Three weeks ago, I packed enough to leave and lead for two days. As a junior, I was entrusted with ten sophomores from my high school. It was implied that I would have to lead these sophomores on their class retreat. It was implied that I was going to have to assume the position of a retreat leader. It was implied that I was going to have to get these classmates to open up.
It was tough though. I had not expected any rewarding experience though. I did not expect anything when I found myself in the Redwood tree forests of Northern California.
Launched up fifty feet in the air though, there was no going down slowly. There was no going down softly, sin sentir las mariposas.
Not without feeling the butterflies. Better yet, not without feeling the flood of butterflies yelling at me from my stomach. Or the yelling coming from my own vocal chords.
The way this ropes course was set up, the (scared) participant was the one that had to make the decision of when to let go. Letting loose the 'life line' that kept a person up in the air meant cutting the connection of the harness to the cord that kept a person harnessed stable.
And with that, my butterflies yelling and body yelling, I desperately sought the ground. I couldn't have unwrapped myself out of that harness any slower though.
Because to my right were the voices that did not let me back down. Had my sophomore group not been there, it would have been easy to just not take the fall. Had they not been there, I would have given into my habit of shying away from fear and challenge.
And seeing them there, I realized that I had actually done it. Their expressions greeted me back on the ground. I knew I had to tell them that they had no idea how much I had been crying inwardly about the entire thing. In my anxiety, I could not say a word though. Only until I let go, and as soon as I let go, did they hear it in my yelling.
"Good job. I did not see that yelling coming, at all."
Yes, well, I explained it to them afterwards.
Because after everything, it was clear to me that I couldn't have done that alone. In fact, I wouldn't have done it alone.
I just wouldn't have. It is in a community that fears, challenges, and heights are overcome. Nowhere else was this so clear to me.
This I believe.