Let's "Cliff Jump" Together!
Back in 2013, I took a life changing vacation.
I had just had my heart broken by the first man I thought I could marry. We were supposed to go to South Africa together for Christmas to visit some of his extended family; cancelled. Not only did I feel a gaping hole in my heart, but the 3 weeks I had taken off from my finance job at the time felt like another one. I couldn't sit around for all of it. So I booked a solo trip to Curacao, a tiny island in the Netherland-Antilles, right near Aruba.
Don't ask me how I found this gem!? LOL. I don't remember, but it was supposedly safe, had a gorgeous beach, a Marriott resort (points!) and some activities if I felt up to it.
I had no agenda. I would do exactly what I wanted. Heal. Relax. Drink wine. Cry. Get a massage. Cry some more. This whole, "go take care of you" was rare occurrence for me, a woman who's brain was ALWAYS ON and loved to take care of other people.
The vacation turned into, what my friends would call, my "Eat Pray Love." I concurred.
I met a wonderful man, a bartender, Nadim, at the resort where I'd eat dinner each night (bc that's what you do on solo vacations - pretend to read a book, until an interesting person steals your attention;)). He was a local, who's family had left Venezuela years ago due to political unrest, and was super pumped to show me his island. While I heard my mother's voice freaking out that I would be the next "Natalie Holloway," telling me not to go, I a) didn't tell her, but I did tell my best friend :), and b) I trusted - he felt like a genuine, good person. And he was.
We packed up his car with the essentials: Amstel Bright, cheese and sandwiches, and he took me on a road trip, across the island to his favorite cliff, to you know, cliff jump.
I'm a former competitive swimmer, who's used to swimming in a pool, and if there was "jumping" from any height, it was off the high dive diving board. HOLY SH*T!
We arrived at this gorgeous cliff; I remember like it was yesterday.
He jumped (a head-first flip actually).
He laughed, looking up at me from the water, screaming, "jump!"
I knew I'd regret it if I didn't do it. Peer pressure? No, ok maybe a little.
This was a step outside my comfort zone, ignite my spirit kind of moment. I NEEDED it.
So I jumped! It felt incredibly exhilarating - I felt SO ALIVE!
This moment woke something in me. A breaking through fear... that I could conquer anything I put my mind to. I was forever grateful.
I kept in touch with Nadim, who later took some of my Chicago friends cliff jumping too! A lot of "firsts" happened for me when I returned home from that trip; small steps I took over time to continue challenging myself to choose more joy, more adventure, more truly living. And embrace what a life with less fear could be. That journey continues for me today, in my work and in my life.
But, it doesn't take jumping off a physical cliff to ignite that feeling of possibility; it does take a commitment to trying something new. Choosing a little discomfort over certainty.
If you're ready to "cliff jump" and ignite possibility in your career this summer, check out my 6-week "Plan Your Dream Career" Program! Learn more and grab your spot here!
Cheers to "cliff jumping" adventures and new possibilities! And a happy summer weekend to you!