Happy New Years! The sounds of bells, whistles, people yelling, smiles, hugs, and champagne toasting in the air. With well wishes, and loftily thoughts of new endeavors, the New Year symbolizes ending of past life and cheerful new beginnings.
Often times, we only hear about the successes, we only see the results of someone’s hard work. Unfortunately, most people are not privy to the fact that most successful things in life have failed many times before they finally succeed. That behind the fortunes, successes, and happy endings that are truly realized, there is a tremendous amount of work, sacrifice, at times suffering, on the average of 10 years, with many failures involved and the lasting “never give up” attitude directly tied in.
Before I write about goal setting for the New Year, I want to share a story that relates to several failures/hardships I underwent over the last year. Several life events that have deeply affected me emotionally, spiritually, and physically. The loss of two friendships. Two friends that I have known since I was 5 years old and I no longer talk, due to differences of how we see life and what is right and wrong. And a heart break I grieve. Giving my love freely and carelessly, looking for love in return, wanting to change someone into my perfect mate, has left me emotionally drained.
Are we that firm in what we believe that we can’t look past differences to see our humanity in each other and smile at the sight of our bond?
Last weekend I was riding my bike between the skyscrapers in downtown Houston, Texas when a shirt I was holding for a friend, slipped into the front tire spokes. I heard a loud grinding noise and before I could react, I was falling over the front handle bars of my bike. I could see black pavement in front of me in one second, and then in the next, I was tumbling on the pavement head first. Still tumbling I could hear voices around me. “Are you alright? Are you alright?” a man’s voice yelled. “I think I am?” I responded, still dazed, my eye sight unsteady and still sitting on the cold street. I still couldn’t see who was talking to me, but felt a hand grabbing my arm and helping me up from the ground. Again I heard, “Are you alright?”, and again I answered, “I think I am”, slowly gathering my bearings. I started to pat myself down, searching for injuries, looking around to see who was helping me. I only saw a black shirt, and before I could make out a face the person was gone.
Next, a car pulled over, parked in a drive way, two ladies hopped out, and calmly asked “Are you okay?”, and with an embarrassed smile I responded, “I think I am, I’m not bleeding am I?” “No you’re not bleeding, you should really wear your helmet. I had a friend that was injured with their helmet on!” she exclaimed. The odd story was a stern, you should know better warning.
I thanked everyone for their help and started to walk away, walking my bike by my side. Slowly, I could start to feel the pain in my hands, my back and my knee. My thumb was jammed, throbbing in pain, my palm was scuffed, little blood was oozing, and I could feel throbbing from the bangs my body endured.
I wanted so desperately to call on the one person that seemed to make everything right in my life, but at this point, that call couldn’t be made. The bike chain was lodged between the metal gears, I didn’t have any tools to help, and I couldn’t ride the bike. As I struggled to untangle the chain I realized my hand, my thumb was in too much pain to be of use in freeing the chain. Soon, I was asking police officers and personnel in the area for tools. Finally, someone lent me a tool and I freed the chain. I got on my bike and started to ride it again.
I later found some medics to give me a bandage and an ice pack to help with my wounds. I made it home safely.
I wanted to share this story as an analogy for life pains and mishaps. Incidents, accidents, misunderstandings, challenges, issues, sometimes we are in control, sometimes we aren’t in control. Bystanders, angels, others will reach out to help. Through these life happenings, I’ve learned more about myself, come to terms with the fact that I can’t change everything I want, and I’ve learned that healing is a slow process.
Like the loss of my friendships, like my heartache, like falling off my bike, these things will happen. They will affect you, in ways that we might not immediately grasp. Mentally, spiritually, and physical affects will linger.
My thoughts regularly turn to my friends and lost love imagining that they will reach out to me and things will be righted. That my broken heart was just a misunderstanding, and it will be restored and mended. As days pass, thoughts of these events slowly fade, unanswered questions find an answer or remain unanswered, and I realize that my optimist outlook might never been realized.
I know that somethings might never be the same, and understand that just like falling off my bike, I have to get up, get myself together, learn to forgive myself, and move forward with my life.
Sometimes it helps to talk to others,
sometimes it helps to cry,
sometimes it helps to write,
sometimes it helps to pray,
as the past dies.
Thank you for listening and please feel free to share,
P.S. With life, like riding my bike, I plan to be safer when I go out and wonder, to use more sense when getting myself into precarious situations, and to keep prayer at the forefront for all that life may bring my way.