Anonymous asked: He’s gone now. I gave him a second chance and he still chose to ignore me in the long run. He promised he wasn’t “that guy”. I know it makes room for someone better, but I don’t think he’s out there. My faith is gone. Please, big sister from the Internet, tell me something to make it better.
I want to tell you real quick about my bike. I get on that bike when I’m sick and dizzy and lost in my head, I get on that bike and the world changes. It’s all ascents and descents, dusty turns and tailwinds, howling into the ether like the only thing that matters is not falling off because it is the only thing that matters. And I feel like I’m going to explode into a million shredded pieces of metal and carbon and bones and blood, but I sit back, crouch down and breathe deep into the calm and ride the wind like diving into the sea. In those hours, I am invincible. I am untouchable. I am cut and lean and hard and fast. I’m not heartbroken or fearful of being lonely. I am not alone at all. When I am on that bike, I am everything I wanted to be when I was little, choosing tackle over touch, choosing battle over tattle. And with my hair pinned back, dressed in kitten heels and a soft pink dress, you can still see the bike grease on my hands and the scars all over my legs from sloppy dismounts and nasty falls. I wear my scars like a topographic map of my life. This is not a highway, this is a story of lush valleys and ice-picked mountain passes. The highs and lows of hospital beds and sail bags, and I don’t want to look tidy and pretty and clean. I don’t want to look like someone would be lucky to have me, I want to look like someone would be lucky to survive me. I don’t ride the wind; I am the wind and I am carving my topography with brushstrokes both delicate and bold.
So when I think about falling in love, I also think about all the things that happened because I wasn’t in love, because there was no one to ask me to stay. I think about blasting down a mountain pass on a bike the same weight as my cat. I think about how I moved to the Virgin Islands and raised $100,000 for kids before becoming a stowaway. I picked ‘shrooms and danced at a rave ‘til my shoes disappeared over the edge of the speedboat we took home. I made out with German journalists, Irish kiteboarders, ship captains and pool boys. I ran the southern perimeter of Manhattan at midnight. I rode on the back of a motorcycle through the streets of Florence as the sun came up, singing loud enough to hear it over the muffler, both hands in the air. I got a cat, got an apartment, got a dye job, got a nose ring, got a tattoo, got a tattoo addiction, got a promotion, got a plane ticket, got a tan, got a blog, got a life. And it’s not that I couldn’t have done these things if I was in love, but it would have been different. It would have been safer. And regardless of whomever I’m with for whatever amount of time, I’ll be with myself the whole time and I want to be good to her. I want her to have a heart like an ocean: endlessly vast, full of wonder, and navigable only by the brave. I want her to wake up in the biggest, empty bed and stretch like a cat, taking all the space just because she can. I want her to have control of her happiness. I want her happiness to be her own… to be my own.
So let me tell you a little something about that “someone better”, because that’s within your control. That someone better can be you. The squalor of heartbreak will rip through you, tearing down all the old walls and ideas and misconceptions about how love looks and feels, but when you clear the debris, you see all the best parts of you that weathered the storm. You see all the parts that you built before him, survived him, and do not belong to him. You will see yourself. And you will make her better.
Good advice, beautifully written.
I think I need this tattooed on me.