Recently, I signed up for a trapeze class.
A scared-of-heights, never had the guts to be a gymnast, not even able to do a cartwheel non-cheerleader, me.
But I did it because I keep seeing the word "scary" pop up in my morning pages (the journaling method suggested by "____ book": "pitching to retailers is scary," "sharing my art with the world is scary," "applying to shows / contests/ grants is scary."
"Scary" is exhausting. It's an energy and time suck that, when I finally focused on it, made me realize it took up too much of my brain space and, even more frightening, life direction. Navigating life depending on what is or isn't scary is a terribly erratic and inefficient system of travel.
So I did something legitimately scary and jumped off a platform 25 feet in the air while swinging on a swing. (While appropriately harnessed and surrounded by plenty of protective nets.)
Heres some things I learned:
- Trust- It's allows you to enjoy the experience. You worry about trusting the guy holding you when you're hovering 25 feet about the ground. You trust the harness. You trust the nets. You trust that gravity will not be too terribly hard on your body.
- Focus- I was one person in a class of two. I was the first timer while the other woman had been doing this as a hobby for twelve years. The instructor was the first to inform me- Don't worry about what the other people are doing. Do you. Something I need to keep on mind the next time I scroll through ky Instagram feed.
- Ease- If it looks easy it's because they've worked a really long time at it. Repeat previous IG self - advice.
- Timing- The instructors didn't just know WHAT to do but WHEN to do it. They knew when it would easiest for the "flyer" in the world of physics. Real world transition: I am working on establishing relationships with people around the art industry. People who know the WHAT and WHEN. People who can potentially make my experience a bit easier because I'm not fighting the reality of physics.
- Scared- Every time I climbed up the ladder that never seemed to end, I shook. Every time I reached out to grab the bar, I thought, "I don't have to do this." Every time the I stepped down into this air, I wonder if the bar would hold me... Or more accurately, if my grip would hold. And the more times I climbed the ladder, the easier it was to climb the ladder the next time. The more I did a back flip when I released, the better my back flip got. It never got any less scary- it just got easier.