Against all expectations and most logic, I ended my Mississippi River solo bike tour early. If I’m honest with myself, there was fear in the decision. Fear at entering territory (ie the South) even more unknown than the hundreds of miles I had already covered. Fear also in letting down the multitudes of old and new friends that were impressed by my stamina and proud of my stamina, for just the day before I made this critical decision a college friend of mine waxed poetic on the Facebook on my pedal-toned calves and general chutzpah.
Clearer and deeper than this fear, however, was my sudden awareness that I had accomplished what I set out to do, something difficult to quantitively evaluate due to my lack of pre-ride mission statement, but something of which I was entirely certain nonetheless. In overly simplistic and sentimental summary, I set out to find myself again. Somewhere in the last year the muddle of my life and divorce and commitments and obligations and overwhelming number of possibilities overtook my core self, and she was misplaced. Not lost, but off meandering somewhere in greener pastures while my logical self tried to little avail to get things in order so she could return. Yet routine and obligation (a persistent bugger) made self rediscovery challenging, if not nearly impossible. Hence the solo bike tour, a time apart from friends and failures and chronic juggling.
I set off down the Mississippi River on the Parrot to recommit to myself, the only person with which I will reside forever in this life. I set off to relearn the joys of guilt free solitude. To be interested in my Self again. To accomplish something under my own steam that was not regulated or required by another. It just turns out it only took me to St. Louis to do this.
So who am I, now? I am more resilient than ever before. I am increasingly comfortable without a ten (twenty, thirty, etc) year life trajectory. I believe in my charisma. I am in love with cities. I am inspired and invigorated by LGBT and feminist culture, and plan to immerse myself in both of these things and explore my identity within them when I return to Minneapolis. My bicycle is a part of my being. I love and need other creative, communicative, interesting and interested humans in my life, while simultaneously being unapologically committed to pursuit of solitude whenever I crave it.
I may yet be a politician, a farmer, a writer, or something yet undiscovered. My path will contain both heartache and passion for certain, because I cannot help but live 110%, always.
Be in love with life with me. This is it.