I know I’m a little late on this particular post, but to be honest I couldn’t think of anything to write, and I did not wake up until 12:30 this afternoon after going to bed at 3am. Not the healthiest of lifestyle choices, but sometimes, especially with such a non-structured schedule, it works.
Anyway, I keep hearing the same themes from my friends and family in reference to my cycling habits. The words “crazy” and “insane” come up quite often, and although I know they aren’t too serious, after a while it does jab a tiny little place in my heart called “submerged feelings of inadequacy” which we all, to some degree, possess.
I spent much of my younger years trying to “fit in”, which was rather difficult, given that I was sort of steered along into skipping two grades in math and one in foreign language, rendering my middle school years a disaster. I spent more time in the library of our school, waiting until a period for a different grade started or ended, than I ever should have. I loved my school career, but I never fit in with my friends, at least academically. At best, I was closest to the six people that were in the same boat as I – in a class of 300 – academically.
When I hit high school, it got a little bit better, despite not sharing a whole hell of a lot of classes with my peers. Granted, I took the AP Calculus exam in eleventh grade and was basically in college my senior year, but I always had my eyes towards college where I could start fresh.
Then, I got to college and basically, the same thing happened. Too far ahead (31 credits – I went in as a sophomore) and I eventually gave up on being normal, as I tend to attract strange and be an overachiever in my own fashion. The problem(or great thing) is that I get urges. And when I get an urge to do something, I do it.
The urge from 15 on was, “bike along the erie canal across new york state.” And since I did that last year(and again this year) my newest urge has been, “bicycle across the country, from washington to maine.” It alternates with, “bicycle ride across every state.”
And so, it’s been decided. Two years from now, I will bicycle across the country. The questions now are,
- Will it have a purpose other than my spiritual fulfillment?
- Will anyone be accompanying me?
- what will I be bringing with me?
- What route will I take?
- How long will it take?
The first and the second are the most important, in my opinion. Should I be supporting a cause? It I support a cause, will that take away from my own spiritual fulfillment and experience as I am looking everywhere with one purpose: to get money for (cause here).
Anyway, my entire social circle is rather upset right now, because they can’t seem to understand why I would want to spend more than $100 on a bicycle. I’m looking at purchasing a road bike, for better speed and better quality. My bike is a little better than a mountain bike, a hybrid from Raleigh a few years ago – the c200. But I want to take my hobby to the next step.
Is something crazy only when your social circle doesn’t agree with your choice?
They all know that I’m pagan, not-Christian, etc. My parents have settled with, “It’s a religion and she’s happy” and claim blissful ignorance over any details. Were my religion to come up in a conversation between them and others, I’m sure their response would rate somewhere along, “Oh, she’s into that nature stuff…” or something along those lines.
My friends accept my religion too, but some of them do refer to me by the various names – nature girl, crazy pagan, you/that witch, etc.
And so, my seemingly meaningless post comes to a round-a-bout end: religious tolerance.
It’s not always about the big legal battles. Sometimes, it’s about the little things too.