I found this picture on chell’s myspace, and fell in love with it. I try hard to do this, but it always ends in disaster. Major disaster. Don’t believe me? Let me furnish you with some examples:
Oh, before I start, let me remind you of my two big fears: Falling and Stairs. Ok, lets go:
1. On my year seven excursion, there was a high wire, fifteen metres in the air between two trees. I knew I would be scared, but I wanted to conquer the fear, so not only did I try to do it, I volunteered to go first. Epic fail. I ended up in hysterics before I even reached the wire, and when I did, I refused to let go of the tree and ended up just jumping off before beginning to walk. Later on that same day, there was a moving wall we had to climb. Everyone was getting to the top in between one and five minutes. It took me closer to fifteen. I was sobbing and screaming and thought I was going to die. Needless to say, my classmates now refuse to let me climb high things.
2. In Paris last year we caught the lift to the top of the eiffel tower, but decided to walk down. Big mistake. It took me ten minutes crying at the top of the stairs and 209258047 American tourists telling me how easy it was before I even took the first step. I did make it to the bottom eventually, but everytime someone passed me I started sobbing and thinking I was going to die.
3. Also last year, I was at the Duomo in Florence. It was beautiful, and then my brother had the bright idea of climbing to the top of the dome. I was fine for the first two hundred or so steps, but then there was a bit where you had to walk on a very thin platform around the top of the church, with giant demon paintings in your face. I started crying, but thought I would be fine once I got back to the stairs. Oh how wrong I was. The stairs got steeper for the last three hundred or so, and ended with a ladder to the top. Let me just tell you know there was about fifty people in front of me and fifty behind me at this point. I kept thinking I was going to fall backwards, I mean, it combined my two fears, falling AND stairs, so I became hysterical. We were in an acient stone stairwell, so it echoed. All anyone could hear was me sobbing and yelling at mum ‘NO I DO NOT WANT MY IPOD! THAT WOULD INVOLVE LETTING GO OF THE RAILING! JUST LET ME BE!’ Before we got to the final ladder there was a worker and spot where the petrified climbers like me could get down. The lady was quite scared when she saw me, and became more worried when I told her I would be continuing to the top. It turns out, that my mum became scared and started going down here. This was an epic fail as she had both of our cameras, so when I got to the top, I had nothing to prove I had made it. Thankfully, half way down she changed her mind and came back up, cameras in hand. If, by some freaky coincidence, you were climbing with me that day, I apologise profusely hahaha.
4. Every year when we head back up the coast to where we used to live we go rock climbing. The first year when we went there was a high wire. This was after the year seven incident, so I probably should have learnt from experience, but I didn’t, and to cut a long and confusing story short, I ended up stuck on the high wire smack bang in the middle. Eventually, I walked backwards while screaming to get off, but not before sobbing and screaming ‘I’m going to die’ over and over with the whole rock climbing centre starring at me. When I did get down, the owners gave me a certificate of bravery. My dad, however, was not as impressed. Then last year, thankfully the high wire wasn’t in operation, so I went climbing. Laura was holding my ropes and I started one of the green walls. I got about half way up before getting stuck on a ledge and being too scared to get down again. I had to jump off this ledge to get down, but no, I thought I was going to kill myself. Again, everyone in the centre stared while I stood on the ledge crying and yelling at dad ‘NO! I CAN’T JUMP!’ I did, eventually of course, to the raptuous applause of the centre and thankfullness of my dad. The only good thing to come out of that incident was we now know I will never be a suicide jumper.
5. When I was younger, my parents thought it was interesting to take us to a lot of the ‘big’ monuments around the country. Most of them involve climbing. Two particular ‘bigs’ stand out in my memory because of this, The Big Merino and The Big Orange. I did get to the top at the big merino before the tears started, it was just the fact that I thought I was going to fall through the beams at the top that set me off. We left there pretty quickly. I didn’t even get to the first level at the big orange. I was sevenish and it was the first time I conciously realised just how scary stairs were. I got half way up the first staircase, started screaming and crying and spent the rest of my time in the gift shop while everyone else went to the lookout.
As inspiring as that quote is, I’m sure you now all agree that I should just stop trying to jump. I am not fearless, and trying to be just causes hysterics for me and embarrassment for the family. I will conquer this fear one day though, through bungy-jumping or skydiving. Just wait. I will be fearless, just not any time soon…
Have you tried to conquer your fears? Were you more successful than me (just remember, these are just five of my favourite fearless memories. There are many, many more as my family will tell you)?
frangipani princess xoxo