Life Lessons: The Ride & The Fall

I witnessed a man fall off his motorcycle tonight. He was driving at a much faster pace than the stopped traffic, between the lanes, and drove straight into a car that was turning left, coming from the opposite direction. Some details aside, he plowed into the passenger side door, left his mark on the car, and fell off his bike. After making sure he was okay, I drove off, feeling as if I was involved in the accident, given it all happened right in front of my eyes. My body was trembling. That image is now imprinted in my memory.

Like the motorcycle, I sometimes feel like, in life, I’m gunning full speed ahead, trying to get somewhere faster than everyone else. Traffic, in this instance, is as simple metaphor for the flow of how things work. Moments in life and different stages are like traffic – everything  is based on timing and signals. When these things are saying one thing, trying to get somewhere faster than the situation allows may just lead you straight into a wall (or the passenger door of a Toyota making a left turn).

After replaying the incident and thinking about the motorcycle and this whole metaphor for life during my drive home, I was listening to KROQ, a station I generally don’t play much of. Because I was so stuck in my thoughts, I wasn’t paying attention to the music until the lyrics called out, “I’m falling so I’m taking my time on my ride / I’ve been thinking too much, help me.” I can’t be the only person who takes song lyrics as a message, can I? That song is “Ride” by Twenty One Pilots, in case you were wondering. Right after that song, Imagine Dragons’ “Thunder” came on, with the lyrics “I was uptight, wanna let loose / I was dreaming of bigger things / Not a yes sir, not a follower / Fit the box, fit the mold / I was lightening before the thunder” All the while, I’m contemplating multiple life decisions that will take me on all different trajectories. Life keeps presenting choices. That never stops.

I ended the journey in the clichéd LA traffic, turning right on my home’s street, as a motorcycle turned left. I guess the overanalyzing and overthinking of this whole evening on the road illuminated a few important reminders:

things take time, don’t rush.

And, if you fall down, you can get back up and keep riding.

Advertisements

If It Just Feels Right, It Is

The mind will talk endlessly, if you let it. Self-talk and thoughts come naturally, it’s effortless. The work is in quieting the mind to hear what you really need to. In a world full of distractions and easily accessible diversions, it takes a concerted effort to be alone in silence.

But, once you make it and spend time in the world where you let thoughts float on by, without judgment, you start to recognize patterns. You can categorize all the strings of words in your mind as “planning, judging, wanting, etc.” and you can watch them as they pass through, like a train carrying cargo. There’s a myth that one can fail at meditation if thoughts arise, but, that’s far from true because thoughts naturally occur. It’s the ability to notice them, let them pass, and make the effort to come back to the breath that makes all the difference.

With practice, you’ll start to feel more at ease during the day, when thoughts are at their peaks and difficult situations arise. And, after some time, your own personal north star will shine brighter, and you’ll have the confidence to follow its light, regardless of outside voices, and even the voice in your own head that can, at times, be discouraging. Because, at this point, the voice of your heart is taking over that of your mind, and it will just feel right, and that means, it is.

You’ll be aligned and able to be courageous in the steps you take to move forward. Once you start stepping on that path, things will fall into place, and it will seem like it’s been there all along waiting for you, but in actuality, the work was forged when you listened and took the chance on yourself for it all to come together. Wherever you’re at, keep going.

The Real Dangers of Traveling

The list can go on an on, but here’s what I found to be the biggest dangers of traveling, or more precisely, returning from a life-changing trip.

1. Culture: You’ll experience so many different cultures, and at the same time, come to find that societies do have different expectations and values in different places. Therefore, when you choose to settle down, not only will you have to decide between the city you want to live in and its relative environment (rural/urban, etc.), but now you have to think about what country is calling your name. You realize how large the world is and the vast amount of options for how you can design your life.

2. People: You’ll meet people that you click with, but they’ll live thousands of miles away. That means, the next time you want to interact with them face-to-face, you’ll have to book another trip…start saving.

3. Disease: You hear about it all the time, but the travel bug is, in my experience (as a traveler, not a doctor) an incurable thing. It’s kind of like Pringles says it, “once you pop, the fun don’t stop.” You may choose to come home, but if you’re anything like most people who do, you’ll be planning where to go next before the plane even lands.

…on to the next one.

Unbroken Dreams

Dreams don’t break.

They grow and change – as you do
They wrap themselves in a cocoon
Of trial and error

And emerge with wings

They can fly and they can crash
You’re the wind that supports their rise
You’re the flame that ignites their fire

Dreams work with you and against you
They are the gloves that take the punch
And you’re the fighter that doesn’t drop your fists

Dreams are the views from the top
The tingling sensation when you look down from new heights

They are
An existence outside of this time and this place
A momentary glimpse of perfection
That feels whole even with cracks

Together Apart

I body slammed into your inhibitions
Satisfied the thirst of your fears
And left you before you could say goodnight

I plummeted into the depths of your mind
Questioned all I could find
And left you unearthing yourself

When I stepped on the toes of your curiosities
Erasing the trembles in your voice
You looked at me with bewildered eyes
And I left you better than before

There’s no goodbye without a hello
No places of meeting without meaning
And the truth is,
Everything we could be
exists separately
in you
&
in me

Unity

If I could

I’d watercolor the world and blend all pigments together

highlight the past as a piece of what we cannot repeat

and turn the news on low

the dreadful drones of those trying to divide

would fall on deaf ears

like lava to the surface, we’d recreate our terrain

mixing all different landscapes as we march forward in the same shoes

we wouldn’t forget where we came from

but honor our differences

on a stage we call acceptance

built with love and fortified by unity

 

 

Digging Deep

I tried to pick myself apart

so I could put it all together

like a miner, in the depths of a cave

shadows clouded the light

uncovering isn’t easy

when the hands of time

fight back

if words are weapons

feelings are ammo

on a battleground with no shelter

the enemy of reflection

stares back in the night sky

awareness is as it dawns