Learning to Leap
You know the saying, “Leap, and the net will appear”? It’s overused a lot, but man does it fit with what Rachel and I are trying to do with The Curative Plate.
I don’t quite feel like we’re leaping off a cliff, though. It feels like we are full-on Thelma & Louise-ing off that cliff in a speeding car.
Rachel, as the owner, has a lot more worries than I do. I know it weighs heavily on her. We share many late-night texts along the lines of:
“What are we doing?”
“What made me think I could start a business during a pandemic?”
“I should just work a regular job and collect a steady paycheck.”
“It’s normal to panic, right?”
“I have to-do lists that are having baby to-do lists, and I can’t get any of them done.”
Add chronic illness to the mix, where we have days we can’t get out of bed and console ourselves with, “I did some work from my phone,” and that cliff looks a whole lot higher. The net is coming, right? Is there a time-frame for this thing? Can it hurry up?
But really, the net isn’t the important part; it’s the leap.
Hear me out.
Sounds crazy, right? Who in their right mind wants to fall and end up in broken pieces at the bottom?
But you can also fly.
If you don’t leap, you’ll never feel the joy of soaring through the air. Fear of the thud, of becoming the broken pieces at the bottom of the cliff often paralyzes us from even considering leaping.
Fear paralyzes you.
Failure is very looked down upon in our society. Usually I turn to Yoda for inspirational quotes about life (laugh if you must, my religion is Star Wars), but in the scene where he says, “Do. Or do not – there is no try,” I want to say, hold on there, little guru of mine. There should be a lot of try. But we don’t try, because we are afraid of the crash – which is failure.
What can we do, if we let go of fear? Because when you let go of that fear, other things get pulled out with it. Regret, for not trying the things in life that you are gifted in. Self-doubt, that you can ever make something out of nothing. Resentment, of the things you do every day just to survive and end up hating every moment.
If fear paralyzes you, bravery gives you power. It’s bravery that lets you go up against the failure that you’re afraid of. And like every fight you go into, you may not win. You may end up in those broken pieces. But every brave person who gets beaten down in defense of what they love will still feel better than the person who ran away. That will beat themselves up, and that’s a harsher punishment to live with.
Failure is not the worst thing. I won’t say there is no reason to fear it, there is. It’s very real to panic at the thought of not being able to pay your rent, or worry if you can feed yourself as you struggle to feed your dream. Or if everyone in your circle of family and friends will look at you with a smug, “I told you so,” when you try and don’t make it.
To help myself with these things, I try to play a game called Worst Case Scenario. I try to think of all the scary things that could happen, and then come up with my own safety nets. Maybe I stockpile ramen to feed myself. Maybe I only tell an inner circle of people I know will support me. Maybe I figure out if I sell my car to pay rent, how do I take the bus. Things like that. Until I feel like okay, none of those bad things killed me, I can handle whatever comes up. Weave your nets beforehand, then when you leap, you can see you’ll be alright. You may not fly, but you may learn what caused you to fall, and in so doing, what not to do next leap . You pick yourself up off the net, or you gather your broken pieces at the bottom, and you put yourself back together again. You are not Humpty Dumpty. You can get up, put yourself together and go, “I know what to do differently next time.” The lessons learned from failure are some of the best tools for eventual success. As Yoda also said, “The greatest teacher, failure is.”
So let there be a first time. Or a next time. A thud, or a soar. Life is about Leaping.
And here we are. We made the Leap. We hope that you all will help The Curative Plate soar. You brave souls that are a part of this community we are trying to build. Let’s help give each other the courage we need to do the things we are meant to in life.
From our Heart and our Hands, let’s do this together.