For me it has been a year of vast changes that started off slowly and accelerated into September. The slow changes revolved around getting rid of pretty much all of my belongings. I tried to be serious about it, but I was lazy getting going on it. A friend in Scotland and I talked about me coming over, and he kept chiding me that I had to get rid of the piano. What I thought would be my 3 most difficult things (not for sentiment but for trouble) to get rid of were the car, the piano, and all the baking equipment/supplies. The car died by itself in July, and I simply had a tow company come and take it away, and they even paid me for it. The piano was next, and it was free, and a woman paid a professional mover to come get it. The baking equipment sold at the last minute because I made an offer that the buyer couldn't refuse. It just had to go. Everything else was pretty easy to get rid of. I either made lots of hauls of stuff on the bike or I borrowed a friend's car for a couple of trips to the thrift store.
And then it was down to leaving for Scotland on October 1 in a trip that right up to Heathrow seemed perfect - even getting bumped up to business class. And then God shut the door at customs and I was hurled back to Los Angeles on the next available flight. So many dreams shattered. I was crushed, gutted. But God had a very soft landing for me back here. I stayed for 2 weeks with my friend, Jeanette, and then I packed all my bike gear and began what I thought would be a ride across the USA. 2 days into the ride, arriving at a friend's house about 10 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, however, I was offered an apartment for free through Feb. 2015. No rent, no utilities. I had to share it with the two cats that lived there, but they are Siamese and I'm not allergic, and i was more than grateful. Of course, I had nothing but what was on the bike. Gifts from the landlady, Gail, and her family, started pouring in. Clothing, food, bedding. Everything I needed was provided, including a little extra cash for odd jobs around the complex. Gail's caveat: just rest and recover.
I did rest and recover. I shifted my entire life for a dream that was shattered, and I had an extremely soft landing of love and support. I was able to finish a book I was writing and start another one with even more books of various subjects in mind. Because besides being a cyclist, I am a writer.
Getting rid of the trappings of daily life helped a lot. Giving up everything helped a lot. Having a new goal of bicycle touring and freedom meant everything. I know I was born to do more than just pay the bills and die, and when you're in a dead-end job with no future, you lose your hope. It isn't as if I could say, "Oh, I'll just go get another job." No, they're all dead-end to me at this point. Mostly they are just dead... just a means to pay the never-ending same bills for which there will never be any ownership. That's a living, but it's not a life. I needed life, and all I'd had were years of living... and many years of just living at subsistence level.
I am not ashamed to be poor. I am the financially poorest one of my siblings, but I have nothing to prove to anyone. I have had some incredible adventures in my life, incredible times of God's provision. Christmas time comes, however, and they want to pitch in for a more expensive gift for my parents, and I say that I need to just do my own thing at my rate.
Well, tomorrow, Jan. 1, training begins again. Back on the bike.