I was in Cyprus, standing over an ancient cliff, looking at churning waters below.
My body would not do it. Physically, all the nerves in my body resisted. Alarm bells! The drop was two, maybe three stories, and you had to jump far enough to make it to the deep water, or you’d land on the rocks. It was enough to stop me cold. My body wouldn’t jump. No, no, it would not.
“JUMP!” My friends were screaming at me from the crystal waters below.
And I realized: The only way I could get myself over this cliff was to run and scream the lyrics to Katy Perry’s 2013 hit: “ROAR!”
Because what kind of an asshole would I look like if I ran to the cliff edge singing, “Hear me Ro-oa-oa-oarr!” and then stopped. Nuh-uh! No way I would look like such a fool.
And so I did it:
And it became a bit. Our rag-tag group of Cyprian adventurers screamed Katy Perry lyrics and jumped over the cliff for the rest of the afternoon. We had so much fun, we didn’t notice the tide coming in. Soon, the waters had turned vicious, waves smashing hard against the rocks. “It’s no problem!” my newly confident self shouted, “Just ride the wave in, claw onto some rocks, and hold on so you don’t get dragged out!” Somehow, we made it back cliffside.
I believe you can sometimes fake confidence and trick your body into being courageous. If you think you’re bad at remembering names, introduce yourself to the next stranger you meet at a party by saying, “Hey, what’s your name? Andrew? Got it; I’ll remember that; I’m good with names.” Are you going to forget Andrew’s name now? No fucking way — you would look like the biggest ass in the world.
And thus it is with life. Sometimes you need to just assume competence and know that you can do something. My friends from this story, Lindsay Gannon and Matt (Herme) Partain are getting married today in San Diego. If you can scream Katy Perry lyrics and run headfirst over a cliff in Cyprus together, then I think you can own the words “I Do!” with the leap those two words entail.
May you have a wonderful life together! ROAR!