A few years ago, back in my hometown, Jacmel, I met a beautiful girl at the beach.
She looked exquisite: Beautiful short hair, dark brown eyes, a slim body and a huge smile.
Her smile tho, I’ll never forget it. It was the kind of smile that screams “COME TALK TO ME, IT’S OKAY, I DON’T BITE” at you.
As a matter of fact, that’s what I did, I went and introduced myself.
At the time, I had a scant self-esteem: obese, ugly, short, etc…
However, she still managed to make me feel at ease and have the courage to talk to her. How powerful.
While introducing herself back, she didn’t break the smile a single bit.
Oh my God, that smile… Okay, I won’t mention it again.
I got to know her a little bit and found out she’s also my age and she’s also from the same town. Crazy that we’ve never met before… well, actually, not really, since at that time, all I really did after school was stay at home to learn programming.
After about 10 minutes in the conversation, she pointed to a cliff nearby and said, “I wanna jump off this cliff”.
I looked at it and could easily guess it was about 30 feet above sea level. So I started laughing out loud.
Next thing I know, I heard a splash and when I opened my eyes, she was swimming towards the cliff. I was baffled, she didn’t even give me the chance to talk her out of it.
I naturally followed her. Luckily for me, at that time, I already knew how to swim, thanks to my elder brother.
We climbed up until we reached the top, and there, I started panicking and worrying.
I’m not afraid of heights, I’m more afraid of what could be down there. So I started giving her a thousand reasons not to do it: “There are probably thousands of sea urchins down there”, or “You could hit a rock and hurt yourself”, or “There could be a [NAME YOUR SCARY SEA ANIMAL HERE] down there.”. etc…
She didn’t say anything. And guess what? She was simply smiling - Okay, I couldn’t help but mention it here: how do you fucking smile when you’re about to make such a big decision?
She finally broke my monologue and said “Look, this cloud looks like a turtle” while pointing to the sky.
There was no cloud in the sky. And yes, you can probably guess it already, once I looked back at her, she was already in the air.
I was shocked! All of a sudden, I started stuttering, not knowing what to do or how to react.
She hit the water and I couldn’t breath, until she came out of the water and called out my name.
What a relief, she was still alive!
She asked me to jump, downright pressuring me to do it. But I stepped back and went down the hill on the other side… the safe way.
She came out of the sea and came up to me… still sporting that smile of hers. I was kinda pissed.
I told her, “How can you be like this? You don’t even care what I think.”
And she replied with a sentence I’ll never be able to forget: “You’re right, I don’t care what you think. In fact, once I settle on what I want, nobody’s opinion matters. I figured I was scared to jump off the cliff, so I decided to do it. And that’s what I did, because what I want is stronger than my fears“.
Then she added, “Goodbye Nick, I hope we meet again”.
We never met again.
And today, after some retrospection, I realized meeting this girl made a huge impact on my subconscious because since then, this is exactly how I’ve been striving to go through life:
Facing my fears head on and owning my decisions. What I want is, and always will be stronger than my fears and other people’s opinion.