"The bravest thing I've ever done is continue to live"...
I've always been terrified at the thought of skydiving and swore it was something I would NEVER do! That was until Josh's best friend signed me up and told me there was no backing out. I really didn't have a choice at that point so I called up my girlfriend that was going to be in town that weekend and convinced her that she had to come with me. She might hate me now her paralyzing fear of flying since she jumped but I think we are both glad we were forced into it because we probably would've never done it otherwise. Taking chances and facing fears is something Josh always encouraged me to do and I know he would want me to continue to live that way without him. I knew conquering this fear would make him proud and I knew it would be good for me mentally as well. When someone you love dies or you go through any kind of significant trauma, it's very common to feel numb. That numbness is your body protecting you from the pain that you are about to endure. With that said, I have felt very numb since Josh died and really needed to feel something, anything! Even if it was an incredible amount of fear and adrenaline as I throw my perfectly healthy body out of a perfectly good plane. Josh would do it, right?
So the day prior to the big jump I received the perfect sign that I was doing the right thing. I told my uber driver that I was going skydiving and was scared out of my mind and he share a youtube video with me. The video was Will Smith talking about his skydiving experience and how it's silly to stress about something that terrifies you days or hours prior to being remotely close to actually doing it. It was because of that video that I went into this experience without the fear of jumping taking over the thrill and joy of the experience. It wasn't until I was shoved in the very back of the tiny plane and was told I was going to be the last person to jump that I actually lost my shit. However, by that point there was no turning back, I couldn't watch my two friends take a plunge and be the one who chickened out. Also, I thought to myself, what's the worst thing that could happen? I don't make it out of this alive and get to be with Josh? For me, that wasn't a bad alternative. Also, Josh never let the fear of death stop him from doing anything in life and that was one of the many things that I admired that about him. I always wanted to be a little bit more of a thrill seeker or risk taker and Josh's death has definitely done that for me. I knew after I jumped out of that plane I would be a better version of myself than I was before I jumped.
There is such a sense of accomplishment after you conquer a fear. You feel like if you conquered that fear there is nothing holding you back anymore. For me, flying high above the clouds not only gave me a sense of accomplishment but it also gave me a sense of piece knowing that for a few mins I was closer to Josh than any typical day. There is magic in that. I also couldn't help but laugh at the thought of Josh being in my head as I was jumping. He had always made fun of his moms skydiving video because her face was flapping in the wind the entire time so one of my first thoughts was I'm going to make damn sure he can't make fun of me for that! The guy I jumped with had mentioned to us that if you smile really big you can prevent your cheeks from flapping. So naturally through all of the panic that was running through my head my next thought was "I'm going to make damn sure I smile as hard as I can from ear to ear so Josh can't make fun of me!" I'm sure he was still loosing it watching me smile like the joker while drool was flying out of my mouth, and checking my finger ever 2 seconds to be sure my wedding ring was still on.
Most of the crazy things I do these days are for him, but at the same time they are for me in his honor. My life was forever changed the day that I met Josh in the best possible way. He gave me the strength and courage to conquer things that I never thought were possible and he continues to do so even after he's gone. When faced with anything I am unsure about I always ask myself what would Josh say or do? And he has yet to steer me in the wrong direction.
So guys... go skydiving, take risks, face your fears, and LIVE! Your future self will thank you for it!
Also notice the random F marked in the ground below, I love things like that 🌎