So, tonight was the first time I took an emotional bike ride (not a figurative ride, a real one provoked by emotions) in a while. And it was odd.
Normally I love bike rides, and I think they can cure almost any bad mood. But after so many bad moods and so many bike rides. . .well, now all my old paths just remind me of all those old times.
In fact, a bike ride is a pretty fitting metaphor for life, I've found. What with the constant pedaling, the highs and lows, the uphill struggles, and the flat tires, there are a lot of parallels to be drawn to everyday life. This is fairly evident, I suppose, in the phrase "shifting gears" and the fact that every possible ounce of metaphorical value has been strip-mined out of it, forever banishing it to languish with other cliches like "crossing the Rubicon" or the immortal "live and learn."
I would ride this particular bike path last semester when I thought of my ex-girlfriend and wanted to stop thinking about her. The path starts with a terrific downhill race, fast enough to outpace any worries. Then a mostly flat road next to an immense field, devoid of concrete and full of potential. Then a bridge with a nice stream running under and past it (how's that for heavy-handed symbolism?) before you come back to campus and hope that no one spies you dismount your bike and notes your sweaty backside.
It is a nice path, no lie. But I started to think that I run far too much. I have hurt people and tried to pretend that I don't notice. I am ashamed, and I am embarrassed. And so I run, so no one can look me in the eyes.
These problems I have are no different than the ones I had. They have not changed. I entered college with the same fear of love and the same pessimism toward God that I hold dear today. I left High School anxious to leave behind my self-doubt and self-pity and just my-freaking-self.
I'm still running, but not from the right things.
. . .
Live and learn.
6 months ago