Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: A word or two before this semester is over...

5.15.2018

A word or two before this semester is over...

This blog post is a bit different from what I usually do here on Two-Wheeled Tourist. This is a mind dump and completely unedited as I am studying for my last final of the Spring 2018 semester. Some of these thoughts may be fragmented, but perhaps I can share some insight amid my ramblings while I try to clear my head. Continue at your own risk.

Thought #1
One of my course readings for this class (and a featured part of this final exam) is a book named Leading with Soul (2nd Edition) by Lee Bolman and Terrence Deal. It's about the emotional, unteachable side of leadership as told in an allegory form about a worn-out, yet successful businessman who seeks the wisdom of a sage who identifies with his pitfalls because she has lived them herself. In many ways, the ideas in this book transcend leadership but also moving forward from the situations that make us feel like we've lost our way.

“The dark night of the soul comes just before revelation. When everything is lost, and all seems darkness, then comes the new life and all that is needed.” (p. 47)

Exactly four years ago today (not kidding), I began my motorcycle courier work in Westwood, delivering fresh donuts throughout the Westside. I continued to log in over 1500 deliveries of God-knows-what over a two year period, and that journey even led to one of the most extensive delivery jobs, I have ever done; dropping off healthcare correspondence in two counties in an eight hour period spanning over 250 miles. Aside from my long-distance Iron Butt runs, that was one of the most exhausting riding missions that I had ever subjected my body to endure. By the end of that run, I had consumed nearly a gallon of water via my Camelbak and had lost about five pounds. Pony Express got nothing on this bitch.

Why does that story come to mind? It was a dark time in my life. My marriage was ripped apart and the divorce was barely finalized. My mentor had passed away a few months prior, my job prospects were looking slim, several people who I thought were my friends walked out of my life, I had my motorcycle, and I had nothing else to lose. I drowned myself in work and thought that was okay because I had no other recourse but to simply survive. Four years later, I am not in the dark place that I was before. Sure, my job prospects have returned to a similar state (lucky me, right?), but what I need in my life has changed. It's not that I have nothing else to lose, it's that I have everything else to gain, and the ones who chose to leave will leave. No unnecessary tears will be shed for them.

“It is in passionate leaps of faith that we propel the human spirit forward." (p. 63)

One of the hardest practices that I have had to learn after two decades of being emotionally suppressed for my own survival is accepting that embracing my emotions is both difficult and necessary if I want to completely embrace myself. This has also required me to take a lot more chances in multiple arenas. So despite the sometimes straightforward approaches I take to my thinking, I have to deliberately stop myself to process what is not only going through my head but also what my heart tells me. This is weird, but it is liberating. I'm getting better at it every single day.

In response to Bob Marley's quote, "You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice," once you've figured out how strong you can be, find your way back to a place to where it is safe to be vulnerable again, no matter how long it takes.


Thought #2
My study guide is mine to do what I will, including writing directions specific to me.



Thought #3
This academic year can go shove it deep up the wrong hole. It has been a rough ride both at a professional and at a personal level.

In this 2017-2018 school year alone, I have seen the ins and outs of two school districts and all of the empty promises that come from the lack of recognition of the humanity that, in an ironic fashion, builds the foundations in which these systems exist. Because of this, I have temporarily suspended pursuing rejoining organizations that supposedly exist for the purpose of serving it. My own cynicism has caused me to shield my own heart until I am strong enough to throw myself to the wolves of service again.

I have seen the sputtering and the crashing of a relationship that should've died last summer when I had the ability to cut the cord and the knife was in my hands. But I gave that last chance and threw the life preserver instead of letting you drown, some futile attempt to allow the even remote possibility that there would be a turnaround. But alas, you did take that life preserver. And for just a little while, your life offered you to hope again and yet you still chose to float along at my expense. And then you chose to blame your failures on me because I couldn't carry you anymore. I cannot live for two people, and the only mercy you provided me was that you let yourself out, even if it was in the most cowardly of all fashions.

I have proven that I care. I am loyal until the end. I have also proven that sometimes, I can care too much and fight too hard to keep something that was tearing me apart rather than building me up. Never again. Nowadays, I remain guarded yet hopeful because I have nothing to lose now. Or rather, I am reminded that only the best people deserve me and that I am worthy of unconditional love.

I will not drag you to the finish line. I will not tell you how to get there because it is not my right. Here's what I will do. I will reach for your hand and hold it. I will watch you fall and laugh with you, not at you. I will be there with that jug of water when your body has reached the point of failure. I will have faith in your life journey and cheer on your progress. I will support you in any way I can as you rebuild your mind and soul. But at the same time, I am on a similar journey of rebuilding my own mind and soul and can only hope that you can continue to be there despite my wounds, even if it is just your presence and the gift of your time. And all the while, I will keep reminding myself that I deserve to let my guard down and trust that I will be safe.


Thought #4
Goddammit, I am a nervous wreck sometimes. Am I doing life right? Have I reached the threshold that this question no longer carries any weight?