The Jumper’s Manifesto

Let’s say you are on a train.

The train is your life. Maybe you like the scenery. Maybe you don’t.

Maybe you like the company on the train with you. Maybe you don’t.

Maybe you are fired up for your intended destination. Maybe you’re terrified of it.

Maybe you are already wearing the right costume or outfit, the one that feels right on you and reflects who you are on the inside onto the outside. Maybe you aren’t.

Maybe the food you like is available on your train. Maybe it isn’t.

Maybe the people around you understand and accept your vision of yourself. Maybe they don’t.

Maybe your kids, or your friends or your family are on the train with you. Maybe they aren’t.

Maybe that’s good, maybe it isn’t.

But listen.

It’s just a train. It may be zooming along, everything outside flying past you, blurred and difficult to make out…but, if it doesn’t feel right…..

Do you know that you can jump?

You can jump right into a new you any time you want.

If you ever had to muster every ounce of chutzpah you have within you to disappoint someone, even if it has been yourself, you’ve already jumped the tracks of a journey that wasn’t working for you.

Things were moving along in a predestined way, you knew what the next stop would hold, who would be there, what they would want from you, where you could find a place out of the rain and something to fill you up – even if you had to choke it down.

But, still. It wasn’t right.

So, maybe you jumped.

Maybe you were pushed.

Maybe it was a little of both.

But at some point, you’ve found yourself off the train, off the rails. Somewhere you didn’t expect to be five years ago, five months ago, five minutes ago, five breaths ago.

At that point you probably spent some time watching the train that was your life zoom away with unnatural speed. The people, things, routines and comforts you love sailing off into the distance without even a backward glance for you.

And there you stood. Among the scrubby rocks and discarded things, wondering what the hell just happened, what the hell you just did.

But.

Somewhere inside you is a rush of relief. Maybe your decision to bail was premeditated. You thought long and hard and avoided the jump for as long as you could. But it just got the point where staying on that train was more painful than whatever was going to happen to you when you hit the ground.

Maybe some deep-rooted sense of self-preservation pushed you into the discomfort, in that moment you just couldn’t accept things they way they were, couldn’t save the growth for another time, and for some reason events conspired to remind you that of course you have the option to jump.

You always have the option to jump.

And even if you were pushed, there is some part of you, maybe just a speck of a speck, that knows you’re better off not being on a train where people and events are waiting to push you off at any moment.

And suddenly you have choices. Lots of choices. Maybe more choices than you want or are comfortable with. And maybe you left you jacket or your medication or your book or your phone back on that train that is now gone.

And maybe you left your friends or your family or your dog or a you that you used to be.

And maybe, that moment of rash clarity has dissipated and you just want more than anything to run after the train, to find a girl on a motorcycle that will let you hop on. She’ll weave you along the mountainous terrain until miraculously you see the caboose in the distance and you’ll urge her to speed up and she will, and then you’ll reach out and grab the rail and pull yourself right back up where you were. And maybe the comfort of being back in a familiar place, even if it isn’t the place that has space for you to grow on the outside into the you that you already are on the inside, will be what you need right then.

And that’s okay. You are only human. Change is scary. To be alone, even when the alternative is to be with those who don’t see us, is a willful act of defiance that must be fully owned.

But, maybe the next time you jump will be different.

Maybe the next time you’ll suddenly notice a stark beauty in this new place and some part of you will turn toward it, away from what was, and you will pick a new direction and place one foot in front of the other again and again and again. And you will look up and see other shell-shocked jumpers and maybe you’ll join up with some of them for brand new adventures and previously unimaginable opportunities.

Maybe this new you will always have one hand on the rail. Maybe this new you will be one step closer to speaking your truth, even when it is messy or scary or inconvenient.

Maybe each jump will be easier. And maybe you’ll find yourself on the side of the tracks again and again and again.

Maybe you’ll be alone and maybe you won’t.

But each time it will be a little easier to remember that your life is not a journey down a predetermined track.

Each time it gets a little easier to know who you are and why you are. It’s easier to hone in on what you want and what you don’t when the questions are changing fast and furious.

And when you find yourself heading down a track you never intended, or surrounded by people who don’t understand your language, or going too fast when you want to slow down, you’ll remember.

You always have the option to jump.

So, whether it’s quitting school or starting school, getting married or getting divorced, avoiding grain or avoiding meat, quitting sugar or quitting gossip, leaving the church or praying for the first time, changing your body or changing your mind, saying no or saying yes, forgiving or fighting, accepting what is or working like hell to change it – this is the place for you.

Welcome here are unschoolers, free-thinkers,  food lovers, life architects, wannabes who are zealots of nothing, wanderers, jumpers, beloved children of the universe, writers, friends, artists, dreamers, tree huggers, ragers with forgiving hearts, storytellers, givers, seekers, fans of order AND also fiery revolutionaries, storied and complicated and fervent lovers of all things beauty, and a humans being their best… when they can.

If you can find yourself in any of that, then this is the place for you. Come, sit a spell, listen and share, join the jumping revolution and be the best you there is… for now.