“Trust in dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.”
~ Khalil Gibran
Why do I Ride? There is far more to these crazy meanders of mine than simple wanderlust, a gypsy soul, or a desire to see new places – although I admit, that is beautiful bi-product of why I do it. The reasons, the goals, the hope is indeed, far deeper than that….
It has become pretty obvious to most of us that we have become an increasingly disjointed and separated society, especially here in America. We chat online, we message, we text. We watch ‘reality’ shows … shows about other people’s lives and documentaries about lands and cultures far away … all well accomplished at keeping real reality at arm’s length and gobbling up our time. Time that could be spent connecting with new friends or learning about the changes in the lives of old friends and family. Time that could be spent reaching out to another human being with love … real love, not televised, artificial, scripted “love.” We all-too-often have so little idea of the silent tears people weep, the faceless dreams they have, the voiceless sadness they live … even those close to us. We turn to booze, food, thrill-seeking, and even church, in the desire for something more … in a desire to FEEL something. Something to crack us wide open … and to share something.
So I travel and I stay with people I’ve only known though social media – those corridors of the hallway of separation – until the moment I knock on their door. Then we sit together, we walk together, we talk. We break bread and share stories of our lives. We hug, we laugh. Sometimes we cry. I hear their tales, and they hear mine. We connect in real time. Ears to eyes, heart to soul. We are all human … we are not an image on a screen, or character in a book (or kindle, as the case may be), or a roll in a video game. The teller at the bank, the kid collecting grocery carts at the store, the cable guy, the teacher at school, the nurse in the doctor’s office … they all have stories, they all have loved and lost. And so I travel to remind us all – myself, included – that we are all a part of one whole living, breathing, moving, thing. Life. We are all connected, like it or not. And when the dominos begin to fall, one-by-one, we all do. We need each other, and we need to remember that.
The second of these two reasons: My early life – actually most of my life – has not been easy. I’ve faced many challenges … mentally disturbed and abusive parents, no college education, an emotionally derisive (ex) husband, no family, no children, no money. I’ve worked all of my life for less than what many would ever consider to be a good wage. I’ve lost a house to foreclosure, been homeless, hungry, beaten, raped, and on the verge of suicide … twice. I’ve been challenged all my life with what they now label as “learning disabilities.” And at 63, I have little savings, making-do on a small SS payment and occasional part-time work. I live in a small, inexpensive apartment, and my “new” car is an ’06 with 160,000 miles on it and a few dents. BUT….. I have also made so many of my dreams come true! I overcame those seemingly overwhelming hardships, and sought out and studied enough that most people assume I have a university degree. I’ve insisted on living with an open heart, and I’ve managed to travel across this amazing country (now soon to be twice!), seeing and visiting places that were once only pictures in a wish-book I had. I’ve met amazing people of all races, nationalities, religions, orientations and cultures; from the very poor to the rather wealthy. My point, and one of the reasons I do these “Rides,” is to show – to hopefully inspire and to teach – how dreams CAN come true. That you CAN do it. You don’t have to be rich, you don’t have to come from the “right” family, you don’t have to be young. I often speak to the fact that Life is a gift … a beautifully wrapped package, all sparkly and perfectly tied with an elegant bow … a gift of abilities and desires and dreams and hopes that are given to us on our birth-day. Given to us by whatever it is you believe in … God, Creator, Energy, Infinity, the Heavens, the Universe … it doesn’t matter the name, the gift is the same. And it is given freely and with absolute delight to us – all those things that you desire and that you CAN do … all given to us at the moment of conception to enjoy and make happen.
This is why I ride, and this is why I write. My hope, as time moves forward, is to begin a new journey: A journey of speaking to audiences and share the way to recognize YOUR dreams and how to begin to make them happen … how to make them come true. It requires both head and heart, but it IS possible … I am living proof … and every one of us CAN do it. It is my hope that we can begin – together – to make your dreams … our dreams … come true. And by doing so, pay it forward and help encourage the world to be a better, healthier, and happier place. And it all begins now, with all of us connecting, helping each other to build and realize each of our dreams.
See you all down the road…