Friday, March 4, 2011

One Year Later: I AM, I CAN!

Today's blog is naked and vulnerable.  I am writing with such open honesty so that others may perhaps identify with what I have to say, or pause to reflect on something that rings true with them.

An entire year has passed since I left for my cross country bike ride.  Looking back, I am not sure what my true purpose of the ride was, though I thought I was clear on my intention at the time.  It was something that I needed to do...had to do.... and I was fortunate to be in a position to do it.

My last post, 'Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish',  discussed the importance of understanding that life's events are lessons and opportunities, not setbacks...if "X" hadn't happened, then "Y" wouldn't have happened.  Essentially, "X" gets me ready for "Y".

In the case of my ride last year, I struggled with the 'aloneness' of it; the being responsible for just me.  Several years before,  I had been with one man for 3 decades and a mother of four; during that time, I had lost 'me'.  Over those 30 years, I had given myself away, unknowingly and bit by bit.  When the children grew up and left, and my marriage dissolved, all I had left of 'me', that formerly curious, eager, rearing-to-go and passionate woman,  was an empty vessel.  My identity had been so attached to being a mother and wife, that I had left no room for 'me', and gradually all traces of who I was disappeared.  In the few years following the divorce, I stayed very busy, but essentially, I was avoiding myself.  It wasn't until  the ride that I was confronted with 'me'.

Riding is a solitary venture, just me, my bike and my thoughts.  I had a lot of time to visit with myself.   I cried... a lot.... on my bike, in my room, almost always alone....and, most of the time had no idea why. Now, I understand...growing pains.  Each time I was confronted with challenge -- mental or physical, big or small--I had to handle it...alone....and I did  And each time I grew a little and  the voice of self doubt faded while the mantra "I am, I can." grew louder.  Today, I know in my bones....I am, I can!

So last year's ride was "X",  getting me ready for "Y".... the next step......this step..... I am taking on some major life changes....because "I am, I can"  For the first time in my life, I am choosing to explore it alone.  I don't know where it will lead me; I don't  know how long it will take...but it is something I must do.   I am deeply sorrowful for those I have hurt in this quest, but it is something I must do, and can only do alone.

Again, I will be riding across the United States, from North Dakota to Maine.....I hope you will follow along, laughing and crying with me, as I journey within as well as across this great country.....and perhaps you will journey, too.


  1. Thank you for being so unabashedly honest. I, too, am struggling and your honesty is like a balm for me. It is comforting to know that I am not alone in this. I look forward to following you. I am not far behind....

  2. When you come through Ohio, I will be waiting with White Castles.

  3. Can't wait to hear about your next journeys, Sue. You're going to rock this ride!

  4. Sue
    I feel blessed, yes, a word I don't use often, to have gotten to ride with you and talk our talk on those many days as we rode cross county...... I look forward to our next adventure on the Northern Tier......You are such a gem to me.

  5. I have never been prouder of you...I just love you so much!

  6. Sue, I've been touched by your comments on my blog and finally made the time to connect to yours. I appreciate your strength, courage, and honesty.