“They’re just things, Shannon.” I tell myself this, repeatedly if necessary, when the past creeps in. Because possessions can do that sometimes – trigger memories and send you at rapid speed out of the present and into the past.
I just experienced this with a large shipment of items from my storage unit in Seattle to my new home on the east coast. I’ve moved around the east coast for the past three years with a sense of wonder and excitement over where I would land next. But now I’ve landed, having committed to a new location and condo with a mortgage in place and a bright future, and it’s time to get really present and let the past go.
So as I scanned the items rolling off the giant, city-block long Atlas van and into my condo, memories flooded forth, first with my Land Shark road bike. It weathered a tough journey across the country, and would surely have preferred me riding it to get here vs. jostling around on truck sandwiched between a wing chair, ottoman, piles of boxes and antique chests.
Wheels off, handlebars seriously askew, chain dangling, my first visual launched me back into a period in life where I felt like I was this bike. And yet this bike provided me vast comfort during a tough personal time. Despite a crumbling relationship, issues with self-worth and fear, I accomplished so much on this bike:
- a one-day ride from Seattle to Portland in 13 and a half hours
- a new community of fellow riders within the Cascade Bicycle Club that supported and ‘got’ my obsession with an active lifestyle
- an iron will to keep going that has resonated in other areas and pursuits in my life, including my yoga career and commitment to deepen and authenticate all my relationships
- battle scars from three emergency room visits that I no longer view as something to hide, but regard with pride
It’s been three years since I’ve seen this bike, and it’s time to get reacquainted, but with a new perspective rooted in the present moment, not past memories.