I wanted a bike for a while – not so that I could race (laughable!) but so that I could ride around my neighborhood and feel free and fun (classic Maureen!). The problem was that I had NO IDEA what I was doing, what kind of bike I needed or what was appropriate.
I am the type of person who likes to be in control of my own destiny. I’m a Type A to the extreme. I love taking care of other people and it’s hard for me to accept help. It makes me feel uncomfortable and inferior and when it comes down to it vulnerable.
Well, in this case, I had no choice. Josh found this little gem of a bike on Craigslist, drove with me to get it, test rode it (before I even did because I was too scared), and helped me put it in my car. It was a STEAL for $85 and just what I needed. It’s in perfect working condition, has 21 gears, but it’s been loved (read: worn-in) so I don’t have to worry about messing it up!
As if me having no idea how to purchase the bike wasn’t enough, we then stored the bike in Josh’s house and he proceeded to buy me everything I needed for it. HE IS A WONDERFUL MAN and I can’t stress that enough. I love him so much for his generosity and kindness.
That being said, I instantly felt weird that he had purchased my waterbottle, waterbottle holder (and installed it!), bike lock, and helmet. My gut screamed, “You should be doing this on your own! Don’t let him help you!”
But why? Thank goodness my brain was sane enough to reply, “It’s ok. You do not know how to do everything. Just because you are uncomfortable doesn’t mean it’s bad.”
That is I think the biggest lesson for me – just because I’m uncomfortable doesn’t mean it’s bad.
Yes, I am reluctant to let someone else take care of me, but why? Because I’ve been hurt in the past, and because I don’t want to be hurt in the future, and because I feel like I should take care of myself to prove that I’m an independent woman, and because if I don’t rely on someone else I can’t get let down and…. a thousand other excuses.
In this crazy life it is essential to be vulnerable. That is how we feel the truest love. And that is what I want. Brene Brown says it perfectly in her TED talk, where she explains that people who are happiest and feel the most connected fully embrace vulnerablity, “They talked about the ability to say ‘I love you’ first.” (Maybe I’m a little more vulnerable than I think… I actually did that with Josh… but that’s another story!)
I am constantly learning from my relationship with Josh as we grow together, but the most amazing thing is that he’s been patient enough to wait for me to let my walls down. That’s probably a huge part of creating a life together right? You have to trust and love enough to be willing to risk leaning on someone else. How beautiful really.
And all this from a little red Craigslist bike. I love that.
And just for the record, as I was panting up the hills on our bike trail during our first 7.1 mile ride together, I had to let Josh take care of me again as he taught me the right way to manage the gears. We look happy here but I was yelling at him that it was too hard about 10 minutes earlier. I have a feeling I have a lot of learning to do – what fun!