Perhaps around twenty?
I had a conversation with my then-boyfriend/now-husband:
I long to be the individual people look at and wonder: Does she own a car? I always see her on her bike! Seriously. Does she own a car?!
I dont even know precisely why I longed for this (remnants of college Grateful Dead loving days? a sense of wanting the freedom I surmised a bike-only misfit would feel?) –but I did.
There simply seemed to exist a spontaneity in that girl I wanted to experience and which I did not possess.
I was also self-aware enough–even then–to realize this would never happen.
It wasnt so much I loved my car/cars in general (oh how I did not).
It wasnt the fact I didnt need/want the exercise (biking places seemed an easy way to fit in fitness).
I just knew myself.
The conversations would always end with:
…and I guess part of maturing is realizing when something you WANT to be a piece of your self-definition really will never be reality. That bike-women sounds free-spirited & interesting yet that will never be me.
I recognized it was fantasy I needed to let go of.
And shed I did.
Id completely forgotten those youthful-conversations until recently, too.
Flash forward to life *today* in Oakland.
After flashing back to my broken window experiences.
Oh, and flashing sideways to how having a pedometer has changed my life and made me a better mother.
The lens through which I view Oakland-living has done a 180 by virtue of the fact I’ve chosen to view it as a walking community.
It’s not really.
It’s a kind of a haul to my coffee-shop office.
I can only grab a few items at the grocery as the l-o-n-g walk back + said items on my back = awkward-cumbersome.
Yet I’ve chosen to view my ‘hood through the WALKING LENS none the less.
Recently a neighbor I dont know approached me and asked:
Do you own a car? We see you walking everywhere and wondered.
Over the course of the next few weeks I *other* strangers/neighbors/new friends made similar comments.
Do you and your husband share one car? I see you walking all the time–did you sell your car before you moved?
It was during those interactions it dawned on me I’d achieved a life-goal without noticing.
Id done precisely what the ‘goal achieving gurus’ tell us not to do (Id taken my eyes completely off the prize!) and only after I let my goal go did I accidentally achieve it.
And, because I am indeed the consummate misfit, this accidental-success has bolstered my confidence in arenas where Im actively seeking successes.
I now think:
Well damn. If I can transform myself into the girl no one thinks owns a car (!!) then why could I NOT _______, too?
It feels empowering & it feels amazing.
- Have you ever been so busy LIVING youve not realized—either until someone points it out or with hindsight–youve achieved a goal?