I had a bit of an epiphany last night. That may not be the right word, a realization. One of those things that you know all along, at least on some level, but it takes actually saying it out loud, or at least in complete sentences in my head.
I need to stop taking this little space on the Internet so seriously. Sort of in the same way that sometimes I start to take my life too seriously, and then I have to laugh, because we are just farts in geologic time and the petty shit that we deal with on a day-to-day basis matters exactly zero.
Billion year old rock in Aravaipa Canyon
Here’s the thing. After the writing binge called Let’s Spend Nine Amazing Weeks in New Zealand where I wrote nearly every day, I came back and make the proclamation of: I’m going to write something worth reading!
And thus, I wrote a couple of blog posts that I felt pretty good about. Post-trip depression is near and dear to my heart. We’d pulled off a year of living in a Scamp, that was rad. And again, the tried and true, I’m thinking about racing again discussion.
Last night I opened up the computer to see that I had three different starts to blog posts going, all of which made it about 300 words before I said, Meh. Not worthwhile.
I apparently was vewwy vewwy serious about trying to produce something…ummm…deep? The whole, I’m going to do something meaningful with my life! I’m going to change the world.
Instead of just writing for fun. Instead of just living and enjoying this vacation on earth that we get to take as humans.
Horsecamp Canyon in Aravaipa. The ranger thought we were crazy for going in for a 24-hour overnighter after getting permits two days before. Most people plan better than we do.
And I thought of all the things in my life that I just did for fun, instead of because I was seeking deep fulfillment, enlightenment, and growth, like: (Insert list of every cool thing I’ve ever done.
I didn’t race Tour Divide because I wanted to inspire people, I did it because I wanted to see the country and ride my bike a long ways.
I didn’t slog out my first Colorado Trail Race over the course of six days of rain because I wanted to know my inner self better, I just didn’t want to go back to work.
I didn’t move into the Scamp because I wanted to preach about simple living or because I wanted to be part of #vanlife but couldn’t actually afford a van, I did it because I can’t seem to make up my mind of where I want to live.
Nothing worthwhile that I’ve ever done has been approached with an excessive level of seriousness. (Back when I was trying to be a “serious” athlete, I asked Lynda, coach extraordinaire, how I could go fast at 24-Hour World Championships. “Decide you’re going to do it a week out and just show up” was her answer. There was a large amount of truth to that observation) In fact, the things that I’m most proud of were approached with zero illusion of being anything worthwhile in the traditional sense of the word, I just wanted to do something that I thought was interesting.
Life should be filled with bikes, friends, and puppies.
So with regards to writing here: Screw serious, life-changing, and deep. Or at least screw worrying about it. Because in the end, if I write nothing, then I’m definitely never going to write anything worthwhile. And if I reach my death bed and can’t say that I’ve written much worth reading, at least I’ll have had a good time writing it.
And the same goes for living.