In fact, the whole process reminded me of skydiving. The scariest part is the couple weeks beforehand where you run through the scenario over and over. Then, the day comes and you're surprisingly calm, with occasional stomach butterflies. And then all of a sudden, you're committed to your course of action. For skydiving, it was getting in the plane. For the proposal, I wrote out the key events in our three years together as a sort of story/journal with the proposal at the end, so once I started reading, it was inevitable.
And then you jump out of the plane and everything goes into slow motion, and your brain is just repeating "yes, that really just happened. You just jumped out of a plane. Holy crap."
But then she says "yes" and the parachute works and you make it to solid ground and it's a wonderful feeling, and you call people and tell them that you just survived skydiving/got engaged.
That's where the analogy breaks down, because with skydiving that's it, but with an engagement, that's just the beginning.
Another reason that I like that analogy is that it reminds me of a quote I read three years ago when I was debating whether or not to start dating Erin:
If we listened to our intellect we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go in business because we’d be cynical: “It’s gonna go wrong.” Or “She’s going to hurt me.” Or,”I’ve had a couple of bad love affairs, so therefore . . .” Well, that’s nonsense. You’re going to miss life. You’ve got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down.