Facing the Fear of Jumping into the Unknown (A Personal Myth)

This epic poem is a personal myth about my first time cliff jumping while on a leadership canoeing program in Canada. I went into this trip wanting to become more open-minded, and this is what allowed me to succeed in that quest. By truly facing my fear and jumping into the unknown, only then could I fully see the world around me. In this metaphorical story, Sombra, a representation of myself, goes on a quest to open up her worldview.


On a starry night, Sombra was gazing at her reflection in the lake. How could she be so beautiful? Waist length black hair, jet black skin, and huge black eyes. Yet, hidden underneath her beauty was her simplistic way of seeing the world. Sighing unhappily to herself, she thought, Why? Why is my worldview so limited? I am so wrong to have a one-sided understanding of the world. Yet, how could I become more open-minded? She closed her eyes, pondering the question over and over again before falling into a deep, dreamless sleep.

Light. That was the first thing she noticed as her eyes slowly opened. She felt a hot wind blow across her face and scorching heat from above. Quickly she looked around her and saw an endless desert of golden sand as far as the eye can see.

“Do not fear young one. You are here for a reason,” said a deep voice from behind her.

Turning she saw a genie-like figure floating before her. Two soulless blue eyes stared at her from a face of black smoke. “What are you?” she stammered.

“A Wraith. I’m here to point you on your path,” the Wraith replied while pointing a ghostly hand at the setting sun. Before she could ask what her path was, the Wraith disappeared leaving Sombra standing by herself in an endless desert. After a moment’s hesitation, she started walking towards the sunset as darkness fell across the landscape.

After days of trekking underneath the scorching sun, Sombra staggered over the tallest of the dunes and found herself gazing at a flat sea of sand ending at a canyon. In the far distance, she could see a lone figure standing at the edge of the canyon. Eventually, after hiking even further, she finally reached the canyon and could see who the figure was. It was the Wraith.

“Oh, you,” she muttered.

“Yes. Your sarcasm is noted,” the Wraith replied without looking at her.

“Very well. How do I cross?”       

“You don’t. You jump.”

Sombra looked at the Wraith, then over the edge of the canyon. She couldn’t see a bottom, just neverending darkness. She looked back at the Wraith and said, “No. I can’t.”

The Wraith turned and gazed at her with what may have been an expression of pity. “I know it is a risk. Yet, if you give up now, you may never discover just how open you could be to what life has to offer. Sombra, there is more depth in you than there is in this canyon. Your only limit is yourself! By jumping and truly embracing the unknown, only then will you truly… see the beauty within you.”

Sombra stroked her hair nervously. She began pacing back and forth contemplating what to do in her head. It is right. I have potential to grow, but I have been limiting myself out of stubbornness. Yet, jumping is scary because I have never truly embraced the unknown, she thought.

Eventually, after listening to what her intuition was telling her, she ran and jumped into darkness below her. Closing her eyes as she fell, she allowed the darkness to embrace her. She had no idea what would await her at the bottom.

Sombra opened her eyes and found herself gazing at her reflection in lake. As she stared, she couldn’t help but laugh joyfully. Physically, she still looked the same, yet mentally she felt… different. And that was beautiful.


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