YK’s 365 Release: Day 35

[Continuation of cross-country bike thread from Day 34.]

Knowing I had biked, with my own body and a simple bike, made me understand even the greatest obstacle can be taken one day at a time. And it no longer presents itself as an obstacle, but becomes a learning opportunity in and of itself. I felt free and liberated from my past. I learned the strength of myself as an independent individual.

After we reached our destination, Astoria, Oregon and dipped our front wheel in the Pacific, most of us went to Portland to fly out back to our respective homes. I didn’t have anywhere I had to be though, and I fell in love with this bike-friendly city flanked by a snowcapped mountain peak and luscious green flora throughout. So I stayed at a youth hostel, riding around on my bike each day, living a simple life for a few days while I decided whether to move there or not.

Then someone stole my bike.

This bike had been my entire life for the past 3 months. It carried me across the country and changed my world. And just like that, it was gone. Today on day 35 of my 365 Release, I’m going to remember letting go of that bike. It was all too heartbreaking and I walked with tears streaming down my face in the street all the way the police station. This was the third and last time I shed tears on my cross-country trip. The first time was the first day we were close enough to see the Teton mountains. They were so breathtakingly beautiful, I was laughing with tears as I biked that entire day looking at the mountains. The second time was when I could see the Pacific Ocean, because I knew I had made it all the way across the country, from the Atlantic the the Pacific. I was overwhelmed by what I had accomplished, by the beauty of the water, and how much I had grown.

What a lesson in letting go. This made me realize life is truly only meant to be lived in that moment. There is no holding onto anything.

And I stayed in Portland. I flew back to North Carolina, picked up all of my things and drove across the country on my own with all of my belongings. This time, the trip across the country took me 4 days, and it was not ceremonious at all. I just wanted to get there. Another lesson learned; even if you travel the same path, it will never be the same experience each time you take it.

I loved Portland and lived there until it started raining a few months later. It kept raining every single day and the sun disappeared. So on Christmas day, I packed all of my things in a truck and moved down to San Francisco. And that is a different chapter of my life, for another time.

This trip taught me that happiness can be found in purpose. It taught me all I really need is my own conviction, my dreams, my determination and my drive. All I really need is myself. The only thing we need to do in this lifetime, is follow our dreams. When you have a dream in sight, and you pursue it, everything falls to the side. You will pursue it with integrity, with compassion, with love and respect. May we all pursue our dreams without inhibition, may we never have doubt about our ability to achieve them even if they seem inconceivable, and may we all find our own happiness in the end.


[I created the 365 Release Project to practice non-attachment, letting go and change by giving away 1 thing a day for 1 year. The background, vision and guidelines to the 365 RELEASE project are here. The running list of everything I have released is here.]

2 responses to “YK’s 365 Release: Day 35”

  1. […] Day 35 (10/12/10): remembering stolen bike […]

  2. […] I began fixing bikes because when I did my cross-country bike trip (see Days 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35) I had to learn how to take care of my bike on the side of the road. I worked briefly as a personal […]

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