finding a more authentic, playful life --- finding your story

Monday, September 30, 2013

Overnight Train to Prague or The Manifestation of "Jump"

I awaken to my friend Dena hitting me on the arm and yelling.

“Wake up, Kim! Wake up! We’re here! We must have overslept! Hurry!” We are apparently already in Prague. I barely remember falling asleep last night. I was so tired, but afraid to sleep. It’s our first morning out of the U.S. and we are on an overnight train to Prague, Czech. (although at the time there was a "slovakia" at the end, but I digress.)

“Kim! C’mon! The train is stopping! Get your stuff.”

I’m still half asleep. I’m wearing jammies. (Don’t ask. It seemed like a good idea last night.) My backpack is unzipped, I unpacked half of it last night when we settled in. (Again, don’t ask. First time on a train.) I stand up, throw on my boots, grab my bra and try to fit thru the door with my over-packed pack. Dena is in the hall.

“Come on, Kim!” She pulls me through the small compartment door.

We are now standing in front of a closed train door. Crap. I’m still half asleep. My pack is unzipped, my boots are unlaced and I’m wearing my shorty jammies and holding my bra.

“I’m gonna open it” Dena says as she manhandles the door open. The train lurches. Under her force, the door opens. A miracle! Then the train starts to move.

“I’m gonna jump!” Now I’m starting to wake up. My pack is unzipped, my boots are unlaced. I’m wearing shorty jammies and holding my bra and the only person I know on this continent is about to jump off a moving train. Aaaand she does. Well, now I’m awake.

And alone! I move to her vacated spot in the doorway. The train is, of course, moving faster. I see Dena, laying on the platform, looking up at me, getting smaller and smaller in the distance. And almost in seemingly slow motion, she shouts: “JUMP, Kim!!!”

Jump, Kim…This feels like a moment. Could I do it? Was I a jumper?

We all have these moments in our life (maybe just not on the edge of a train car) -- moments that define us, that make us who we are, that seperate the jumpers from the non-jumpers.

Sometimes jumping means just standing up for yourself or speaking your truth to someone or even jumping into a new job or a new relationship because you just felt you had to. Maybe it means jumping in and doing the right thing, protecting someone. But it always involves bravery and going somewhere you’re not entirely sure you are capable of going. We all have these moments when the universe calls on us to make a choice: jump or don’t jump. Which action do you usually take?

Turns out, I am a jumper. Yup, I jumped. Bloodied, battered and bruised, but successfully reunited with Dena! We look across the platform at each other, laying limbs askew, smiling. Ah, success!

(And sure, then there was something, I guess-- if you must know--about the train stopping and then the train reversing and then hundreds of heads popping out the windows to watch as the conductor came out of the train, standing on the platform, shaking his head and wagging his finger at us to tell us in his best broken English that we had jumped off at the employee station and that Prague was still 10 km down the tracks where apparently the doors open on their own, and they wait for you to walk off the train, creating no need to jump off...but whatever. I jumped.)

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