Twin Falls | 6300 Hana Highway, Haiku | Maui
When I imagined checking this off my Life List, I pictured it being thrilling and breezy. No big deal, leap into the water, “Geronimo-oooooo!” Splash! Yay!
Then I got to the top of the waterfall and looked down. And down and down and down.
Hmmm. This ice cold pit in the middle of my stomach was… not what I had imagined feeling. Instead of jumping I stayed put, wrapped my arms around my torso, and shook.
Daffodil’s eleven year old had picked this particular waterfall for me on the grounds that it “wasn’t too scary”. He grinned and launched himself by me into the water as easily as I’d been imagining I would.
“Come on!” he called up from the lagoon. “It’s fine!”
Her husband jumped, too, and Daffodil perched with my camera aimed at me, waiting, while tears dripped onto my swimsuit. It was really not ok.
“Ugh! Why is this so difficult?”
It was obviously safe, but I was terrified anyway, and as the minutes slid by, it turned from something fun into a Big Fucking Deal. I started to feel awkward and kind of over it.
Luckily for YOU, she caught my entire crisis on camera.
“Why the fuck is this so high?!”
“Ok, here I go!” Except not.
Actually crying. Like a weenie.
After a solid 15 minutes of standing there freaking out, I concluded my “work up the nerve” method was bunk. The “nerve” wouldn’t come; it was simply a decision to be made or not. So I decided.
“I don’t think I’m going to do this.”
“Um, I’m not letting you leave without doing it.” Daffodil called back. “You know this. And it’s really not that big a deal. Just do it!”
So I changed my mind and launched myself into the air, completely scared out of my mind.
I kind of had to, right? I’d traveled nearly 5000 miles to be there, and it’s been on my Life List for years. Plus Lucy was watching. She’s seven, and according to her, I’m “really cool and fun”. Girls in our culture are bombarded with messages telling them to be pretty, not feisty; to be cool, not strong. I had an example to set. She couldn’t see me chicken out.
Later Daffodil, who jumped for the first time herself right after me, pointed out that it was so, so much more than just jumping off a waterfall.
I surfaced laughing and exhilarated. It was amazing to have done it, and I was giddy.
Then another jump, right after. It wasn’t easier the second time – it might have actually been more difficult because of the fresh memory of the feeling of falling which is, frankly, horrible – but it cemented my bravery. Which is important, because the pursuit of bravery is kind of my thing these days.
I did it!