Have you seen the TED Talk about delayed gratification with the video of kids trying not to eat the marshmallow in front of them because if they resist, they’ll get two the next day?
Good things come to those who wait…or so they say.
Generally I have a hard time waiting for pretty much anything. But waiting until I was 21 to cash in my 18th birthday present is my proof that patience and delayed gratification can be worth the wait!
The story begins back in Toronto when my sister was turning 18 and my dad, who always encouraged us to reach for the sky, basically promised to send her there by offering to pay for an 18th birthday skydiving trip. In a house where sibling equality reigned supreme, this automatically applied for my eventual 18th birthday as well and I started scheming right then.
Since I had a few years to prepare, I was determined to make the most of this present. You see, he didn’t specify when, or where, the skydive was to take place. I always knew I’d get to Australia sometime, and deemed it the most appropriate place to jump out of a plane and have a nice view.
Fast-forward about 5 years: I’m 21 years old and living in Melbourne on a university exchange. My roommate and I are booking a trip to see the Great Barrier Reef and an opportunity comes up to sky dive over the reef. I instantly knew this was my chance and force/convinced my roommate this is the time to get over her fear of heights and we were going skydiving!
We signed up for the 14 000ft jump at Mission Beach and the whole trip now seems like a dream. I even saw whales jumping as I was coasting down with the parachute before landing gently on the beach, almost as though I had been planning the event for about 5 years…
One day we were scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef and playing in waterfalls, and the next we were falling out of a plane and viewing it from the clouds. I also have to say, skydiving is NOT scary at all – ask my roommate, she’ll now agree! It was such a great experience that I tried to convince my parents to go skydiving when they came to visit. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, but at least I managed to convince my sister to (finally) cash in her birthday present too 🙂
I guess what I’m getting at is, delayed gratification can be a beautiful thing. And skydiving is also a beautiful thing.