Lizzie Buehler for Nassau Weekly
Lizzie Buehler for Nassau Weekly

Two days ago, you jumped off a bridge. You decided to jump off the bridge because you were bored and because it was tradition.

The bridge was eerily beautiful that night. A dark silhouette in a blanket of mist, it glimmered slightly with the light from the street lamps. These lights reflected onto the river and tiny stars danced across the water below. Behind it, a city slept.

You jumped off the bridge because you were bored and because it was tradition and because you needed it. Because when you were on the train, you cried and hid your face from your brother and your sister. You jumped fifth, just to make sure. The friends that jumped before you disappeared into a black hole; all you heard was a splash, some laughter, and then nothing. You counted to three and jumped and

And you were in the air for longer than they were. You fell slowly. Were you in the air longer than they were? You don’t know but you did hit the water. And boy, was it icy. You hit the water and black liquid consumed you until you couldn’t breathe and you saw light above you but didn’t know which way to swim.

Remember what it felt like to fly. Not the cheesy, Peter Pan, inspirational kind of flying, but the real kind. The kind where you are suspended in time, where nothing matters and nothing will matter. Remember what it felt like to fall without getting hurt. To fall, and sink, infinitely but then finitely. To fall, and sink, and sink some more, and rise.

Remember how two days ago, you fell asleep with your friends twisted together in one bed. Your limbs intertwined and the warmth of your bodies melted together until you didn’t know whose hands were whose. You dreamt of the piano that night; how mom used to say, you’ll be big one day. You dreamt of pink sheets, of softness, of the Disney songs mom played to wake you up.

You decided to jump because you were bored and because it was tradition. But does tradition mean anything to you now? It’s like a ribbon that unwinds and unwinds until there is nothing more coming from where it started.

Vonnegut wrote that everything was beautiful and nothing hurt; I don’t know if everything will ever be completely beautiful, but I know that this night came close to that. I know that there is beauty in sadness, or beauty from sadness. I know that if my brother or sister had seen me cry, they would have hugged me and cried with me and loved me until it didn’t hurt as much.

I hope that you’re happy. I really do. I hope that everything went well, like you wanted it to. But if it didn’t, don’t be sad. Things always have a way of working out in the end, even if it seems like they don’t. I hope you remember what you felt like two days ago. I hope that next time you’re bored, you read this. Be sad, be angry, be crazy, be happy, be everything, but never be bored. Go out and do something – anything. And when you do, write a letter to your future self and tell her what you did.

Do you enjoy reading the Nass?

Please consider donating a small amount to help support independent journalism at Princeton and whitelist our site.