What’s More American Than Skydiving?

TIME

When I quit my first real job, I didn’t have a plan. I just walked out with the recklessness of a Harvard graduate who had come of age during the Clinton-era Internet bubble. I was barely out the door when reality set in, and elation gave way to doubts about the wobbling post-Y2K economy. What if I had doomed myself to poverty? I wanted catharsis. That’s when I got the idea to jump out of an airplane.

Soon after, in a boozy haze at a San Francisco loft party, I recruited friends to skydive with me over the Russian River. Everyone sounded brave, but the next morning I was the only one who showed up. Instead of bowing out, I signed the paperwork. My senses felt dulled by a vortex of never-ending work and play, and I wondered what my inner voice would tell me about the path ahead if…

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