My bike has been in Atlanta for a few months. I recently had the opportunity to go up and retrieve my old pal. Yesterday, I set out for a ride in the neighborhood across from ours. The neighborhood is one I used to know very well. Come to find out, it is also a neighborhood that has changed.
Not long after I started pedaling around and seeing a golf course, lake, and many surroundings I have seen many times before, I remembered how much fun I used to have on those very streets, many years ago. Two of my best friends at the time and I used to carry walkie-talkies when we went on our explorations and, for a moment, I could almost see one of them riding ahead of me. Memories can cause hallucinations at times.
It must have been about an hour later when I realized that I had no idea where I was. The streets were no longer familiar. The neighborhood had clearly grown in size since I grew up. Patiently, I kept on pedaling and tried to find the entrance. But, I found myself going in circles.
A back entrance to the neighborhood appeared. Despite its leading to a highway and forcing me to go “around my elbow to get to my thumb,” I took a breath and just went with it. Cars sped past and probably looked at me as if I were insane; you sort of don’t see a lot of bikers on this particular road. With a bit of effort, I made it home.
Since yesterday’s ride, I have been thinking about how great it can feel to be “lost,” if only for a brief amount of time. It is not exactly an easy feat to get lost in the tiny town in which I currently reside, so I take it pretty seriously when it happens. I went into that neighborhood assuming everything would be the same as I left it. I was wrong. But, I still know I was there before. And the new there that is there has its own adventures, I’m sure. My only mistake was not wearing a helmet for this one in particular!
Sometimes, I think we need to let our interpretations of people we have known for a while and even ourselves get lost. I believe we, as human beings, are capable of and often do change. One of my biggest annoyances in life is to be pigeonholed. A quick way to make me feel like a person doesn’t really know me is when he or she acts like I must be the person I used to be. It simply is not true.
Then, there are also times when, I think, we all have to tell a part of ourselves to “Get lost.” Some things and some people need to be allowed to go ahead and peacefully ride off into the sunset. Or just Thelma and Louise that BS! — Strap that sucker into the seat and just push the convertible off the cliff. It’s not always so easy, but we need to let it happen when the time comes.
Maybe I just needed a ride or maybe I’m afraid of getting too set in my ways or maybe even both and more. All I know is, I hope I never forget to allow myself to get Lost from time to time.
Forget North, South, East, and West!
Today, my compass is inside my chest.