» By Melanie Curtis on November 16, 2011
Hey all! Ok, so here’s my second shot at the Morning Pages.. you know, writing whatever comes out of the brain, no judgement, just flow. Word. In theory it is writing that doesn’t get proofread or edited, but since I’ve decided to publish it, I’m going to give it a read-through for punctuation and spelling, but for the most part leave it as-is.
Just cracked my sugar-free Red Bull and drank half. Mmm, so good. Seriously, wow. Ok, so yesterday I bought a bike. Love her. Yay!! I used to ride around NYC back in the day dodging busses and all that, some because I couldn’t afford an NYC gym membership along with food and shelter, but mostly because it was my adrenaline rush when I couldn’t skydive. I mean, in New York, you’re kind of doing New York… meaning, I wanted to skydive, but it certainly wasn’t easy getting off the island, as it were. As the typical “adrenaline junkie” moniker alludes, if you’re not getting your fix from one thing, you get it from another. Good thing for me that never extended into actual drugs like heroin and other things I don’t even know exist, thank goodness. I suppose Red Bull is the first step in a slippery substance-addictive slope, but I promise I’ll be careful. Promise.
Anyway, the bike thing.. my time in New York on a bike actually is pretty far along in my experience with bikes. I mean, as a kid, my brother and I DEFINITELY rode bikes. We played hot box in the street, Pig and Horse on our basketball court, and we rode bikes up and down our dead-end roads. Funny, my parents are divorced, and both of them live on dead-end roads. Hmm.. neat. Anyway, so in high school, I started using my bike for exercise too, of course it was fun, and that was the key, but yeah, I’d take my black 10-speed Huffy with the pink curved handlebars and off I’d go. I’d do the 10+-mile loop from my house, through Dexter, through Brownville, back up and onto the big road, past the airport, and home. I liked it cause it was a loop.. never had to see the same thing twice except of course our dead-end road, but that is only like a mile long, so once you got back on it, you were in the home stretch, which of course always feels awesome. Sweet.
Then there’s Australia. Many of you already know that when I was in college, the only mode of transportation I had was my bike. It was this ridiculous cheapo thing called the “Crocodile,” that we got from the local mall. We all thought they were hilarious of course, but secretly and openly loved them. My first yahoo email address actually was firstname.lastname@example.org. This is not a joke, people. I’m sorry to tell you that I don’t check it anymore, so don’t write me there unless you don’t actually want to contact me. Word.
Anyway, so me and the Croc rode all around Townsville, Queensland, Australia for an entire year. My plan was only to be there for a semester, but I loved it so much I decided to stay the year. I’m sure my Mom was super sad because that ended up being my first-ever Christmas away from home. I mean, sh*t, I was sad too! As cool as it was to be living in a camping trailer as a migrant farm worker on a cherry farm mid-winter-that-feels-like-summer and going swimming in the swimming hole on Christmas day, I was new to this whole being-on-the-other-side-of-the-earth thing, and it took some adjusting. Of course, like any difficult time or experience, it ultimately ALWAYS shows itself as valuable and positive in the end. That year in Australia I learned that I actually could be.. was.. FREE. I mean, I talked yesterday about freedom being one of my most potent, if not my numero uno core desire/motivating force in life… this is just another story in my life that uncovers that for me. Why did I love Australia so much? Why was I so sad leaving? Why, to this day, do I still consider it my second home and keep in touch with my best friends from there? Why have I been back twice already? Why will it never be checked off the life list of places to go? Because it always reminds me how I learned to be free. How I learned that I could pretty much do whatever I wanted. I rode my bike every morning to the diet food place where I worked to pay for my skydives, 45-minutes one way, then back to university for my classes in the afternoon. Hitched a ride with my pal, Larry at the round-about every weekend to head to the DZ. Ok, I also rode the croc to the bar sometimes too. I mean, it is Australia after all… what kind of cultural experience would I really have had, had I not learned how to booze it up Aussie style? Just sayin.
Anyway, there’s a million more stories I could tell you about me and the Croc… like how my friend and I rode for 3 full days and just shy of 200 miles from Townsville to Airlie Beach just because we wanted to.. slept on the side of the road one night, at a random rodeo the next.. yeah, that was cool. I’d be up for doing something like that again for sure. The hard core stuff definitely appeals. The hit-the-road-and-go does too. Cool, I’ll keep you posted… for now, I’m going to take my sweet Subey in for her 175,000-mile service and ride my new sweet bike home. I’ll start with that.
Sorry if these are stories that you have already read or heard about… we find it funny when our grandparents tell us the same stories over and over, and we think inside how they must just not remember that they told us or whatever… but what if they tell us those same stories over and over again because those stories simply connect them with their most favorite feelings and experiences in life? I mean, that’s most certainly what Australia is for me. It reminds me every time I think of it, talk about it, write about it, to keep seeking adventure and freedom to honor my most core loves.
What about you? What did you do back in the day that shaped your life? Why did it shape your life? And how are you including that lesson and that love in your life now?
Love it. Thank you for sticking with me and reading the unedited stuff while I give this writing exercise a real shot.
Why did I love Australia so much? Why was I so sad leaving? …Because it always reminds me how I learned to be free. How I learned that I could pretty much do whatever I wanted.