When Life Gives You Rollerblades
It might be that I just finished watching Eat, Pray, Love this morning. Or that I had a near death experience last week- you really start to re-evaluate life when you drive into a Costco gas station with your car on fire. Or it might even be that I started therapy yesterday, but today I’m feeling like it’s the start of a new chapter in my life.
Earlier in the year I decided that at the end of July I was going to quit my job and move to Mexico, spend and spend sometime with my grandparents, work on some projects, but most importantly reconnect with myself. Today was a little glimpse of that.
So I made it my mission for today to get out of the house, go to a coffee shop, sit and write and start a blog of what will likely be my Eat, Pray, Love adventure with a Mexican twist. The Starbucks was only a mile and a half away and my Uber budget had gone through the roof over the last week without a car. I decided it would be fun to skate. So off I went- 1.5 miles- I’d be there in a jiffy.
The last time I had used my skates was probably about two years ago. I had forgotten how much balance you actually needed to avoid falling. But I persisted. Until I was about 10 minutes in and I hit a part of the sidewalk that was all dirt and rocks- try skating through that when your feet already hurt. It was here that I decided to take a break. I figured I was half way there and decided to rest my feet. I sat on the grass, pulled out my phone only to realize I was only 1/3 of the way there. I cried inside! I looked back and considered going back home, it was a shorter distance and I could sit and write in the dining table. But I knew myself well enough, I’m not productive at home. So I just sat for a minute, or ten, and just relaxed. In that moment I decided it would not be a good thing to quit. I’m getting ready to go off on an adventure, if I quit with skating will I quit when things get hard? So off I went with a renewed sense of confidence, and the first thing in my path was that stretch of dirt road. Little did I know that would be the least of my obstacles.
The one great element of this treacherous ride down a busy street were all the flowers blooming on the way there. It was springtime in California, the sun shining down on me feeling warm on my skin and flowers everywhere of all different colors. Flowers no one pays attention to while driving- I drove down this street every day and I never payed attention to the flowers. They gave me something beautiful to focus on. Specially during the stretch of driveways I was nervously skating through. You don’t realize how steep driveway dips are until you have to roll down multiple ones, all while trying to maintain your balance to avoid falling on your face. Maybe I should have taken the bus?
But I persisted. Nearly falling every two minutes, I could almost sense the drivers looking my way and getting a good laugh every time I almost ate shit. That thought made me laugh hysterically. In that moment, a man rode by in his bicycle and looked at me shaking his head laughing at me (or with me). I then realized that I was having fun, childlike fun, and I was happy! Hands flailing in the air trying to maintain my balance, but happy none the less. Fearful of falling on my ass, but excited of making it to the finish line. It brought me back to my childhood when I was learning to skate. I remember my uncle gave me a broomstick to maintain my balance, as if I was skiing on the street- I wish I had a broom stick!
But still I continued. Eventually, after all the steep hills (aka driveways) I finally hit a stretch of even pavement and I was finally able to hit a faster stride. For that moment I felt like I was a part of the Disney movie Brink! It was a breeze skating through even pavement. I was really enjoying it with the biggest smile on my face and hands up in the air like I was about to finish a marathon while continually admiring all the beautiful flowers along the way.
Here, I realized how this one hour of terrifying/exhilarating skating was a metaphor for life. There will be ups and downs, times when you want to give up, moments when people will laugh with you, and stretches of life that will be easy, there will even be moments where you stumble, or just fall completely on your ass. But the important part is to enjoy the ride, admire the beauty of the journey, and get to the finish line with a smile on your face!