Bicycles and Butt Cheeks

My old bike from middle school has been sitting on my parents front porch for the past 4 years gathering dust. The tires are droopy and lifeless, the handle bars and framework freckled with rust staines. I take a good look at my old bike and heave a sigh. This is it. This is my main source of transportation for the next two years.

My dad and I go to the local bike repair shop to get a thorough cleaning and upgrade for my clump of metal and rubber. We lube it up, install some lights, a sturdy basket to the front and a ten pound U-Lock on the side. Finally, it’s ready.

When I get home, the first thing I do is go on a heart pounding ride up and down the street of my neighborhood. My legs, lazy from being bent 90 degrees all day sitting at my computer are finally getting stretched and pulled. My thighs explode as I climb up the hill the tension releasing as I let my legs straighten out allowing my feet to skid the pavement. My hair is pulled back in a messy pony tail but the wind still manages to slap it across my face every time I make a sharp turn while looking for on coming traffic. No helmet. No seatbelt. No rules. I feel like a kid again. It’s only until I get off my bike and and feel that sharp pain in my bum that I’m reminded of the harsh cruelty a hard bike seat will do to a lazy ass like mine.

In a few short days, I will have all my belongs (including my bike) packed away in the back of our car. Boxes of photographs, clothes, bedding and decorative “must haves” all piled up and ready for a 1.5 hour ride to my new apartment. Once their, I will collect my keys, meet my roommates and finally make a home away from home for myself. I think I’m ready… I think.

Allow me to explain. For the past two years I’ve been attending junior college while all my fellow high school graduates have been gaining a typical college experience. I’ll admit, mine is unique because for what seems like the longest time ever, I’ve been watching everyone else live a life I so desperately wanted. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret my experience at a CC one bit. If anything, its given me the opportunity to grow more than I could have imagined! But now that I’m finally moving out of the house; the moment that I have dreamt about for two years, things are feeling a bit shaky. No, its not homesickness but rather “Am I really ready for this”!?

For most of this summer, I have spent a great amount of time in solitude with my thoughts. At first, they drove me crazy! I thirsted for change for adventure. In the meantime, I prepared myself. Apartment hunting, packing, the occasional day trip into the city. I even got a mani-pedi (this was a big thing for me)!  I kept making excuses to do stuff with others. Stuff that at times I couldn’t rely on others to do with me which simply made the loneliness feel worse. And now, here is the biggest excuse to do something and what do I feel but scared. When I got off my bike that day and felt the aches and pains after years of neglecting a proper ride, I got worried. It made me feel unprepared which is a feeling far too similar to feeling out of control (another one of my fears). A new home a new school a new me. Was I ready for this? Well, I sure as hell wasn’t gonna live with my parents for another year!

You see my bike and I are really not all that different. Just like me, its been sitting and waiting for something to happen. Surely now that the tires are all pumped with air and its fitted with a shiny new basket it feels confident and ready to take the world, right? Nope. Thats because my bike has just been sitting on my parents front porch watching the world pass by. All it knows is patience. I imagine lots of things will be changing soon. Changes for me and changes for my bike. Like the fact that its actually gonna be ridden or that I’m actually moving out. All I have to do is hold on to the handle bars to gain some self control on what I imagine will be a very windy road. Yeah, the seat might be a bit stiff and the peddling needs some work but at least we are riding towards our future together. One sore butt cheek at a time. Wish us luck!

– J

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