I once went to a small swimming hole fondly nicknamed the Garden of Eden. While at the Garden of Eden my friends and I decided to climb up a small cliff face and then jump off into the water. The top of the “cliff” was no more than 12 feet above the water surface and yet, despite having jumped from heights much greater than 12 feet onto much more unforgiving surfaces, when I stood at the top and looked down into the pool below me I was completely paralyzed with fear. After several go arounds of “you jump first,” “no, you jump first,” I looked at my friend and I just jumped. And it was exhilarating. And I climbed back up and I jumped again.
Now, what does this anecdote about the Garden of Eden have to do with me studying abroad in England? Well, I’m sitting here in the San Francisco International Airport about to leave the country for the semester and I’m in state of eerie calm. My bags are packed. My flight has been booked. I can choose to be nervous, or I can choose not to be. In the wise words of my favorite Disney prince, “wish me happy landing. All I gotta do is jump.”