As I write this I am haunted by thoughts of the Schwinn I've kept chained outside of my apartment for a year. I acquired the bike as a gift from an Angelica Kitchen customer who wanted to offer me an easier way of getting to yoga classes. When I first got the bike I imagined myself carelessly weaving in and out of city traffic while my afro cut the wind on my way to a daily yoga class. In reality: 1. I have never felt safe riding a bike on the street. 2. I would never ride without a helmet, even in the park. 3. My helmet gives me horrendous matted down hair. A bike day is not a good hair day. 4. I don't even enjoy yoga.
I have rode the bike less than a dozen times. My neglect of the condition of said bicycle makes me cringe with embarrassment. I feel guilty about letting it languish while there are children and hippies who would kill for an amazing candy-striped Schwinn like mine. Oy vey! I need to get rid of this thing.
Sometimes I even fantasize about someone stealing it.
The real reason I share this story is because it's not about the bicycle. It's about how my guilt about being different than I'd like to be is causing me to keep an object that doesn't fit my lifestyle. For some reason, I really want to be that careless chick trekking through town in pursuit of yoga and doing it with perfect big hair! I hold onto the bike because I believe I will one day become that girl and perhaps owing the bike brings me closer to that goal. If I were my client, I'd give myself a hug and remind myself that I'm fantastic the way I am. I'm too big of a personality to even try to squeeze into this stereotypical urban bohemian archetype that I've somehow latched onto. Why do I feel guilty when I should be proud of being unique? Perhaps there will be a day in the future when I want to ride a bike to yoga class. Letting go of things is an act of faith in the Universe. I have to trust that when I am ready a bike will find me again, just like all the wonderful blessings like food, friends, and freedom have found me now.
Was there ever a time you kept something because it symbolized your desire to be different than you are? Please leave a comment. Please also leave a comment if you're interested in my bike!
Olivia Lane is a Blogger, Green Living Educator, and Health Coach trained at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She's also author of Baking Soda & Bliss: The Healthy & Happy Guide to Green Cleaning.