Friday, June 24, 2011

Expectations, feelings, and what's just around the bend

It's the first day of summer, and 11 weeks have come and gone living out of our Ortlieb panniers. The weather hasn't exactly "cooperated" for the majority of our trip; but what could we expect? Cooperation just might be overrated. Who knows.

Expectations are a funny thing, too. I'm learning I'm way better off having none and just embracing what I end up with. I'm not nearly a pro at this practice. But my novice skills are taking me far enough. I no longer expect to go as fast as Brian, to slim down into my highschool body, to miss people or places, to fail, to need things my way (or any way, for that matter), to be exhausted or happy or sad. For the sun to shine on the first day of summer. Nope. I just show up and see where the day takes me.

Today I woke up and cried for the first time in a week (which is equivilent to a decade, as far as this trip goes), then played some ukulele, then rode through wind, drizzle and 50 degrees of gloom, as I listened to my favorite musicians for 40 miles. It was a normal day, all things considered. We rode our bikes. That's really all it takes to feel "normal".

Stopping is a bit strange. One of us usually begins to wonder what the hell we're doing with our lives when we're holed up in a hotel watching Bizarre Foods and Project Runway on endless loop. But our angst is normal, too. And it wouldn't matter if we were on this trip or not. Everyone experiences "feelings" over "what the hell they're doing with their lives" irregardless of the shape or form that their lives take. So when I cry or Brian explodes in confusion, we just sit quietly and listen. We don't try to fix. "I'm just having some feelings," I tell him. It's nice to be wittnessed. It helps the feelings seem barable, likable, human.

Tomorrow we'll ride into South Dakota. Just writing that seems a bit surreal. It was on Pine Ridge that the embreyo for this trip was fertilized. Countless times, I have pictured us riding up Re-Member's crushed rock driveway, hot sun of the Great Plains beating down on our bare necks. Who knows... Who's to say how our arrival will really look, how our experience will manifest, how everything might change just around the bend.

No one knows, but we're going to find out. That's what our life has become: a discovery, an unfolding, an opening to what lies before us. It's taken getting used to and some days we have more "feelings" than others. But most of the time we recognize how totally alive we are and that one simple recognition is enough to make us weep with joy.

What expectations are you ready to rid? For the sake of opening to the way it really is... the way it really could be? For the sake of stepping into your mysterious, incredible life?

Loving you and feeling thankful that somehow we're connected -- that somehow our discoveries are really not so different.

1 comment:

  1. I love reading your words. "It's nice to be witnessed" Oh how that line spoke directly to my heart. We all are different, yet deep inside we are all the same....and we all feel, want to be seen, and want to be heard. So incredibly true.

    I feel like your words are looking directly into my soul. So beautiful. I dream of one day riding across the united states on my bicycle also. Until that day happens I am so grateful to be along on your journey, soaking it all in through your words. Thank you for this.

    Good luck with your journey as you continue to travel.