So, #baycation is over and it was amazing. We more or less followed the JRS #baycation itinerary, and we each had ‘our thing’ in the itinerary!! JQ and I started with a hike in Joaquin Miller Park (the dogs and I’s old stomping ground, it’s been awhile since we hiked there but it was just as amazing as I remembered it!) and we did a bunch of girly stuff like mani / pedi and spa day! RS joined a few days later and we kicked off the trip with Sonoma and the Girl and the Fig!! My thing was biking across the Golden Gate Bridge. JQ’s thing was a benefit jazz concert and a library talk at the African American Museum and Library at Oakland (which I’ve never been to in all the years I’ve lived here but it was beautiful inside). RS’s thing was the self-guided mural walking tour in Chinatown. I didn’t realize Chinatown had so much street art. We even met the art director and another artist from the dragon school 99 art program that does the mural work in Chinatown while we were walking around. Overall, it was a great trip! Full of fun, laughter, and silliness, just like how we used to be in our college days! It was like we never left college!! It was a great reminder of the person I used to be; the silly girl you fell in love with eons ago! (I found an old email you sent me a while ago when we reconnected after our break-up and one of the things you said missed was my silliness - yeah that still hasn’t changed much!)
As I was looking through the photos from the trip, one stuck out at me. It was the picture we took after we finished the ride across the Golden Gate Bridge. We had a rough start, and not everybody was mentally or physically prepared for the journey. We started out together, but ended up going at different pace throughout the ride. Sometimes, we kept pace with one another while other times we didn’t and rode alone. Sometimes, we would waited for one another while other times we didn’t. Some parts of the ride was harder at different points for one person than the other. Some got frustrated while others grew tired, but we continued to support each other as best as we could and continued to persevere until we made it to the ferry station in Sausalito. We had to push and support each other at different points of the journey to overcome our mental fears and physical pains to make it to the end of the trip. Even if we didn’t think we could keep on going, we didn’t really have much of a choice either, so I think we had that going for us. But, with every pedal and breath we took, we were surrounded by the amazingly beautiful landscape and city views that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to see. The landscape and city views were the carrots dangling in front of us on the journey. Although the journey was rough and not what we expected or wanted, sometimes the struggle of getting there makes the views even more breathtaking and worthwhile; to know that this was our reward for continuing to persevere. It was a constant reminder that sometimes we don’t have much say or choice in what happens to us in life; we just have to keep going and persevere and continue to enjoy the view and smell the roses along the way because that’s LIFE. Life is a struggle, and we don’t always get to choose the curve balls or lemons that gets thrown our way, but we do get to choose what we do with the curve balls and lemons that come our way. We can get mad or frustrated, we can yell or scream, we can curse the world...and the list goes on and on. But, whatever we decide to do, it’s within our control and choice. But, we have to choose wisely because it can ultimately make or break us.
The bike ride was a startling reminder that even though we were on the same journey and path, we each had our own struggles and experiences; it wasn’t the same for any one of us. Sometimes we rode alone while other times we rode amongst others, but as long as we kept going, persevering, pushing ourselves beyond the boundaries of our pain and fears, and always enjoying the view and smelling the roses, we will get to where we need to go in our own time, especially when we have the right support system. And, even when we were riding along the same path at the same time, the experience and journey with all its trials and tribulations were different and individually unique. A reminder that even though their are commonalities, no two story or experience is ever the same, and that no one really knows what anybody is going through, even if they’ve experienced the same thing. No one has the right to judge or think they know or compare anybody else’s experience, pain, struggles, and / or triumphs to themselves or to someone else, even if they’ve gone through it and especially if they haven’t. However, we can share our experiences and insights with others to gain different perspectives and insights, but don’t ever think we know what the other person is going through, because we don’t (even if we’ve gone through the same thing!). The bike ride was a good example that even when we aren’t mentally, emotionally, or physically ready or prepared for what lays in front of us, we just have to close our eyes and take a leap of faith. Sometimes, we don’t have the luxury of quelling our fears or waiting until we are ready or prepared or have all the answers to take the next step in life. We just have to cross our fingers, close our eyes, hold someone's hand that we trust to love and support us without judgement, and jump off the cliff!! Even if we don't get to the destination we wanted, wherever we end up will be better than not trying at all.
Looking at the photo of us smiling after we crossed the bridge, no one would know the struggles we endured to get there except us. And even if somebody asked us to share the story of our journey, I’m positive each version would be completely different, and that’s the beauty of life. That’s what makes us human and what makes life worth living; knowing that our story, our pain, our struggles, and our triumphs are uniquely our own and no two story or experience or journey is ever the same even if we've gone through the same thing.
A grieving widow who is trying to find meaning and purpose from her tragic event.