I never enjoyed the sound of crashing waves across the rocks more than I did today. The way they echoed in my ears gave me a sense of peace that I had never felt before. The overcast sky with a cool breeze on my cheeks relaxed my muscles that felt as if they had never been loose before. All I wanted was to live a life that meant something, but no one around me seemed to give me that chance.
All my life the actions of others taught me that I didn’t matter. Their actions taught me that I had no reason to live, or to survive around them. Now when I say survive, I mean just that. Surviving around these people was difficult to even breathe the air they were breathing. It felt as if I was taking up to much of the air they needed, and took up too much space that they so desperately needed. I wanted out.
At school I kept to myself, because it seemed that no one wanted to be around me. That I took up too much of their space too. No one reached out to me to say hello, or see how I was doing. You can see why surviving was difficult for me. I only wanted out of the life I was living. I did not want to leave this world though.
This world had too much to offer, and I knew it was only a matter of time before I could find what that offer was. No one knew my name right now, and no one wanted me to breathe the same air that they were breathing, but I knew that I mattered. I mattered to someone somewhere. I was just in the wrong place and I had no way of finding them.
For now, I was in the right place. This cliff gave me the sense of belonging even though there was no way to find a reason to belong up here. There was only one sensible thing for me to do, but at this moment I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to stay on top of this cliff. I knew sooner or later I would have to get off the cliff though, and go back to taking up space somewhere I did not want to be. So I jumped.
The adrenaline rush that filled me from head to toe made me feel like I belonged right here. Heading straight for the water with cold salt air rushing past my ears. I could feel the wind whipping at my clothes, moving them in every which direction. The adrenaline flowed faster the farther I fell. In that moment of falling, I lived. I felt that there was no other place to be than here. And no sooner than I had made the decision to jump, I hit the water.
The cold water hurt more than I thought it would. It wasn’t just the immediate immersion into nearly frozen water that hurt, it was the way my head felt. It was spinning faster than it ever had, and I couldn’t move. Just floating down to the darkest part of the water with the light floating out of sight. My clothes were heavy like weights, trying to keep me from moving. My arms just floated as if there was no life in them. In that moment I felt as if what I had been told all my life was actually true. I had been told that there was no actual life in me, and that I was just a waste of space.
Something white floated towards me, which put me at ease. It looked like a man, but no man I had ever seen before. He looked like peace and comfort. He began to shake his head at me like I was wrong. He shook his head as if he was reading my thoughts somehow. Then he began to speak, and I thought I was dreaming. No one could speak underwater and be understood, or actually hear. He said, “You are not worthless. You are very important. There is life inside you that can change the world, as long as you allow it to change you first. It does not matter what others think of you, as long as you can stand against them. Don’t let others drag you down into the darkest part of their minds, just because they are scared of what is inside you. Live this gift that has been given to you: life.”
In the next moment, I was out of the water. The man had vanished, and everything was bright. Loud voices were coming from all around me, and I needed them all to hush. My head was pounding as if it were going to explode. But they would not be quiet.
When I opened my eyes, the brightness continued. I was in a white room with monitors beeping beside my bed, and people talking about me and what had happened. The man dressed in a white coat looked at me and told me I would be fine. He said I just needed a day or two to recover, and then I would be okay to go back to my normal routine. But I didn’t want to go back to my normal routine. I didn’t want to continue to let people drag me down to wherever they were. So I didn’t, and I changed everything. I lived.