When the fear wears off
When you jump off a cliff into the untamed waves below, the exhilaration of your first jump is unmatched. You immediately climb up to do it again. To feel that apprehension in your stomach get over taken by pure delight. You hope to recapture that feeling. But you can never have it again. Not in the same way. The fear has changed it's flavor in your mouth. It's now laced with experience. With memory. With deserved certainty. Well, at least that's what I've read. I can't swim so I haven't done much cliff jumping.
I bring this up because I always remember that story when I think about my second Youtube video. As it is on the cliff, so it goes with exposing yourself to the world and declaring your claim to some real estate in another human's life. The vulnerability is intense and heightened all the more by the uncertainty of what is to come. Embrace? Rejection? Envy? Scorn? Of course the fears outweigh the hopes. Of course you forget to expect that all too familiar feeling that is neither sexy nor terrifying:
The shrug of the world that reminds you how big the void is. How much the sweat that seemed to drench you can be all but blinked away. And you behold the unmatched power by the bored eye.
But every eye is not bored. Maybe just one eye, or two at first. Maybe it's the eye of your sister or your friend. The eye that cared before you asked strangers to. It crinkles with a smile and greets you in all the ways you hope strangers will. And it means more than you expected. Because their real estate is underwritten with genuine affection. And their time is counted like gold.
So you keep sweating. And you climb back up the cliff. And you keep jumping, not to prove you can do it, but to improve your form every time. And there is still a little bit of fear. But most of it is gone. And you don't miss it. Because you're the kind of person who will simply find another height and jump just as determined off of that one. And listen, I'm learning how to swim. So this won't just be a metaphor for long.