For the last five years, vacation meant cycling. I couldn’t leave without my bike. My ride was my freedom. Today, after more than a week on vacation, I finally went for a tour.
I think I’m done. I think I’m gonna sell my bike.
See, I just got tired of going nowhere. Bike rides are a metaphor of my life: no matter how hard I push on the pedals, no matter how much energy I put into it, I get nothing out of it these days.
Sure, the bike helps a bit. Using its momentum, you get faster from point A to point B. The thing is you have to know where you are heading.
I thought I knew. Until I got to a dead end. Until there was no more wheel to suck. Up to the point where I was forced to face the wind by myself. Alone.
That’s when suddenly every pedal stroke gets tougher. That’s when you start asking yourself questions about keep going or not in this direction, or if you just want to turn around and go back home.
I chose the latter. I couldn’t see where that route was leading me anymore. Realizing it might have been that way for a long time, I was just too tired to look up to see I was the last rider up that tour, heading for the big hills solo.
I gave up. Legs done. I went back home, close to the sea. Home is where your heart is, and my heart is next to the ocean, with the ones that I love. From the shore where the stars melt at night into the deep blue where they came from, I can see how there is no where else to go. My life is filled with dead ends when I try to get somewhere. Whenever I effort my way through, whether at work or in my relationships, I meet the resistance of the wind.
I guess cycling is not my sport. I’m not tough enough to be a rider. Looking at the ocean, I’m thinking these days about switching to sailing. Watching the boats, I’m learning to let the wind carry me instead of hustling against it. The ocean is my guide, my friend, my healer.
In a sense, the sea can also be considered a dead end. After all, you can’t move pass it. So maybe, sometimes, dead ends can lead you somewhere. Perhaps they’re a necessary transition. It is indeed when you get stuck, when you are forced to, when you are the most lost, that you often find your way back. It’s only at night, in the darkest sky, that you get to see clearly your North Star, lighting your path home.
Like the tarot teaches us, I’m starting to experience the beauty of death. When you stop being so afraid, you finally get to see how a dead end, the little deaths in our daily life, and the big scary one, might all be transits into something more powerful, a means for us to shed layers and leave behind what is not serving us anymore, to welcome a new beginning. Cast off all unnecessary weight from your ship, sailor.