It's been a weird few days. Friday night I was high off The Vagina Monologues. Saturday I was psyched to see Josh Blue for the first time. He was awesome. Super funny and just as lovable in person as he is on television. My husband and I left the show with smiles on our faces.
Those smiles disappeared immediately. My husband returned a call from his brother as we were walking out of the mall and just like that, the world stopped.
As we stood outside the Coach store his face changed from relaxed, to shocked, to horrified.
You know that feeling you get, like the world slows down to a crawl and blurs around the edges? That's what I felt and truth is, I hardly knew him. He was my husband's close friend, not mine, but he was one of those people you meet and instantly like. A good heart, pure soul, and quietly wicked sense of humor.
There's a part of me that's so angry I could spit. A part of me wants to shriek howler-monkey style about the danger of motorcycles. There's a part of me that hates those death machines and wishes they would be banned from the planet.
But luckily, there's a bigger part of me, a higher place inside myself who understands that people love those stupid bikes because of the joy they bring. The sense of freedom and peace a rider can only get when they're on the road on a beautiful summer day is something I can't and won't take from anyone.
I believe as human beings, we all have pain. We all have things in our lives we can't control and those things tend to overwhelm the things we can. There is a deep well of relief and joy that comes with feeling we are free and empowered.
There is a lot to be said for the joy of escape. Even if it's only for fifteen minutes, an hour, a day. There's a reason people go on vacation and it's not just for the souvenirs. It's for that feeling when responsibility peels off us layer by layer to reveal our real selves buried beneath. We walk through life with layers of fear, memories of pain, feelings of inadequacy, the weight of responsibility brought to us by our lives, our work, our families, friends, and society in general.
And the relief it feels, to put that stuff aside for any length of time...is necessary. Crucial to the human experience even. Because we are not made to carry pain like pack mules. We are born for love, connection, and yes, joy. I believe when we are born we have within us everything we need. We are perfect, clean slates ready to love and trust in life. But then life comes along and those layers I mentioned before? They start to form. And before we know it, we are grown and carrying a lifetime's worth of doubt on our shoulders.
The secret to finding our freedom is different for every one of us. But the requirements are the same - be open to receive, find that child inside of you. The one who used to ride their bike as fast as those legs would pedal, pedal, coast! Down the hill with the sun on your back and the wind in your face, flying through the world so fast, the colors ran together.
Soaring free. Above it all and loving it.
Let there be peace and joy for you, friends.
Get out there and find that kid inside of you.
I promise, they're ready and waiting for your call.