Bikes & Co.

Today was not a great day.

Today, I screamed in my car twice.

I went to the bank three times.

I wished I could have a do-over about 400 times.

Today was supposed to be the day when I went on a run, finished two novels, made my entire apartment shine, read three books, and solved world issues. (This is how informed I am. I say, “world issues.”)

Okay, so I had high expectations, but by noon, I was left with the first four sentence of this blog post.

Maybe today was bad because a lot of emotional, big changes are coming my way. I have a hard time with change. It can be fun and adventurous and what life’s all about, but it is also really, really hard.

Next week, classes are over. In June, I will graduate, and then it’s…

I have no idea.

I could go home to Indiana and do…

I could stay here and…

I could…

I could…

I HAVE NO IDEA!

This is a nerve-wracking time. It can also be depressing. Suddenly, I feel I haven’t learned anything in the past two years/my whole life.

The reality of that thought pounded and beat on me today. I haven’t gotten better. I never get better. I’ll never get better. 

And then, something happened.

My family is into bikes, not in a competitive, spandex way, but in a three-year-olds-without-training-wheels sort of way. Biking was the summer go-to. It was the transportation of choice to ride to the gas station (that often ran out of gas) to buy Bazooka Joe gum. It was the only time our neighbors got angry from kids ruining their yard (which happened to be a short cut on the way to the gas station). It was the most dangerous thing Mom let us do with smallest list of warnings (that still included: wear your helmet, those better not be sandals, stay in the neighborhood, stay with your brothers, stay with your sister, not too fast, don’t be out too long, etc.).

During those summers, I learned how to do quite a few tricks on my bike: the side-saddle, the no-feet, and the classic feet-on-handlebars.

Okay, so I wasn’t doing BMX, but still, I was decent. There was one trick, though. The one I always attempted, but could never do.

Remember that scene in City of Angels where Meg Ryan lifts her arms out while riding her bike (cough and then dies cough)?

bike

Well, I really wanted to do that. The hand thing! (Not the other thing.)

But I never could. Each summer, I would try and try, but I could only ever do the one-handed, which isn’t impressive at all.

Today, when I was riding my bike back from my car (don’t even get me started on that), I thought I should try the no-hands. There was no way it would work. It had never worked before. But I couldn’t stop thinking, just try.

So I lifted a hand and then the other, and then the bike stayed steady. I put my hands in my lap, and the bike stayed steady. I put my hands out to feel the wind, and the bike stayed steady.

And the most lovely thought entered my head.

I am better at something. 

It wasn’t writing or planning or job-having or anything important. It didn’t make my apartment shine, or fix every (or any) problem in my life. But, there it was.

I got better at something.

Today, I thought I was a big failure who couldn’t have a good day, let alone a good life, but tonight, I know that if I keep going, I might just get the hang of some of these impossible tricks.

Tonight, I know that I’m getting better every time I try. Sometimes I forget that.

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