Swan Dive, again

Early in the summer of 2008, I was making some drastic changes to my life. I remember listening to this song, among others, almost every day in my car to and from work. I remember wanting to be in control of everything, but I felt broken and I knew something had to change. I made a choice. A choice to move forward. I was ready to take the next step. I was about to embark on a new journey. I was about to move to Virginia and begin working toward a Master’s degree.

I fell a few more times along the way.  “Why do we fall? So we can pick ourselves back up again.” I put the pieces back together.

I finished. I changed. Grad school changed me in a way I never thought possible. I was pushed to the limit in every aspect of my life in those first two years. I learned how to habituate to the feeling of drowning. In 2010, I decided to take another leap and started a PhD program. I wrote about it on the blog.

I fell again. I broke again.

Recently Chelsea wrote about breaking.

Break, because contrary to what “breaking” infers which is isolation, imperfection or delay – the truth is that breaking means movement and light, both of which are beautiful, sacred and profoundly gratifying.

I left some pieces behind when I broke the last time. I left them scattered on the floor beneath me so I could let the light in again. So I could fill myself with the fragments of a new life. New people. New perspectives. New definitions of success. New experiences. New love. Contentment. Movement and light, as Chelsea so beautifully described.

I realize today that we don’t just take these BIG leaps, these swan dives, when we make those BIG LIFE decisions. Actually, we leap into new opportunities and new paths along the journey just by making a choice to move forward even when we are broken.

I’m about to take another leap (two leaps, in fact). I’m terrified. I’m excited. I’m filled with gratitude. I don’t know if I’ll land on my feet or if I’ll break this time around. I do know that when I break again (because breaking is part of progress), I will be OK.

I’m still finding my Way.

So, here we go.

Cradling the softest, warmest part of you in my hand
Feels like a little baby bird fallen from the nest
I think that your body is something I understand
I think that I’m happy, I think that I’m blessed
I’ve got a lack of inhibition
I’ve got a loss of perspective
I’ve had a little bit to drink
And it’s making me think
That I can jump ship and swim
That the ocean will hold me
That there’s got to be more
Than this boat I’m in

‘cuz they can call me crazy if I fail
All the chance that I need
Is one-in-a-million
And they can call me brilliant
If I succeed
Gravity is nothing to me, moving at the speed of sound
I’m just going to get my feet wet
Until I drown

I’m cradling the hardest, heaviest part of me in my hand
The ship is pitching and heaving, my limbs are bobbing and weaving
And I think this is what I understand
I just need a little vaccination for my far-away vacation
I’m going to go ahead boldly because a little bird told me
That jumping is easy, that falling is fun
Up until you hit the sidewalk, shivering, stunned

And they can call me crazy if I fail
All the chance that I need
Is one-in-a-million
And they can call me brilliant
If I succeed
Gravity is nothing to me
Moving at the speed of sound
I’m just gonna get my feet wet
Until I drown

~Ani Difrano, SwanDive