Updated: Jan 3, 2021
What does it feel like to ride a motorcycle? Why do I ride?
How do I even start…?
It is exhilarating. It is therapy. It is a way to take my mind off all the things that consume it every single day.
I zip up my jacket and buckle my helmet. Pull on my gloves and slide on my sunglasses. I throw my right leg over the seat and nestle in. I put my hands on the handlebars and push with my left leg as my arms guide the handles to an upright position. Key in, engine started, kickstand up. I look at my riding partner, give a small nod, put my left foot up, clutch in, break on, tap it into first gear and feel the engine between my legs: the power seeps into my bones and now it is mine - the power I possess. The energy I possess. The control is finally mine.
Riding is freedom… mental freedom. It is power. It is control. It’s detachment from any responsibility at home even if only for a little while. My kiddo is safe with his dad. The dishes are already done. The laundry is sitting in the dryer. The lawn can wait. The bills can wait until the sun goes down and I must come home. My phone is tucked away, and I don’t have the slightest desire to look at it. I’m not obligated to read email, reply to friends’ text messages, watch their Snapchats, or read the latest article they shared Facebook or Instagram. Now, it’s my time.
I feel the motorcycle; it feels me. I lean into the road, whichever way it takes me. There's no wrong direction, no wrong way. I just go. I conquer the hills, pass the trees and the bluffs, taking in everything around me. I am one with the curves and follow the sky's painting of the breathtaking sunset before me. Even if it’s chilly or I run into rain, I still have that fire burning inside and I keep going. Nothing can steal my sunshine.
The other day after a long while of riding towards the sunset, I realized I was singing “With You” by Jessica Simpson over and over in my head. I only realized this when finally I came back to myself, back in my own mind for just a moment. I asked myself… “Why… Jessica Simpson?” (Truthfully, I had just finished reading her book “Open Book.” – Very good read by the way). But this thought only lasted for a second and a moment later I was back in my happy place where nothing mattered and my thoughts dissipated. The wind is my only enemy, but I push into it, embracing it. No windshield, no fairing, no time limit. The wind puts me into a trance, a meditation that’s calming and comforting.
Riding a motorcycle feels like finishing an amazing therapy session. Or like having a runner’s high. It feels like finishing a marathon… or whatever it is that makes you feel good, destressed, and relaxed. It feels like I’m on top of the world. It feels like, “Ah… yes.”
I can forget about having been sexually harassed in the past, before the current nightmare that I am facing happened. I can forget how the past has recently come back to haunt me, creating a new level of awkwardness and disappointment at work. I can forget about the fact that a witness reported that I was sexually harassed on my behalf because at the time I was too weak, too naïve, and feared retaliation and drama. I can forget about how much I regret saying the things that I said at the time, simply to protect the predator and to avoid drama. I can forget that I wish so badly that back then, I was who I am now.
Riding motorcycle is the one place I’m guaranteed to forget about him… my current nightmare: the man that is behind bars waiting for trial. It’s the one place I’m guaranteed to not feel repulsive, broken, empty, judged, and damaged. It’s the one place he does not control. It’s the one place that I can pretend to be the girl I was all along, before him, while carrying the strength that I have now.
So I beg for the sun. I beg for the warmth. I beg for the weather to be on my side so I can taste life without my flooded mind.
And as I sit here today, it is May 10th and 40 degrees outside. God’s tears are falling as rain, like mine are falling as reminders of brokenness, loneliness, and weakness as I am consumed with reminders of the pain.
I beg to be on two wheels that are leading me to happiness and freedom. I beg to be able to enjoy the beauty around me and to be on top of the world, limitless, and unstoppable.
I beg to be in the place where I. Am. Free.