This is the truth. It started as something polished, even pretty. I originally wrote this like an FAQ. It was like Mom and Dad wrapping a bike, and underneath all the pretty paper, you can still see it’s a bike. Like why bother wrapping it?
The more see-you-laters, the more bye-for-now’s that I have? Oh boy, is this scary. Much like the first time we took the training wheels off my own bike (I was like 8, it was sad, I was THAT uncoordinated), and I scraped up my ribcage. And swore I’d never ride again, through yells and sobs and a fair amount of drama.
Once I got over the gashes (scrapes), that bike was the catalyst for adventure and imagination, for freedom. I remember riding around my neighborhood, popping in on family member unannounced, or into the woods, cruising down the hill towards the lake and seeing how quick I could stop.
These preparations for Norway feel like scrapes on my ribcage right now. They aren’t debilitating but boy, do they make themselves known. But all they are is a reminder of a Thing I still haven’t conquered. A Thing whose gashes prove I’m at least giving it a solid try without training wheels. A Thing that exists, and is real, and is waiting for me.
See, I love this. I love traveling, and culture, and different people, and my people so freaking much. I get a little itchy if I’m in one place for too long. I’m so, so excited.
I’m so, so, so scared.
I’m learning quick that the doing of the thing, doesn’t make the thing any less scary. I’m still scared, I’m just- LOOK, DAD, I’M DOING IT! I’M DOING IT!
Nothing changed, I just started moving. And panicking. But mostly moving. Like that weird sense of terror that happens just after the adrenaline wears off and you become self-aware?
That is my emotional state right now.
When I got on a bike again this past year (literally, no metaphor), I was in Sweden, and was not entirely sure I knew what I was doing. I was 99.9% sure I would fall off (in front of my team) and look like a fool (I talked in my sleep, it was too late for that one). And with that in my mind, I got on. And it hurt (at first), but after that? I wanted to go everywhere on it. It’s not to say I didn’t fall (I made sure I was alone), and that my thighs weren’t hateful of me (I DIDN’T KNOW THESE MUSCLES EXISTED), but I was ten again. It restored something. I remembered something:
I like doing hard things.
It feels too easy if I’m not really scared. I have no satisfaction unless I’m 85% sure I CAN’T DO THIS.
But God never changed his mind no matter how many times I said I can’t do it. God hasn’t changed his mind on me yet, on this adventure yet, and I’m me, so I’m in shock.
But I trust him, a lot. Sometimes I don’t think I should, because I use my eyes. But when I use my brain, and when I exercise my faith, not just my anxiety, I usually make the right choice.
I move to a new country (temporarily, but still for a while) in a week.
And I’m really scared.
But God isn’t. I think he’s standing there like my dad was, waiting for me to do the Next Brave Thing, to just get on the bike, learn how it balances, see how it rides, how to hold myself.
I might even fall off a few times. I might throw the bike back, tell him I hate it.
And he’ll chuckle, pick it back up, because we both know I’m gonna get back on.
And like my real bike, once balance kicks in, and I learn, and I fall a little less. And the risk of falling never stops existing, you just get to a point where you realize
falling and dying aren’t the same thing. If you aren’t falling, you aren’t going anywhere.
This whole thing?
It’s just like riding a bike.