Suspension: Getting Over My Fear of Heights (Sort Of)

Suspension: Getting Over My Fear of Heights (Sort Of)

I've always been terrified of roller coasters and Ferris Wheels, but I might be getting out of that fear


I am a baby. I'm not afraid to admit that, especially right when I back out on going on some tall ride at an amusement part. For as long as I can remember, heights have never been friendly to me. I always envisioned falling out of my seat or the whole contraption collapsing for some ridiculous reason. I never wanted to do anything about it either, because I thought it was a pretty reasonable and common fear.

Then came this trip to Costa Rica. I knew we would be doing some stuff out of my comfort zone like zip lining through the rain forest canopy at night and taking some leaps from waterfalls (they were never more than 30 feet though, no worries). Each of us had the chance to pick an activity to do each day, and I decided to push myself.

"Canyoneering in the Rain Forest" seemed like the perfect thing for me. Rappelling down cliff faces, a waterfall, and dropping into a river all felt pretty uncomfortable but not so unreasonable. The first three drops were no more than 45 feet, so I felt perfectly fine. Then the last drop came. Our guide turned to us and said, "Okay guys, now this is the last drop. It is the waterfall drop and it is 120 feet to the bottom." I didn't know if I had it in me at first.

But once I got to the edge after being secured to the ropes, I pushed off and felt nothing but pure joy. I had to ride a zip line to the center of the waterfall (it's dry season here, so it was more of a water stream) before beginning my descent. Despite the less-than-impressive waterfall, the rock face was very slippery. No matter though, because I rappelled to the bottom with no anxiety or worry in my body.

That wasn't the tough part. After we all got to the bottom, our guide directed our attention straight above us. A suspension bridge crossed the small canyon we stood in, more than 120 feet in the air. They said it was optional, I decided to give it a try. How hard can that be if I just dropped 120 feet into this same canyon?

I was terrified. Going across, I could only think of when the possible instant could be that the whole bridge would snap. The constant rocking and unsteady footing didn't help my anxiety much. I clutched the side cables with my life, not daring to look down. Once I crossed, I was told we have to go back across in order to get lunch. I thought I couldn't do it. But that photo above? I took it roughly 40 feet out on the bridge, hands-free, with a straight drop of 120 feet below me to a shallow pool of water.

I felt so accomplished knowing that I had just done so many things in one day that I would have never dared to consider years ago. I still don't think I could take on a roller coaster just yet, but maybe a Ferris Wheel. Start off slow? Maybe this is the start of me finally getting over my fear of heights, and I can't be more thankful for this chance.

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.

When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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Odyssey, From A Creator's Point Of View

Writing for Odyssey is transitioning from the outside looking in, to the inside looking a million ways at once.


It's 11:59 p.m. and I have two articles due tomorrow afternoon: two articles that are basically figments of my imagination at this point. When I was asked to write for Odyssey, I was ecstatic. I was a devout reader in high school and found every post so #relatable. During my short time as a "creator" for Odyssey, I've experienced what it's like to be on the other side of the articles.

Every post is not #relatable. This is a platform for anyone and everyone. I chose the articles I wanted to click on and read them, deemed them relatable, and clicked share. I, along with Odyssey's 700,000 something followers, did not go through and read every single article.

Being a creator has shown me that everyone has a voice, and by God, they're going to use it (rightfully so).

It can be disheartening at times to get what we think is a low number of page views when there are articles we don't necessarily agree with getting hundreds of Facebook shares. I don't crank out journalistic gold by any means, but being a writer isn't a walk in the park. It's stressful at times and even disappointing. Odyssey creators aren't paid, and even though it's liberating to be able to write about whatever our hearts desire, I'll be the first to admit that my life is just not that interesting.

When I first started writing for Odyssey, I vowed to never post anything basic like some things I have read in the past. If I'm going to dedicate the time it takes to write for a national platform, I'm going to publish things worth reading.

That vow is basically out the window now.

Simply stated, it's easy to write about things that are easy to write about. It's kind of like calling a Hail Mary play when it's the night before an article is due and there's been a topic in the back of your mind for days that you don't think is that great, but you think people might read. You just throw it out there and hope for the best. Being a creator gives you inside access to knowing what people are reading, what's popular, and what's working for other creators. Odyssey's demographic is not as diverse as it could or should be, so it's not hard to pick out something that the high school girl you once were will find relatable. Recently went through a breakup? Write about it. Watched a new show on Netflix? Write about it. When there's nothing holding you back, you have the freedom to literally put whatever you want online.

It's not easy coming out of your freshman year of college, one of the hardest years for any person, and being expected to whip up articles that everyone will love. Not everyone is going to love what I write. Heck, not everyone is going to like what I write. The First Amendment is a blessing and a curse. Not everyone is going to agree with you, and that's okay.

The beauty of Odyssey is that it highlights the fact that everyone DOES have a voice, and whether that voice coincides with your religious, political, or personal views isn't up to you.

You have the power to pick and choose what you want to read, relate to, and share. Remember that you have no way of knowing what every single person on the planet is going through and what they choose to write about reflects their own personal opinions, experiences, accomplishments, and hardships. Odyssey creators can spend weeks crafting articles they hope will break the Internet, but in return only get a few views. They can also pull all-nighters grasping at straws just trying to reach the minimum word requirement and end up writing the best thing since sliced bread.

I guess what I'm getting at here is that even though there are posts out there that are so easy for us to relate to, that's not always the goal for writers. We write what we feel, and if there's nothing to write about, we write what we think other people feel. The kicker is that we don't truly know what other people are feeling. You might hurt someone's feelings with your words. You might make someone cry with your story because they felt like they were alone and finally, finally, someone else feels the same way. You might trigger someone and get hateful comments. You might even change someone's life with your words.

The moral of the story is that words are pretty powerful, whether we choose to believe it or not.

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