"I’ll tell you what freedom is to me: no fear."

Although I’ve been single for about a year and a half I still sleep on “my side” of the bed. At the moment, in the space where an other half used to be, I have two workshop manuals, the crossword, and Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon. Travel, and the knowledge to make it possible.

There are lots of things to miss about my previous life. There’s the benefits pointed out in When Harry Met Sally: “You guys were a couple. You had someone to go places with. You had a date on national holidays.” There’s massive comfort in knowing that there is one person out of everyone in the world whose job it is to be concerned with my wellbeing. To make me a cup of tea when I get home, and to bring me magazines and chocolates when I feel ill. But that’s lazy too. The person whose main responsibility it is to look out for my welfare ought to be me. Anything else should be a bonus. (Though I must add at this point that I am blessed in my amazing friends who do look out for me, all the time.)

There are benefits in being single too.

Last week we had the final RBR event of the season – the Conkers camping weekend and barbecue. Jim brings his caravan, his superior coffee machine and his large awning. Viv cooks up a storm, and Ian and Carol make bacon butties for breakfast. Graham checks photos so those seeking a 100% allrounder have a chance to remedy any mistakes. It’s a fantastic weekend. And this year was the first year I was able to enjoy it fully. The first year I was with someone who made it clear that he was desperate to leave from the moment we pitched the tent. Last year I was having immense job stress and had to leave early in Sunday morning to meet a deadline. This year I had no worries and a wonderful time.

One of the new faces was discussing whether he’d go for a 100% all rounder again next year. The problems of making time for family events, other hobbies, and keeping a non-riding partner happy argued against. And these are the things that I no longer have to worry about. Love might mean never having to say you’re sorry, but being single means I never have to say “do you mind if…”

If I want to commit to riding to Shetland for the Simmer Dim I can do it. If it seems sensible to me to ride for 10 days in Scotland on the Old Farts Tour, and I have enough annual leave in the bank, I can take those days without having to negotiate. And if I want to spend a large amount of wedge flying to Australia for Christmas, hiring a bike and exploring a new continent, that’s just peachy.

Some people will think this sounds terribly lonely. And on a bad day it is. But on a good day the only thing that stands between me living the life I want, the way I want to, is whether I’m brave enough to get out there.

And that’s worth a little loneliness.

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13 Comments

Filed under Introspection

13 responses to “"I’ll tell you what freedom is to me: no fear."

  1. Bobbi

    or even, well said!

  2. Thank you! And thank you for all the rally information too – very rude of me not to have said that already. Looking forward to this new adventure!

  3. This is your first 'enlightenment' Your discovering (& being able to do) what a lot of people want to do but don't have the gonads or proper motivation to do, Your second 'enlightenment' comes with the realisation that there are far more things you want to do than you thought! (This normally falls in with the middle age crisis your about to have ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    BTW… Get a Honda manual on the bed; far more erotic!!!!

  4. Naz

    Oh my! This was like reading something I wrote ๐Ÿ™‚ My husband walked out 2 months ago and I am loving the freedom. And yes I still sleep on my side of the bed too. In another month I am taking off on my bike to see Australia. I have no route planned or time limits because I now have no one to answer to.

  5. Nicely written. Here's to bravery + adventures + someday having that toast in person.

  6. ….and there's the Thundersprint Northwich spectular too….

  7. “Love might mean never having to say you're sorry, but being single means I never have to say 'do you mind if…'”

    “Some people will think this sounds terribly lonely. And on a bad day it is. But on a good day the only thing that stands between me living the life I want, the way I want to, is whether I'm brave enough to get out there.”

    Please forgive me for stringing together your two sets of words but I find myself single yet again and your words express so clearly what I am re-discovering and now finally appreciating more fully than ever before.

  8. Hi Nikos! The Thundersprint is another shining example of something I enjoy more now I don't have to worry about anyone locking themselves in a chemical factory for attention….dinner on Saturday again?

    And hello Doug! Thank you for your comment, personally I am hoping not to be single for ever but it's important to me that I'm OK if I am.

  9. Quote If it seems sensible to me to ride for 10 days in Scotland on the Old Farts Tour, and I have enough annual leave in the bank, I can take those days without having to negotiate. end quote.

    You must remember that to participate in the OFT you must first secure an invite.;-)

  10. I take nothing for granted ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Good luck, buddy. It can be lonely, it takes a lot of personal motivation to live life like you want. I don't know that I would be strong enough on my own. Get out there and kick some ass!

    Brady
    Behind Bars – Motorcycles and Life
    http://www.behindbarsmotorcycle.com

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