Thursday, November 19, 2009


the main reason i started this blog was really just for me. to practice my writing, because deep in my heart, i believe i am a writer. to release the thoughts that float around my brain. sometimes they are lovely, light and full of joy. other times they are heavy and burdensome. writing has always felt a bit like therapy. healing. cleansing.

however, what occurred is that i don't write as much as i should. i don't edit. i don't take the time to be more precise (all which were elements of my original writing goal). and i have come to an awareness that i put it off. i feel like i must have something grand and life changing to write about or it will not be worthwhile. all that ends up happening is that i have no writings at all. my pages are empty. my goal faded.

those were my thoughts yesterday. and today too, i guess...

i'm tired of putting things off. i want to take the gift of awareness and harness it. instead of saying, "oh, that's just the way i am...” i can change it. it starts today, with this post.

new goal: to post something, anything, everyday until the end of 2009.

42 days left and counting...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

oh the wisdom of friends...

i'm sitting at my desk in my cute little spanish classroom. i should be working (it's one of my few preps and i have grades to input, but i decided they could wait).

i've been thinking about fear. of things i am afraid of. of how it can hinder my life. and thinking about trust.

i conquered much by jumping out of a plane. fear of falling. fear of dying. fear of heights. i trusted the plane. i trusted raff. i trusted the parachutes. i trusted the people who told me it was going to be ok. i trusted myself. i trusted.

i realized it has taken me a long time to implement that trust into the areas that are "scary" for me. but once i did, they seemed a lot less frightening and i feel more in control. empowered.

yet i forget to implement that same trust into other areas of life. hmmm...why?

i'm not sure i have the answer. yesterday, in conversation with a dear friend, i was reminded that the same method of understanding and trust used when i was "living dangerously" in my jump, could be used to "live dangerously" in other aspects of life. very wise and sound advice from a wise and sound friend.

so my point is, don't just "live dangerously" in physical adventures. spread that way of living into everything. i think in the end we will realize that it made all the difference. that we lived. that we conquered. that we didn't have regrets.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

my year of living dangerously....

... or you could just say adventurously. or you could say that the old, more-than-a-bit-wussy marisa is out and the new, hard-core marisa is in!

granted, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but there is much truth (at least for me) in that statement.

in 2009 i have attempted snowboarding (see previous post), road biking (didn't write a post on that, but totally should), and last but not least, skydiving. yes, you read that correctly. skydiving.

now, before delving into the latest adventure, i must preface all of this by saying i did not go quietly. i am about as scared as you can get in all these arenas and it was only thanks to the patience of someone who encouraged me, that i was able to face and conquer (at least in my way of conquering) many of my deep-seated fears.

very grudgingly, i decided to join a group of friends for a skydiving adventure as part of some birthday celebrations. the day was halloween 2009. after about a week of calling skydive monterey and knowing all the staff by name (i may or may not have called them 3 or 4 times to help quell my fright) and also of course, reading everything i could about how to tandem skydive for the first time... i was ready?

bleary-eyed i arose early saturday morning, bundled up and headed to meet our crew. the drive to monterey went quickly and it was looking like we would possibly have to wait out the fog, but luckily (though let's be honest, at the moment i did not consider it luck!) by the time we arrived at the "drop-zone" it was a typical northern california blue sky.

we crowded into the small office to get our 10-page release forms - which stated about 20 times that "parachuting activities" are "inherently dangerous and may result in injury or death" - and filled them out as quickly as possible as we joked and laughed about the wording (e.g., there may be some "inappropriate touching" as you get strapped to your instructor). This is where I have to mention that my paper had a heart with the letters “e.c.” and two names listed. (“e.c.”=extra care. they were ready for me.)

after a few hours of jokes, many more questions by yours truly and laughter, we were suited up, the plane was ready and group 1 (my group!) boarded - yikes!

raff, my tandem jumpmaster, with over 12,000 jumps under his belt, was kind and gentle. you could see his passion for skydiving in his brown, grandpa-like eyes and he made me feel like all would be well.

we filed onto the aircraft and as soon as i sat down on the bench realized i would be first. i took many deep breaths as we zoomed off into the air, higher and higher. raff talked me through what we would be doing and then, before i knew it i heard a voice from the front boom, “open door!” and that is exactly what the cameraman did.

“ok, let’s go,” said raff calmly. i followed the instructions he gave and thought, “oh my gosh, i’m going to jump out of this plane!” raff crossed my arms in front of me, tilted my head to left and the next second i was flying through the air. i honestly can’t explain the feeling i had. surreal may be the correct word. alongside exhilarating and awesome, in the true sense of the word.

i was flying. i could see the world below. mountains. sky. ocean. checkerboard patterns of the fields below. the wind whipped around me at 120 mph, but i was floating. it was amazing. i did as raff had recommended before we took off: i looked around and enjoyed the moment i was living. barring a few seconds here or there where i couldn't catch a breath, it was worth every penny. before i knew it the parachute was deployed; my adrenaline was pumping. the earth moved closer and closer and i landed on the field, safely, with all my friends greeting and cheering. i was smiling ear to ear. i couldn't stop. i didn’t stop for a long time.

i came. I saw. i worried. i jumped. i flew. i enjoyed. i conquered.

my year of living dangerously has been a rousing success. can’t wait for the next adventure…