Tuesday, September 11, 2007

a reinforcement of direction

I find that lately my life tends to be crumbling around me as I continue to make choices with my heart rather than with rational thought processes. You know that feeling; a tugging desperation that you try to bury with the day's activities, but is always there, like an uncomfortable song in the background. Sometimes you don't even realize it's there, but then, in a slow moment it returns.

Last evening, at the end of a proverbial "nail in the coffin" kind of day, I received a push to continue down my unpopular path in the most unlikely of situations. My roommate, in what some (myself included) would think an unwise move, picked up an injured bicycler on the side of the road and brought him to our house! Said bicycler, Tom, was limping his bike to the train station, due to a substantial and debilitating knee injury. My roommate offered to take him, as it was getting dark, Tom was still about eight miles away from Amtrak, and he was in the wrong place of town to be injured and walking alone. He missed the train and was offered a stay on our couch, explained delicately to me when I arrived home by my roommate, very delicately!

Our injured guest was dirty and very sunburned PhD that had biked all the way from Portland, Oregon and over the last year and half has biked about 20,000 miles. His goal: to bike RAM (a bike race across the entire United States in about 10 days). RAM bikers usually cycle about 20 hours a day for 10 days straight.

I found myself extremely intrigued by this 45 year old, single man without a solid residence, who had bankrolled some cash in his six year hiatus between masters and doctoral degrees. He was a very articulate, well educated man who I enjoyed talking to very much for the short time before he caught the train back to Portland this morning. He pledged to get back to this spot and continue his journey to Washington, DC when his knee healed.

What's the point? Simply this, some of the life discomfort that I have felt is from my reluctance to bow to the status quo of "normal life". Get a job in one place; get a wife; have some kids; buy a house; settle down. Why? And better yet, why now? When everyone else is doing it, you are getting older, and people start saying things like, "bout time to settle down," or mom saying, "when am I going to have some grandkids?", it feels like your days or numbered, or at the very least, you aren't living up to the gold-standard of society.

It seems to me that everyone has a direction in life that suits them. Now whether they follow this path is a matter of circumstance certainly, but it might also be a matter of comfort with that path and ultimately themselves. Some people choose to tuck that dream path away or simply succumb to that desperation in order to alleviate it. But I wonder if a little desperation now, may prevent a life-long desperation later.

***It has been brought to my attention that I should ammend this a tad. If you are totally and madly in love and want to get married--DO IT! I was simply pointing it out as a potential restrait on following all the crazy stuff you wanted to do it life, proceed with the marrying***

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