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life defining moments (part three) : the real reason why I chickened out from bungee-jumping in Costa Rica

Posted Aug 11 2011 7:47pm

I’ve been busy tweaking my site, launching my holistic wellness coaching business , and enjoying the but the spirit has finally moved me to continue writing and sharing parts of my journey to wholeheartedness.

Where was I….to recap briefly:

  • Part One:  My desk job almost killed me so I started a regular yoga practice
  • Part Two:   Going back in time a bit:  a really bad picture of my butt, a group of inspirational women, and I decided to leave a life of meh-ness

In Part Three, I share the story of how I met my best friend in Bali and the true story of why I chickened out from bungee-jumping in Costa Rica.

So here I am (again – back in time Part Two ) starting to wake up in life and not wanting to live as a zombie one second longer (you know….going through the motions of life but not really living it).  But what to do?  I have acquaintances but not really friends.  I have interests but not really passions.  My husband and children are great but I need more to make me whole.  I need a life all my own.  One in which I make time for myself….my friends, my passions, my indulgences, my whims.  And thankfully – I have a husband and children who wanted this for me too.  They wanted a happy, healthy, contented mom and wife.  I mean…who doesn’t?   But again – no real friends and no real passions…until I met the group of women (from all around the globe) I mentioned in Part Two and discovered a love of creating things from scratch (at that point in time it was soap and other such personal care items).   I won’t cover much of that again other than to say, a lovely photographer (named Rebecca ) who I’d never met in real life reached out to me to ask if I’d want to join her in Bali for a photo shoot. Um.  Say what?

After much fretting and gnashing of teeth I decided to go for it.  Two weeks away from work and my family in a foreign and exotic land filled with spas and amazing food spending time with women I’d come to respect and admire?  Hell yeah!

And that trip, my friends, literally changed (and I’d even argue saved) my life.

It awakened in me such joy and inspiration and wanderlust so intense it almost consumes me some days.  It literally opened my eyes and my heart to how most of the rest of the world lives.  How could people – with seemingly nothing (to my very Western eyes)- walk around so happy and content and full of joy when I could hardly crack a smile buying a $300 pair of boots?  How could they just invite us into their homes and clothe us in appropriate attire and make us guests of honor at their family celebration?  Because they focused on family and spirituality and connectedness and the beauty around them and just being alive.  I had a six figure income, a home in the suburbs, an amazing husband and children who loved me but I didn’t have simple joy and passion in life including deep connections with people outside my family.  And dammit, if the Balinese could find it in spite of all their hardships than so could I.

After my trip to Bali, I found myself overwhelmed with emotions and desires I’d never been able to give voice to before…all stemming from having the courage to leave my work and family for two weeks to travel with someone I’d never spent time with in real life.   There simply was no going back….I had to find my joy, my bliss, my path in life.  I was no longer satisfied just being.

Rebecca and I have since been on other adventures (Amsterdam, India, Costa Rica (twice) with our friend Tina (of Faerie Made  notoriety) and around the US.  These women have become my sisters and they inspire me often.  I love and support them as I know they love and support me.  What an amazing feeling….to feel connected.

I’ll spare you the other mushy details of why I love these women so much and all the crazy mishaps we’ve gotten ourselves into and out of over the years and instead, jump to the rest of Part Three which is a confession of sorts.

Fast forward to mid-2008 (still before Part One ).  I’m now a few years along in my journey of discovering myself.  Life is ok….I still have an awesome husband and children and now I have women I connect with and I’m travelling the world having adventure after adventure. I’m still trying to find my inner peace but that’s ok….at least I’m not a zombie any longer.

Rebecca, Tina, and I travel to Costa Rica for a week of adventure including horseback riding, zip lining, whitewater rafting, waterfall repelling, and bungee jumping.  I never say no to an adventure.  I wasn’t about to start now.

We saved bungee jumping for the very last day of the trip.  A couple of women were ahead of us and then it was our turn.  We had to give them our weight so they knew which set of bungees to strap us into.  All the other women went to the left.  I was sent to the right. Where I’d seen the guys bungeeing from.  I was too heavy for the woman’s side.  I was ashamed.  I was also scared to launch myself off the platform.  I allowed the combination of the two to get the better part of me and I chickened out.  I’m ashamed of it to this day.  I’m ashamed that I let my weight get in the way of enjoying an adventure.  I’m ashamed that I was too heavy for the woman’s side. I’m embarrassed that I chickened out in front of everyone. I’m embarrassed that part of this was captured on video.

It would be another six or so months until my desk job almost killed me and I took further action to take control of my life and happiness and in the process, lose 50 lbs…but on the ride from my failed attempt at bungee jumping (Rebecca took my spot and jumped twice) to the airport, I vowed to never say no to an adventure again….but more on the continued journey in Part Four.

And with that, I leave you with this picture of our first trip to Costa Rica in 2008

Jen & Rebecca

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