If you jump off, you will fly, I promise!

Published: October 22, 2012
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But if you’re lucky, someone will trip you so bad, you’ll be forced to leap. If you’re courageous, you’ll find it in yourself to jump. If you’re clumsy, you’ll fall down on your own mistakenly. DESIGN: ERUM SHAIKH

Two years ago, I made the first most life-altering, high risk, and extremely indulgent decision of my adult life. For most of my life, all my life-decisions were sort of handed over to me and I had no choice but to follow their trajectory. But regardless of following all the right decisions and a path full of perfect daisies, I was still lost as lost can be.

After a breakdown of Lindsay Lohan proportions, my drug of choice was chocolate ice-cream, I decided to actually do something about my situation.

My decision was take up writing as a full time career.

Regardless of knowing whether I was good at it or not – regardless of knowing if I could financially sustain myself with it – regardless of knowing if I could find a publisher willing to publish my rambling, I decided to, well you know how Nike says with such clichéd conviction, ‘Just Do It!’

At that point all I knew was this was the only thing that made me feel like an instagram-ed, auto-tuned, Prozac-ed version of myself.

But once the decision was made and the move was set in stone – in came the worst kind of debilitating, paralysing fear!

It’s almost like you’re in the queue for bungee jumping. You’re friends are all the way down waiting for you to fall down and cheer for you when they see you jump and hear you scream like a lunatic. The professionals strap you up, put on the gear and tell you to jump. And instead of leaping forward and flying in the air, you stare back at everyone with those bambi eyes wanting so bad to run away and hide somewhere forever.

But if you’re lucky, someone will trip you so bad, you’ll be forced to leap. If you’re courageous, you’ll find it in yourself to jump. If you’re clumsy, you’ll fall down on your own mistakenly.

In my case, it was a combination of all three things. But somehow I jumped.

So if you’re wondering what happens after the leap?

Here’s the truth.

You fly!

No, literally you soar – personally and professionally.

For one thing, writing helped me score a job at one of the best newspapers of the country. Writing helped me travel to the streets of New York, Paris and Berlin – something I’d never have thought of doing two years ago. Writing helped me meet people from so many different cultures, religions and backgrounds. Writing made me discover other passions I had – music and photography.

Writing made me dream again.

Writing made me fall in absolute obsessive and completely ridiculous love with, well, me.

And writing even helped me find a publisher for a book.

I am currently working as an Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa) scholar at Rolling Stone magazine in Germany and I feel pretty proud for coming even this far in such a short span of time.

So now writing isn’t something I just do. Writing is who I am. And I wouldn’t want to change who I am for anything! Not even a million bucks.

Okay a trillion maybe.

So if you’re standing on the cliff right about now, strapped and ready to jump, but so petrified that a warm horrid sensation is slowly forming a small yellow map on your trousers, I say ‘jump already!’.

I’ve been there, and from my experience, things are pretty fantastic on the other side.

Yes, the rope could snap, yes, you could have a heart attack on your way down and even a spinal cord injury. But if you stay on the sidelines and keep doing what you hate doing forever, you are going to die a bit every day for sure.

You’re missing out on a chance to a better, happier life.

You’re missing out on the chance to soar.

You’re letting go off the opportunity to fly.

You’re giving up on being free.

Read more by Saba here.

Saba Khalid

Saba Khalid

A blogger for Rolling Stone magazine, a contributor to Kulturaustauch and Musikexpres, Saba is an Institute for Foreign Affairs (IFA) Cross Culture scholar for the year 2012 who also teaches creative writing to young aspiring writers. She blogs at www.thecityalive.com and can be found on instagram as @thecityalive

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.