to be afraid. Everyone feels inferior sometimes, everyone feels like they aren’t good enough. This feeling can hit you multiple times over the course of an hour. But don’t let the vast darkness of the unknown prevent you from taking the leap.