Friday, October 10, 2008

this is me

do you ever find yourself surprised by where you are or what you're doing?
say you're going along, doing whatever it is you're doing, and all of the sudden you think, this is amazing, that this is me, doing this. whether it's spending an enormous amount of money on a luxury item, climbing a mountain peak that's been on your wish-list for years, driving a car you never thought you might own, walking through a small village in vietnam, bungee jumping . . . just something that seemed a far distance away for a long time. and then, there you are, having the experience.
some people are really good at setting goals for themselves, but I am not one of them. and perhaps when you have a goal, it's written down, you've been thinking about it for a long time: maybe then it's not so surprising when you actually reach it. maybe those people don't experience what I do, the "oh my gosh, this is really me, doing this" kind of feeling. it's a feeling of excitement, and of awe. it's exhilarating. it's a re-working of my self-image, as I incorporate this new experience into Who I Am.
yesterday morning I had another dose of "this is really me" thinking. I was at the base of little mountain, right by little dell reservoir. I know I've described this spot before, but for some inexplicable reason it is just a magic place for me. the road down from little mountain summit meets with route 65, and it is a huge space of asphalt with rarely a car around. to me it's peaceful, and I keep thinking of that movie title My Own Private Idaho. I've never seen the movie, and I know the subject doesn't really fit my usage of the name, but I often think of that title when I'm cycling, alone, in such a spot as this that I've just described. this place is My Own Private Idaho. there are cars out there, sure, and I can see I-80 by the mountain dell/east canyon exit, so I know I'm not far from a major freeway. but there are also acres and acres of raw land, stretching seemingly forever in all directions. there is the reservoir, and there is a big, beautiful piece of asphalt on which I can circle and circle and circle, as I drink in the quiet, the natural beauty, the solitude.
the "this is really me" at this spot has a lot to do with the fact that cycling is still so new to me. three years ago that would not have been me. and cycling has given me this amazing gift, of teaching me that I am a constantly changing being. that me, 3 years ago, couldn't experience that exhilaration, and now this new me can. and me, three years forward, will be having experiences that the me of today would never predict or even fathom.
how cool, to be this ever-changing, evolving me!
jewel, the singer, wrote and recorded a song in which the refrain is "I am becoming." I think of this frequently when I'm having the "this is really me" feeling. we are not static beings: every encounter and experience changes the who of who we are. how great is that? that the me of this morning will be different tomorrow because of what I do, see, hear and absorb throughout this day.
I'm with jewel: I am becoming.

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