Here is to bidding a happy farewell to all of the badness last year held with a loud ‘good riddance’, and ringing in the new one with hopes and dreams soon to be fulfilled for us all.
“How does a mediocre bike blog douchebag (same diff) say goodbye to a garbage year” you ask?
On a bike, of course. And just to mix it up, I went on a bike ride with two friends (which is two more than I usually ride with.)
They go by the names of Jason and Rose;
They entertained my every whim, and I theirs (though headed into the second hour of beer drinking and goofing off, Rose was pretty keen to get rolling again;
I can’t say I blame her, because I get board with my antics as well, so off we went into the sunset, but not before taking a quick time out to stash a whole lot trail beers at my favorite sitting spot.
Now that we’re all of 72 hours deep into the new year however, let me offer a word or two of advice. When burying trail beers, pay mind to any errant poison oak detritus that might be littering the ground because there is a chance that you might touch it, then take a pee, and wind up with your first full blown case of the dreaded oak in about a decade.
All. Over. Your. Junk.
So as I type these words, oak blisters have now sprung up on my scalp, chest, arm, and both eyelids as well.
I got sloppy with my post-ride clean up and as I stand here before you today, I’m paying dearly for it.
Obviously no bout of excruciatingly itchy genital rash should go without a side of humiliation, so when visiting the doctor to get a round of steroids yesterday, what could I possibly have expected but for her to ask to take a photo of it?
I am always, and I do mean always the guy in the hospital who has a revolving door of interest in whatever my affliction is due to the fact that no one’s seen it before, or if they have, have only in medical test books, because seriously- who actually get their entire package engulfed in Poison Oak rash?
As I stood in the office with my pants around my ankles and a woman I’d only met moments before kneeling before me and snapping a shot of my pride and joys with her phone, I though to myself, “yep, this is just about what I’d expect my reality to be.”
When discussing the matter with my Web Maven, Puppy, she made the following observation;
No, but really- are you like some modern Catholic saint/martyr but have no idea yet, or what?
Saint Stevil- Patron Saint of cats and knees, and dicks.
Well, it’s not the Patron Saint of all things fun, and candy, and having fun, and being developmentally arrested, and playing in creeks, and fun, but I’ll take what I can get.
And speaking of being developmentally arrested, I received a really quality bit of advice from a complete stranger via the InstantGrahams the other day after I’d posted the following video;
Basically the conversation started with him giving me a little bit of heat for constantly being dispariging of either myself or my newfound appreciation for little trucks. I explained to him that I just take the piss out of myself because that’s a thing I do and he shouldn’t take it personally.
After a few more backs and forths, in one swift mic drop, he righted my ship with the following directive;
Yeah, yeah- You talk about it, but always with an air of embarrassment. We’re here to help you embrace it.
Not everything you enjoy has to come with a side of suffering.
After having spent most of 2018 trying to learn to be nicer to myself, with that observation I realized old habits die hard. I’ve made some steps forward, but as simple, and silly, and generally light as the topic which prompted the discussion to begin with is, his words hit me like a ton of bricks.
Since I was a kid I’ve been a dick to myself. Most of it had a foundation in being staffed with a learning disability when I was 12, and generally feeling flawed up to that point anyway. I was convinced I was stupid, and as a defense against other people who might use my academic or (what I saw as) intellectual short comings against me, I made it a habit to strike myself first, and strike I did… Repeatedly, and with venomous hatred.
It was while engaging in a bit of therapy this past summer when I realized I’m damaged goods because of years of abuse. It wasn’t abuse by the hands of others, but rather, self inflicted emotional abuse, and decades of it.
Armed with this realization, I’ve been attempting to gradually dissect the strands of anger and discontent which I use for creative purposes, and those of self loathing which serve no purpose whatsoever. It’s been a delicate procedure, and one that I’d lost direction on until this simple exchange with a person who doesn’t know me from Adam.
So here is to a new year for all of us. Here is to making friends with strangers, being kind to ourselves, and having impactful self realizations which can then help us be better people to those around us.
And when we need a break from those efforts, we always have the love of a new beer.