I stood on the cliff edge, knowing that no matter how much I wanted to, I couldn’t go back. The only way was forward, off the cliff. I hesitated, scared of what lay ahead and wishing I could return to the comfort and safety of the past. Eventually I decided to leap figuring that I couldn’t fly if I didn’t. I opened my eyes and jumped. I didn’t fly; I didn’t soar. I plummeted down into the murky water. At least I didn’t hit the rocks, though I can feel the sting from where they scratched and cut me.
I cannot see a way out of the water. Instead of flying, I am desperately paddling, trying to keep my head above water. I am exhausted and want to give up, but giving up means drowning. Every now and again I feel the plants beneath me, curling themselves round my legs to pull me under. So far I have been able to kick them off, but I fear that I can’t keep them at bay forever.
I do not know how much longer I can keep myself afloat. Each day is a struggle simply for survival and I can feel the water deepening beneath me. There are only three options. I can drown. I can keep paddling until I am saved or run out of energy. Or I can try and find a direction to swim in, but if I don’t reach land or a boat, I will drown quicker this way. I know I should swim – that’s what everyone tells you to do. And I want to swim. But I don’t know how to navigate the waters, and I don’t want to waste my energy on going deeper out to sea.
Yes, I am scared. I believed I could fly but with every moment that hope is being corroded. I am not worried about flying anymore, but I want more than to just survive. And that is what I fear I’ll never manage as everything I am is being poured into not drowning. And so I paddle, take a few strokes and paddle some more. I do not know how much longer I can keep this up, but I will not drown without a fight.