The full weight of my decision to jump out of an airplane on my 28th birthday did not hit me until I was 14,000 feet above the ground and strapped to a man named Ray. A few months earlier I had romanticized skydiving on my birthday as a metaphor for conquering my fears and accomplishing my goals. But now as I survey the dizzying landscape outside the hanger’s window, I’m trying to remember why I thought this was ever a good idea. I am not brave and I hate heights. It is not natural for humans to plunge to earth at 120 miles per hour. As the door to the plane opens, I watch as the three skydivers in front of me plunge like lemmings off a cliff. As I walk the plank to my assisted suicide, I try to stop Ray from pushing me forward by grabbing the interior edges of the plane. I am glad that the engine’s loud roar is masking my total freak out complete with tears, snot and guttural sounds. And to think I could have treated myself to a day at the spa for my birthday for the same price.
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