Facing Fears on Wheels
I woke up at 4 a.m. in a panic. I had been trapped in a series of nightmares that felt real. They were haunting. I felt as if I'd never wake up.
I believe that your dreams can tell you a lot, so as I tried to shake them off, I also tried to find out where they were coming from. I came to the conclusion that I am still haunted by the fears of my past as I work towards a better future.
I sat with these thoughts until 5 a.m. It was still pitch black outside. The moon was glowing. And I thought to myself, I don't want to waste my life being afraid. I have so much I want to do.
So I did the one thing that scares me the most. I dragged an old bike out from behind the house, carried it up onto the street with determination, and got the hell on it.
If you don't know about my history with bikes, I should tell you that yes, I am an adult who can't ride one. I never learned as a kid and only started to in spurts over the past two summers. It is one of my biggest fears and emotional hurdles. For me, it represents all of my failures.
I got on the bike and thought about my nightmares. I looked up at the beautiful October moon, and decided once more, I have no room for fear. In my dreams, in my life, or in my future.
So I rode. I stopped here and there, but for the most part I rode smoothly, down small hills, up small hills, around corners and bends.
As much as I've always resented not learning to ride a bike at a younger age, I realized how lucky I am. At the ripe age of 27 (almost 28), I get to experience the thrill of riding a bike for the first time. I get to be ecstatic about the wind in my hair and the possibility of travelling around the city on wheels.
I also get to realize how much fears can hold you back. That the only way to succeed at something is to look straight ahead. That sometimes the things that scare you the most - like a big hill - will also thrill you the most.
As I rode I let myself go wherever I wanted to. My neighbourhood consists of twists and turns and it is easy to get lost. I said screw it, and rode left, right, and wherever it felt good.
With the magic of intuition, I ended up back on my block when I was ready to stop riding.
I returned home safe, less afraid, and ready to move forward.
You are always rewarded when you face your fears.