I’m back! And one of the biggest question marks for me whenever I come back from any semi-long-term bike trip is how the heck I’m going to handle being thrown back to “normal” life, life in which there are obligations that don’t only originate from me, in which I don’t set all my own schedules, in which I find myself again in an often-too-large city surrounded by people I don’t know and who largely don’t care that I or anyone else exist.
Sometimes, that transition makes me wonder what the heck I’m doing with my life. And to be honest, when my train pulled in to Portland late Wednesday evening, I cried. I’m not sure what exactly that was about — some combination of not wanting to come home yet, of being unsure about life, of being overwhelmed by all the inexpressible emotions of two weeks of solo travel and not knowing how to let them out except maybe in a tear or two. But then a woman tapped me on the shoulder to let me know that the visor to my helmet had fallen off while I wrassled up all my bags, and I sniffed and pretended like my eyes were just being allergic, and that was that.
And now here I am, overwhelmed in totally the opposite way. I’ve thrown myself back into both of my too-amazing-to-be-true jobs; I’m floored, just floored, by how much I love the kiddos I work with and how utterly deeply I care about the work I do with them. I went for a loooong run at Mt Tabor this afternoon and remembered that other feeling of flying — the one that doesn’t come from a bike, I mean, but from my own feet. I remembered how nice it is to snuggle with someone who loves you and how delicious fresh food tastes and how rad it is to have a whole kitchen and a whole plethora of viable veggies to cook with.
It’s not like two weeks is that long, but it’s enough for this present-minded chica, anyway, to feel worlds and worlds removed from real life. And now that I’m back, it’s nice to find that I like real life pretty well after all.
Stay tuned for actual thoughts about my actual trip, which was even more amazing than I’d hoped. For now, thanks for keeping Portland awesome for me while I was gone.