About seven weeks ago I sat on the curb outside of the Powhatan Motel in Pocahontas Illinois and cried. Tyler was in the adjacent restaurant checking us in. We were two days into our four day drive to New York from Arizona. We had just finished about 14 hours when I turned into the parking lot and drove under the pull through in front of the motel office.

Two things are worth mentioning. The motel was from a different era...a time when travel across the states was fresh and new, and motels like these were attractions in and of itself. This is of note because I'm fairly sure the pull through was designed before higher clearance vehicles were a thing.

The second thing worth mentioning is that my car is not a high clearance vehicle, but my bike was on top.

Within seconds of pulling in my senses were inundated. My car seemed like it was being held back by something, but I couldn't understand what. Noise, both foreign and impending, filled the vehicle. For some reason, my first thought was that I had driven over one of those tire spike strips and I remember thinking, "why the fuck would a motel place a tire spike strip here?"

Because the cacophony of sounds seemed to be coming from everywhere, my line of sight was sporadic. My head was turning in all directions. There was a moment where Leah and I looked at each other and her eyes were wider than i'd ever if I caught her doing something wrong.

I watched my bike fall to the ground as it was forced from the top of my car.

It was my bike that was grinding away into the "ceiling" above...a ceiling that I didn't consider for even a moment while seeking the only spot in the parking lot with shade. It was my bike that was the source of the noise as it was ripped from the Thule rack system's grasp. It was my poor bike that lay on the ground next to me as I cried.

Fucking A.

It was while I sat on the curb crying that I questioned what exactly I was doing. Why was I going to New York? Was all of this upheaval ultimately going to be worthwhile? It was one of those moments where clarity is elusive and discomfort decides it wants to be in charge.

It was really the first time I had these kinds of thoughts since accepting the internship, and I kind of wanted to turn around and go home. But at this point, we were actually closer to NY than we were to home. It was now a matter of figuring out how to get the bike transported. The bike appeared mostly okay. The rack system was done, especially the arm that held the bike in place. Completely broken. I'm still not sure if the crossbars are salvageable. We'll see.

That moment though, where I contemplated my life choices while sitting on a curb, was remarkably similar to one my family experienced when we made the move to Washington State from Philadelphia. We were moving across the country to a place that was completely unfamiliar. Our big van with its attached trailer was having issues from the very start of the drive. I can't remember if we even made it outside of Pennsylvania before we were stuck at a rest stop with my dad trying to Macgyver some contraption to keep the oil where it needed to be.

My dad likes to tell this story because he says that we had a family meeting where he asked what we thought we should do, and he suggested we go home. I guess I responded with, "Go home? We have no home."

He makes it sound like I was some wise guru, but really I was just a bitchy 16 year old that was pissed because I was moving across the country in the middle of high school. And, we literally had nowhere to return to. Our home was no longer ours. Fixed up and sold. Most of our stuff was already half-way across the country in a moving truck.

Pushing on was our only option.

I think that's the same conclusion I came to outside the motel.

It's been quite a year, and even though I never want to repeat a good portion of it...I'm able to see that there's more to it. There's growth.

Even though I'm sitting in a shitty apartment on a shitty couch that I barely want my uncovered skin touching...there's more to it than that. There's resilience.

I'm not the same person I was a year ago.

Today, I saw a heron that I often see in the same spot. I watched him/her scratching its neck with its foot for at least five minutes. I smiled to myself at how in the zone this heron was. Just scratching and scratching. It was only then that I realized how much time I spent watching it scratch itself. It was mesmerizing.

And this is how I will remember this summer.

I only have a couple weeks left here. I can easily say I've made the most of my time albeit not exactly for the same reasons I came here for. In a more personal way.

I'm more aware of what makes me happy. I don't feel the need to do things because of how it might impact others perception. I'm conscious of how I spend my time, and engage in those things that are important to me.

Because really "the world is up for grabs", but only when you push through the bull shit to see what opportunities exist.


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