Thursday, August 1, 2013

Living

I've written before about how teaching had drained me. I felt like I was so stressed out I wasn't living life anymore. I had no spare time and I turned down so many opportunities because I knew they would overwhelm me more than I already was. After finishing the school year in June and knowing that I was not returning, I felt as though a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders.

Transitioning from the mindset of having a summer off and to realizing that this is not a permanent vacation is something that I've often worried about. I need constant reminders. Andrew is good about that. He treats my days like they are work days and checks in with me at the end of the day-- How was work today? What did you get accomplished? How were sales today? Did you get any new wholesale leads? Then there are the reminders of the non-work stuff. Like the, don't worry about getting that done tonight. You have all day tomorrow to do that. And I actually get to live in the moment.

This past weekend, my best friend from college came to Baltimore to visit with some friends that had invited her down from Hoboken. She had all day Friday free while they were at work, so I spent the afternoon with her at an amazing restaurant on the water sipping fantastic cocktails because I could and because I felt like it. I had worked like crazy that morning and could do whatever I wanted for the whole afternoon. Later that evening, Andrew and I went to Merriweather to see the Lumineers. We took a picnic for dinner and sat on a blanket and I worried about nothing because I didn't have to.

Saturday ended up being a relaxing day. We went to pick up our wedding rings (woot woot!) and then later that evening biked to the Orioles game. We have been biking as much as possible to get to places within the city now that I have a bike that I actually enjoy riding. However, I've been apprehensive. I'm not daring like Andrew who rides his bike every day to work, zipping between cars and narrowly missing (and once hitting) opening car doors while traveling full steam ahead. In fact, merely a few moments before we left via bike, I tried talking him into taking the car instead. I wasn't ready to bike across the city yet, I argued. It scared me.

After the Orioles game, we hopped back on our bikes to ride home via the bike path and the safest route possible that I had made Andrew promise to take. As we were trying to work our way through the crowds of pedestrians that were clogging the bike path on Pratt Street, I decided that I needed to do something to avoid the jammed path. I spotted an opening in the heavy Pratt Street traffic and I went for it. I sped down the street on my bike at full speed, passing people on the sidewalks and keeping up with cars in the street. And in that moment it hit me. I was free and I finally felt like I was living again.

Imogen Heap Cycling though London
via lomokev
As I turned off of the busy downtown street back to our quiet residential route, Andrew caught up with me on his bike and yelled, "You did it! I wasn't expecting that at all, but you just did it!" And you know what, as silly as it may seem, I felt like a whole new person with a whole new lease on life. Maybe it's a metaphor for bigger things-- knowing that taking a giant leap into a new adventure will be ok. Or that things that may feel scary are actually not as a big of a deal as they seem. Either way, that bike ride was just what I needed.

5 comments:

  1. That is totally fantastic! (And I'm a little jealous that you can bike around where you live and actually get to things other than just more houses.) I'm so happy for you that you are getting to do what you want and are taking risks, too!

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  2. That's great, Heidi! There are a lot of streets I hesitate to ride down in DC because I'm not a strong rider and of course, traffic is crazy. But we do have lots of bike lanes and trails, which makes me feel safer. I don't even own a bike, but we've had bikeshare here for 5 years which is fantastic. I'm happy to see other cities FINALLY getting on board with that (ahem, NYC). Ok straying off topic here...Anyhoo, I wish you much luck with everything you've got coming up. :)

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  3. That weight being lifted must have felt incredible! I'm so happy for you and it's inspiring to read about your transition. I'm terrified to bike in the city. In NYC they just started this cycle program where people are renting bikes from various parts of the city and it seems to be taking off. A part of me wants to try it but I'm sooo nervous about the traffic, especially the cab drivers). I just got tense typing this! lol!

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  4. I lived for years with only a bike, no car at all, in rural northern California. Fond memories of the financial freedom it allowed - release from expenses like car, gas, repairs let me open an artisan glass studio and actually make my living doing work I loved. Hooray to bikes!

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  5. Yay!! thats exciting. It's always nice to overcome a fear or try something new. Thats how I felt about learning to drive standard. When I first moved to VA I knew it was a matter of time that my car an automatic would die and we'd only have my boyfriend's car a standard. So it finally died and I had no choice but to learn. I was so scared to go on a hill and I even froze once while on the road and got out of the car and force my boyfriend to drive.

    Eventually I learned to drive but I would avoid hills and even drive out of my way to go around a hill. Then one day I found myself stuck on a hill and I just gunned it and I made it without stalling. I still sometimes feel fear when I'm on hill but now I see it as challenge to overcome instead of being frozen.

    Once you start accomplishing those little fears such as driving stick or running by yourself (in my case) you slowly but surely learn to deal with the big fears and basically you say..'hey.. I ain't scurred. I got this..'

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