December 6, 2013

Motorcycling Between Love and Independence

After crossing the country twice in my first year of motorcycling, I've been able to spend a nice amount of time reflecting on all I've learned from the trip. Of course, I have no desire to settle down anywhere and I see this as a hiatus on the Road Pickle Motorcycle Bohemia. San Diego has been a great place to visit, enjoy the beautiful weather, see some friends, and rejuvenate. But I'm itching to get back on the trail again.

Certain obstacles stand in my way and limit my freedom. I still own my home which I have rented and I also have on the market. I'm hoping it will sell before we leave So Cal again so I can be rid of that financial burden, as well as my obligation to my renters. I feel so responsible for them, mostly because they are family and they've done so much for me over the past couple of years to help me maintain my house so I could sell it. Now that time has come and I want to be sure to repay their kindness.

I recently found out that my daughter, my one and only child Olivia, is pregnant. She married the love of her life in April of this year, just days before we left on Road Pickle. After a visit with her recently we all learned that they are expecting. When I found out I was overwhelmed with joy and fear, all jumbled together.

This week I got an offer on my house for more than I had hoped to receive. I was thrilled and started making plans. The offer required my renters to move out in 15 days, only 7 days before Christmas. The family started scrambling to make it happen and I was thrilled about the money and finally being free of my anchor of a home.

Two days later the buyers backed out. I was crushed. It was nearly impossible to remember I was no worse off than before because I felt so tied down. The burden of maintaining this home was weighing heavier all the time. I want so badly to be unencumbered and this seemed to be my final stumbling block.

A day later I received a frantic phone call from my daughter. She was hemorrhaging and possibly having a miscarriage. Her husband rushed her to the Emergency Room and I spent the night in Highway's arms, crying myself to sleep in fear that my grandchild would be gone. After a few grueling hours came the news that the baby was safe, alive and still kicking, albeit my daughter had a terribly close call. She's still on bedrest for now, but it seems she'll recover and be able to maintain her pregnancy.

As the night wore on though, waiting for the news, the heavy pull to mount up on my motorcycle and ride to her bedside weighed heavily upon my heart.

"I should be there," my head kept saying.

My husband kept me sane and reminded me that Olivia's husband David was there with her now, and I didn't need to come to her rescue as I once had. The mothering instinct never goes away, nor the desire to help my child through rough patches, but at some point my need to belong only to myself plays a part in my decision making.

Just a few weeks ago I pondered the independence of riding in this article:

I am riding my motorcycle.

I don't know if you want something, how you feel about me, if I left the water running, forgot an appointment, or if you're trying to call. I didn't see your email, your tweet, your text, your post, your comment of your photo.

I'm busy and I cannot attend to anything but motorcycle, the road, and myself.

While this is true, at some point our obligations still find us and require attention. The only way I can see to eliminate this is to isolate myself completely from everyone, building no relationships, having no commitments; a step I have no interest in making. Between love and independence lies a balance I've yet to achieve.

Except with my hubs Highway. Our relationship was built on helping one another achieve independence while still maintaining a healthy dose of interdependence. We are together by choice, not obligation, not by outward commitments. Some times that frightens me, but it is the way I want to live.

What are you holding on to? What's holding on to you? Is it keeping you from finding yourself, your calling, your own personal road?



  1. I've come to understand there is no "balance" in nature. What there is, is a pendulum that swings back and forth... one "extreme to the other. The majority of the time... if things are running "Right"... it's swingin' in that healthy section in the middle. Just a nice, even back and forth, like calm, measured breathing, or the pumping of a heart... Kind of like the Operating temperature zone of an engines temperature gauge...

    ... It's when "We" let it get swinging wildly where it's banging against the outer limits that we get into trouble... The key is keeping it from racing out of control... either way...

    ...I think. Then again... I could be full of sour beer juice...

    1. Brian,
      Pendulum swing sound more credible than balance, that's true. I've seen my life as one swing after the other. Balance would imply stagnation, the very opposite of what I'm seeking. So you've made a great point.
      As usual, you've given me more to think about. . .

  2. Try as I may I can't understand that much freedom. My world is flat and I don't want to fall off.

    1. But Steve, would you want that much freedom? It comes with a price.

  3. I know what's holding me back including,but not limited to,a job I despise with a hatred that is bottomless for what I do and who I work for/with.A DEEP BOTTOMLESS hatred.I also know it's up to me to remedy that.That is difficult when I know where my wrong turn was yet don't know where the correct turn is.I don't know where I want to go,I only know I don't want to be where I am at now.
    With the death of actor Paul Walker(and his friend Roger) who happens to be only a year older than me,it makes me nervous,that while he ,at the very least,went out dong something he loved,I'm going to go out miserable,doing something I hate and feel I've wasted my life up to this point in the path I've chosen

    1. Rory,
      Thank you for your brutal honesty. It can't happen overnight. Evaluate, make a plan, & start moving in the direction you set. We didn't cross the country in one day. Things may take time but if you're headed towards your ultimate destination you can take time to enjoy the journey.

    2. Rory, the "correct turn" is to save yourself. It doesn't matter specifically when, where, and how. Sometimes, you're waiting for the right opportunity to come along, when in fact, the River is telling you the opportunity is now. I took that opportunity, and it sent a lot of things into disarray. I lost several friends. I lost a lot of money, and I lost many of my things (including thousands of dollars worth of tools), but I managed to keep my two motorcycles, my pickup truck, and half of the Internet business I created. 2 1/2 years later, things have smoothed over, and I'm feeling happier. You just have to make that big leap of faith in yourself.

  4. First off I have to say that I am glad your daughter and the baby are okay. I bet that is a huge weight off your mind.

    Second it is a bummer the buyers backed out of the purchase, but I am a firm believer in things happening for a reason and there must be a better buyer out there.

    I can't say I have things holding me back in life. I am married to the love of my life and have been for 18 years. We have a house we love and a kitteh to spoil. We both have jobs and have money for toys to play with on our days off. Sure work can be a bit of a drag, but that is why they call it work, otherwise it would be called play.

    Would I love more freedom, probably, but without the structure I think my OCD would implode, lol.

  5. Rory... the "correct turn" is often hidden by the confusion of BS the world dumps on us and that we dump on ourselves. The best thing is to somehow put the part of us that don't get bullshitted to work. The subconscious... and then... learn to trust it, and ourselves.

    Is there a thing? a dream, an ambition? a real down deep aching hunger you have? Can you write that up in one or two words? Or a short phrase? DO that. Post that slip of paper where you see it repeatedly over the day.

    ... and then... be prepared to grab on to the opportunities that your subconscious will maneuver you into position for, once it's been put to work.

    The other thing people need to do is NOT focus on how much they hate their current "Situation"... I'm coming to believe that you become what you focus on. So, if you focus on what you hate... yeah... not so good. Been there done that.

    But... focus instead on what or where you want to be?... the day brightens kinda nice! and all the power of your spirit gets put to work taking you there.


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