the leap

My brother used to do this thing called ‘the leap’.
I wish I could give you a demonstration but in lieu of that just imagine a purposeful jump out of bed.
That’s the leap.
The leap was employed on days when getting out of bed felt extra challenging.
Rather than hesitate or press the snooze button he’d meet doubt with action in the form of an energetic jolt out of bed.
Just like that, the day had started and he was off.
Before Chris died I was very risk averse. In so many situations my anxiety kept me safely embedded in what was familiar.
New ground and uncertainty was scary, no terrifying.
The thought that I’d forgotten to leave a parking ticket in my car used to seriously rattle me, so taking a chance on anything that had weight made was very difficult.
Ever since I could remember I’d always wanted to run my own business. Doing ‘my own thing’ was my career aspiration. I didn’t know what that was but it’s how I wanted things to be.
I didn’t believe I could do it. I didn’t believe I had the courage to set something up, to detach myself from a steady monthly income, to take the leap and go alone.
When something really awful happens to you it kind of does two things (well for me anyway), it confirms that really awful things can happen and also that some things just aren’t scary as you thought they were.
To an extent Chris’ death stoked my anxiety, a worst case was delivered and that made me feel vulnerable, but it also taught me that nothing is certain and if you cling to certainty to feel safe then you’re in for a bumpy ride.
Life is full of cliff edges; opportunities to stay on the ledge or take a run and jump and hope to God you land on your feet.
That jump is always going to feel scary, the unknown is scary but there is always something fruitful on the other side of fear, even if it’s just being able to celebrate the courage that it took to make the move.
Chris’ death taught me to take the leap.
In times of fear and uncertainty I can almost hear him whispering in my ear ‘go on Bear just do it.’
Yesterday I took a leap, I gave up a class to give me more space to create other things, things I’ve been planning and saying I wanted to do for a long time now.
Giving up something steady always feels like a big decision.

It required a leap of faith.
This morning during a class at the gym I was thinking about this, hoping I’d done the right thing, then his favourite song starts blasting through the speaker.
A hip-hop song from the 90’s, one I’d never heard played in the gym before.
There I am, swinging a kettle bell between my legs with tears running down my face.
Coincidence maybe.
But I’ll happily take it as a sign from him that I did the right thing, that sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and take that leap out of what feels warm and comfortable and propel yourself into what else there is in store.