Count to Three

The hills slipped easily under our wheels.

Sometimes you get this feeling, an itch. A kind of restlessness that wants to crawl out from under your skin. I think this feeling is familiar to most people. Sometimes that feeling pushes you to bake brownies at 1AM. Sometimes you write a bad poem on the back of a piece of old notebook paper. Sometimes you blast a comedy podcast to drown out the past ten years of embarrassing moments playing on repeat in your head. And sometimes, sometimes that feeling places you at the edge of a swimming hole in early March, a chill wind at your back and damp, cold earth between your toes.

There weren’t any leaves yet, just naked, bony branches whispering overhead and last fall’s leaves whispering around our feet. My sisters laughed at me as I tossed my own clothes to the side and pulled on my dad’s old sweats and ratty t-shirt we’d found in the backseat of the car. I would have jumped in without the change of clothes, of course--that itch wouldn’t scratch itself--but I was glad to have them. I stared down into the dark water.

Certain ideas sound exciting in theory. They’re exhilarating in person. Your toes tingle when your brain starts to catch up that you’re doing something different, when you’re living a hypothetical scenario in full color. It doesn’t have to be anything big. It just has to be something you’ve never done before.

You’ve got to jump, one sister said. I know, I shot back. I’ll count to three, the other said.
Breathe, girl. Grit your teeth.