I remember the first time I snuck out of my house.
I was 13.
When we first moved into my house,my parents wisely put me in the room right next to their’s, however, it had a window that opened to the roof over the porch. As with most things I attempted as a teenager, the distance between the porch and the roof was just enough to scare me and encourage my rebellion with equal measure.
I kept looking at this distance for over a year, and then one night, after my parents had had locked up, I made my break.
This breakout wasn’t to meet a boy or to go to some clandestine party hosted by a high schooler with naiive parents.
It was because I needed to know it was possible to make it off the roof.
I didn’t even really do anything of consequence with this risky freedom. I took a walk. I skinny dipped in the neighborhood pool. Sat on the dock of our lake. Laid on the grass of our yard and just giggled with glee.
I had done it. I was free.
I had made the jump.
And as pack up my apartment and get ready to snag a diploma, I realize I am that thirteen year old girl again with a heart full trepidation, fear, excitement and determination. I don’t really want to leave the safety of what I have known, but I just have to know. I have to take the jump.
But that’s what college is I guess. Its the coaxing out on the roof.
Its more dangerous out there, but it definitely changes your view from your bedroom window. It lets you take a breath of that night sky. You feel that summer breeze. The stars are just brighter than you realized.
And my stars have been absolutely stunning.
They are the friends that I never thought I would have. The ones who loved me. The ones who have challenged me. Encouraged. Inspired. The ones that have seen me at rock bottom and cared enough to stick around.
The ones who feel impossible to part with.
My stars are the moments of spontaneous joy. Of dance parties and pranks in Church Hall. Of living room worship nights. Of snow-apocalypses. Of days on the porch. Of a perfect week in Hawaii. Game Days. Road Trips. Food runs. Snellebrations. Movie Nights.
My moon is full of heartbreak, love, and growth.
I loved every minute on my rooftop. But it is not the peak of my life.
Because as you stand out there on that roof, you see a lot farther than you could before. The scenery entices you. And you start to eye the distance between the roof and the ground. And just have to know. If you can make the jump. Leave the ledge. Get your life.
A lot of people, mostly lawyers, tell me law school is an awful idea. Nobody is hiring they say. Its too damn expensive. You will never see anyone outside of school. Ever. Its a toxic environment. The economy.You will be depressed. Likely an alcoholic. Your life will not be one you like.
Or maybe,just maybe, I have what it takes to make the jump. That I will live a life that chooses joy. Seeks love. And runs after God.
That seeking happiness won’t be a chase but a surprise. A consequence of just living out who I am.
It will probably hurt though. To make that distance. And I am sure the landing will be anything but graceful.
But imagine. Imagine the person you are after you take the jump. The business woman. The husband. The artist. The missionary. The mom.
You know that the life you had was one you sought after. Nobody pushed you. And you can go skinny dipping if you want. Swim in the lake. Explore the woods. It might be unknown and fraught with danger, but for the rest of your life, you’ll at least know you didn’t stay on the ledge.
That what you wanted was enough to make the risk. The world was just too big to sit on the roof watching it go by. You just had to know. You had to get your life. Make the jump.
So lets jump.