My family came by the dropzone today. They were headed up the state, I had a rig to pack (S leaves the student canopies for me to pack so I can learn how to do it) and a free afternoon so it worked out.
Funny thing was, that "feeling" I've started to have since I started taking climbing more seriously was at an all-time high. Since this is an unfamiliar thing for me to experience, I don't know if it crosses over and is just part of the whole "growing up" thing or not. I've spent a good part of my life doing as I was told, looking for approval and achieving what I was "supposed to". It's something I struggle with always, but am learning gradually to let go of.
I'm going to go ahead and make climbing the scapegoat here, since climbing is sort of what got everything going--led to slacklining and eventually I'd say even skydiving. The attitudes I developed, the confidence, the way I fit with these activities in a way I'd never fit with other sports. The people I met--a veritable smorgasboard of smart, warm, adventurous individuals that I have loved spending time with.
And the more I become the person I am most comfortable being, the me that I like the most, the more I realize that's not so much what I had in mind, and perhaps not even what was expected of me. And that's a harsh reality, because in my mind "smart kids" like me don't struggle with this, they just get through school, get a respectable "smart kid" job, and everything is sunshine and butterflies.
How is it that I am engaged in a daily battle where some days I'm so happy I'm beside myself and ready to take the world by storm and other days I'm petrified that I am merely scratching an itch and eventually these passions will fade away and then I'll be a shoulda-coulda-woulda who used to have potential? I understand that it is all a balance (which is sometimes a difficult concept for my stubborn mind to wrap itself around) and that everything has an ebb and flow.
And right now, I'm okay with that. So long as at the end of the day I know that I gave it my all, I'll be just fine. It's just hard when a family is as tight knit as mine is and I feel absolutely on the fringe, like I'm not on the grid where I can even relate these things and what they mean to me.
So then skydiving and climbing become something bigger. Something uniquely defining and not just in the way that people look at you and go "you're crazy" or "you're hardcore" or "what's with all the extreme sports?", but in the way that I feel like I am pursuing things that make me terribly happy. And experiencing that doubt just becomes part of the whole thing...knowing that I am the one making choices and having to own them.