# 67 The Gap Years

I wrote this before my skydive - you can now check out my post about my Taupo adventures in my The Local Tourist blog

The ‘gap’ for me is like the void before life makes sense - where you give yourself the space and permission to learn, make mistakes, be frustrated, to almost give up, to start over and over again. That place where following your passion brings you to the brink of madness. Yet those of us who seek the other side and survive it understand that bridging the gap is no mean feat (because let’s face it, it takes as much stubbornness as hard work).

This year I’ve made a promise to myself that I’m going to make a concerted effort to start bridging that gap by DOING stuff that will move me in the direction of my passions.

Now, I’m not going to suddenly become an adrenaline junky, but I do plan on pushing myself outside my comfort zone. This weekend I plan to skydive from 15,000 ft in Taupo - that’s a big deal, especially for someone who could barely climb up a ladder a year ago. I’ve been joking that all I really need to do is jump out of the plane, right? Shit will get real on the way up I reckon - and I hope for mine and my buddy’s sake that I don’t take it literally.

I’ve been scared of heights for as long as I can remember. You know how you believe things about yourself, and you’ve had them for so long you sort of forget how it came to be? That’s heights for me. We’re born fearless, so it had to come from somewhere, right? I guess the cool part is when you wake up one day and realise you can question that part of yourself - and that it’s healthy to ask those questions.

Pretty soon all that training, knowledge and life experience helps you to run a smarter race - everyone else falls away. Then at the finish line you look back and realise that all this time that you were the only one in it.

Learning to question long-held beliefs is where the magic begins. It’s like when your second wind kicks in and winning on your terms is the only option. You’ve been doing OK up until then, but you know that there’s more in you - you just haven’t backed yourself until now. Pretty soon all that training, knowledge and life experience helps you to run a smarter race - everyone else falls away. Then at the finish line you look back and realise that all this time that you were the only one in it.

Inception level ninja...

They say that to be of great service to others, we also have to keep refilling our own cup.
I think there’s been a crack in mine for some time. If you catch yourself more often than not talking about the things you would if you had the time, then maybe that’s the Universe asking you to question the belief that you don’t. I mean, we all live the same 24 hours.

Life won’t always go our way, so choose what you sweat about, and what you have to let go. What’s truly important to you? Why? I used to try to control every aspect of my life, which is like juggling a hundred things all at once. A for every meeting I was rushing to, came a task list. You can imagine how quickly it can consume you, right? What if we let go of those things that don’t really matter, and focus our energy on what really makes us happy? Pretty soon juggling isn’t juggling anymore, it becomes part of being and less of a chore.

OK, I have been awake since 6am, and I think I’ve squeezed as much out of today. I’m going through a 21-day challenge at the moment, and one promise I’ve made to myself is make a conscious effort to sleep at least six hours a night. That, and making my bed every morning.

It’s already seven minutes until tomorrow, time for sleep.

Peace, love and chocolate.

Ronna Grace Funtelar

A thirtyish storyteller, hobby hiker, photography and sunrise enthusiast with a passion for mindfully helping others live beyond their comfort zone.