There is no real difference between flying and falling, until the end.
Posted on February 23 2014
In all businesses, there comes a time when a person looks around and goes "HOLY SHIT, WHAT AM I DOING HERE? EVERYTHING IS TERRIFYING!" I've had dozens of those moments, but then the drugs wear off and I realize I've been in my living room the whole time.*
That person in the green suit is me. The person attached to my back is going to attempt to save our lives. I am literally doing the exact WRONG thing to facilitate her saving our lives.
One of the big challenges I've faced in the past year (omg it has almost been a year) has been the feeling of weightlessness... that same weightlessness that I felt when I fell out of a hole in the side of an airplane (pictured, at right).
The last 10 years of my life (until 10 months ago) have been spent at a desk from Monday through Friday, eight to twelve hours per day (give or take a few days and a few hours). And now, there's nothing but the time I choose to work.
There's nothing but the soap we make.
There's nothing but the advertising I do myself.
There's nothing but the sales I make.
Without a firm grasp of the horizon, I'm dizzily spinning towards the ground. Look at that photo. That is ME. And kicking my legs up is making both me and the very kind woman attached to me spin out, which is why we're upside down.
And gravity is REAL. And it is TERRIFYING. And the impact it has is LITERAL. The past month and a half have been really hard for me. We had an amazing Christmas season, and then it was all crickets. Paired with the fact that our website crashed over and over, taking hundreds of hours of my time to repair (we're out of the woods, I think).
We've had some production issues. I'm taking a class and it is taking a lot of my time. I'm flailing. I'm spinning out. But just like in skydiving, there's a right way to fall out of an airplane and there's a wrong way to fall out of an airplane.
One way causes the horizon to go wonky and you might puke on your partner. The other way straightens you out and makes your belly even with the earth. You can think clearly. You can see the horizon. You can open your parachute and save your life.
Here is the correct way to fall out of an airplane. Notice that we are both happy and calm.
You're falling out of the sky either way, but one way, you die. The other way, you have a thrilling rush of adrenaline and a fun story to write about later.
The difference is the presence of mind not to flail. The difference is knowing what to do to catch the horizon, and doing it.
And when you're skydiving, you have wind rushing by you at 100 mph to remind you to act conscientiously. When you're in business, the only thing you have is the disorienting feeling of weightlessness.
It doesn't even matter if I get out of bed in the morning... until it does. And then it REALLY DOES.
The only thing to do is keep my consciousness about me. To remember that even if it feels like I'm flying, the only difference between flying and falling is the conscious actions I take long before I can even see the ground. To know the right time to open the parachute even before I am bracing for the impact of the ground. This is the difference between flying and falling. * kidding, kidding.