You Can’t Fly If You Don’t Jump

So it is no longer a secret that we are moving.

Destination? We don’t know yet. That’s part of what makes it so exciting, but also part of what makes it scary. In a little over three weeks, we will be packing up our lives and taking a step in the general north-western direction.

Yesterday, I was talking to a portable storage unit company (I’m not writing a review yet, haha) and the woman I spoke to gave me the words of wisdom at the top of this post. She told me:

“You can’t fly if you don’t jump. You might fall a couple of times, but eventually you’ll fly.”

She told me her story and I told her mine, and at the end of that, I not only had booked my storage facility, but had a heart full of hope.

If you always wait until you are ready, you’ll never do it.

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Really all that I’m trying to say is that I am still nervous, and I am not ready, and I may never be. But we are going, probably sooner rather than later, now. And it is going to be great.

Before ending our call yesterday, she told me that I was brave.

And the brave ones always fly.

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Commit

So it’s been a while since I’ve written. I’ve been spending a lot of time at work, a lot of time on my bikes, and a lot of time at the climbing gym. My accomplishment of the month (so far) is that I can do two pull ups in a row now. But that isn’t what I wanted to write about.

You see, one of the biggest challenges that I am having with myself is that I am constantly afraid to commit. That big drop on the trail? I hesitate, clamping down hard on the brakes before I even get the chance to try. That last move on  the V2 boulder problem? I let go, dropping to the mat in defeat, even though my hand was basically already on the finish. Leaving the state of Florida? I said I was going to do it two years ago, then came back after not even six months.

It’s happening.

Not that there is anything wrong with Florida. It’s warm year round, there’s unique possibilities for recreation, and who can forget the beach!!! Not that people who actually live here go to the beach all that often. We have jobs, you know.

For me, the pull of the mountains has been the ultimate decision maker. The desire to be in the outdoors and facilitate recreation more directly than I have been these past few years (I sell and repair bikes, it’s related. Not to mention the events that I coordinated/ran) is finally tugging me in the direction that I want to go: WEST.

As of now, the destination is unknown. I am committing to this adventure 110%, no matter where it takes us.

I’m sure that I’ll have more to write about along the way as well. I am looking forward to that.

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Me strolling toward the future. It’s pretty bright, hence the shades.

November

It’s easy this time of year to jump right from Halloween into Christmas. In fact, there’s eggnog in the fridge right now (Q managed to resist until after Halloween this year).

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That being said, I do not plan on missing out on this season of thankfulness. I’ve been thinking a lot about writing this in the past week or two during my daily bike commutes, planning my wording and basically just musing over all of the ways that I am so lucky. Finally, I am taking the time to perch on this yoga ball and share it with you all. I won’t be listing all of them, just a few, to prevent this post from becoming an explosion of hand turkeys and all of the things that cross my mind during my yoga classes (always keeping that intention of gratitude).

  1. I am thankful for missing people. That wistful feeling that sprouts from loving someone who is thousands of miles away can be sad, but it means that I have been lucky enough to find a wonderful person in a wonderful place. Even though I can’t keep them and be roommates still, or live across the street, or even in the same country as them, these friendships are gifts that don’t stop giving. It also means that I have been lucky enough to call many different places home, and that is a gift in and of itself. My itchy feet have brought me to some spectacular destinations and I am sure that many more are in my future.

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    We found love right where we were, but now neither of us are there anymore.

  2. I am thankful for being bad at things. This reminds me that I am always learning.

    “If you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room.”

    I am fortunate to be able to try so many different things and gain so many skills, and even more fortuitous to live and work in an environment where I can take a crack at just about anything. The continuous blessing of working on something that takes all of my effort and focus, leaving you weary at the end of the day, means that I am still growing. As long as I never stop trying, I will never be bored.

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    I am thankful that Q puts up with me being bad at things.

  3. I am thankful for having wonderful parents who made sure I always said “please” and “thank you,” along with a million billion trillion other things that made me who I am today. Even if they seemed sucky at the time, like cleaning the bathroom or mowing the lawn, they’ve turned me into the semi-successful semi-adult that I am right now. They also helped spark my love of exploration with our amazing annual family vacations when I was little. Heck, this could be an entire post on its own. I love and appreciate them beyond words.
  4. I am thankful for the things that scare me. Nervousness and fear both keep me safe, and allow me to push myself past them to experience something wondrous. Again with the always growing. Lead climbing and mountain biking both are two of my favorite things to do…they also scare the bejeezus out of me. The thrill and the skills required (see ‘being bad at things’) have me stronger than I’ve ever been so far.
  5. Lastly, I am thankful for those creature comforts that we so often take for granted. A warm bed, clean drinking water, a roof over my head, food to eat, and a pup to love on.
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He isn’t actually my dog, he’s our housemate’s, but that doesn’t stop me from loving him and being thankful that he exists, even though he chewed up my credit card.

I am beyond lucky for infinite reasons. Happy Thanksgiving.

On Mindfulness

I started thinking about mindfulness and living more presently a little bit more recently.

You see, my car, my beautiful Spaceship Adventure’s clutch literally exploded about a month ago. The entire transmission and flywheel were replaced and, since the Nissan parts are expensive and sometimes only come in kits with parts that don’t all need to be replaced together, I am left with a slightly rigged shift cable. Now I don’t drive often, but when I do, I now have to be very thoughtful about the pressure and rate at which I shift so that I don’t pop my shift cable bushings (…again) and have to pony up for the $600 part.

This has been leaking into other aspects of my life too. When I do ride to work, or hit the trails on my magnificent new mountain bike, I need to be present and aware of my surroundings.

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My lovely Trek Stache 

Being aware of my surroundings and the space that I occupy has never been my strong suit. I run into things a lot. I will spend an embarrassing amount of time looking for something that is right in front of me. I am easily distracted and still not perfect. It is nice, however, to have a small exercise in mindfulness each morning and each evening. I consider this a small victory, and something to work toward incorporating into my regular daily life.

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Oh, and speaking of working toward things…

After working toward it almost daily for the whole of the year 2016, I finally did a full, unassisted pull up!

Despite years of climbing and lifting, I was never able to, so after hurting my ankle in the beginning of the year, I made it my goal. After moving into a house and obtaining a pull up bar (via our new housemate), I was able to work toward it daily. So far it’s just been one, despite trying again after, but I am looking forward to many more.

Here’s to setting goals and to accomplishing them.

Single Speed Living

It has been a while since I’ve written anything. This isn’t because nothing interesting has been happening. No, life certainly continues to be an every day adventure, despite my regular routine.

I work at a bike shop now, which has simultaneously increased and decreased the amount that I ride. I sleepily wake up an hour early on Saturdays to go on our shop road ride and hammer on the trainer once a week…or try to at least… but the more often I ride on the road, the more I want to get off it. I’ve played around with the idea of converting my road bike into a cross bike, but unless I get a second wheelset, I am giving up my speedy transportation machine. I’ve also put a lot of thought into a mountain bike, but my previous experience with the trails in Ohio on a freshly fractured ankle left a somewhat skeptical taste in my mouth. (It’s still probably the route I will take to get off of terrible-driver-infested roads and into the sugar sandy scrub trails of Florida). Lucky for me, though, I was granted a single speed beach cruiser by the job and it has changed my perspective a little bit.

Comparing a bike to a car has always been a no brainer to me. Two wheels are superior to four any day. And, anything that saves me money is a plus in my book. My road bike has always been my go to – the speed that it has just can’t be beat. I never thought I would ever own a beach cruiser. Now that I have one though, it is becoming my biggest form of transportation. It also cruises slow enough that I am okay with riding on the sidewalk – two of the reasons that Q would never ride with me. It’s slowed me down and let me cruise around and see a little more of the world and I love it.

 

Blessed as Heck

I recently returned from a week long surf/yoga/adventure excursion in Chinandega, Nicaragua with Surf with Amigas. I signed up for this trip on a whim, and didn’t really have the money for it, but I did it anyway and I am glad that it happened. I learned a lot about surfing, did some really restorative yoga, and got away from the rut that I had been in here in Florida.

I had a lot of new experiences including volcano boarding, which is like sledding but on volcanic ash instead of snow, riding green waves, and galloping on a horse down the beach a la romance novel cover. I also learned that I can travel by myself and that I will plan the whole trip myself next time, that I need to learn how to speak Spanish, and that just because I have a shitty shortboard here doesn’t mean that I have to keep it.

We stayed in the nicest place I think I ever have, ate some of the best food that I think I ever have, and met some of the coolest and most empowering women that I think I ever have.

I don’t have a lot of photos, but I have a lot of memories and that is what truly matters.

Returning home has been nice, especially because I have a job here and a friend or two! A friend who wasn’t Q came and saw me at work today! Yay!  I do want to establish that I do like living here, and I love living with Q, but the months of unemployment did a number on my confidence and my bank account. Unfortunately/fortunately, I will only be here for another few weeks. In January, I am hopping across the country for a job! After that, I am not sure what I will do, but it will be back here in Florida with Q.

Well…

In not even two days, I will be boarding a plane at an ungodly hour to hop over to Nicaragua to spend a week surfing and adventuring with a group of women who I haven’t met yet.

I am excited as all get out.

Decisions

My indecisiveness and the wide world of opportunity that I have in front of me is putting me in another limbo of not knowing. As with any type of limbo though, all one can do is lean back farther and hope not to hit the ground too hard. Q and I spent some time this morning hunting for apartments and I then applied for a new and different job for the fall…across the country from where those apartments are. It is a strange thing, to have a person who I am relatively attached to in this stage in my life. He is in a different stage, and that is fine and good. It is just strange. I look forward to him being able to adventure with me during the year, when neither of us are in school.

The only plans that I desire to have are for homecoming next October and for Christmas.

I think that the more options I create for myself, the harder it will be to choose. I will either do everything or none of it.