Santa Cruz to Salinas, 43 miles


The whole day crying.  Such a beautiful day too.  Crying as I headed out, leaving the hostel, leaving Santa Cruz, wondering why I feel so alone, so unable to connect.  It felt good to ride while crying, to ride hard, to push down on the pedals and release this sadness I’ve pushed down for so many years.

Glorious sunny day on the Monterey Bay, flowers on the roadside, fields of artichokes near harvest, light glinting off crashing waves.  Stroking on and on, mile after mile.  Power in my legs, power in my heart.  

I stopped at Moss Point and lay on the beach, catching the sun again for an hour.  Put on some of my favorite music, the evocative stuff, and found the tears welling again.  I thought, I can do the breathwork now, for myself, anywhere.  I let the sadness come, like the waves.  Waves flowing through me, waves lifting me, waves washing over me.  

So this is what it feels like.  As I’m now taking none of my favorite medicines to suppress, my eyes are wet again as I write.  So this is what it feels like to be in this moment, in this body, letting the waves come, the tears roll down my cheeks.  So this is what if feels like to come home to myself.

Another anniversary, the moment I decided to start drinking again after over a decade not: at the Santa Cruz hostel, Spring of 2001.  Why? Was it anticipation of the stress of the looming restaurant project?  My anger at not being able to figure out my confusion and loneliness?  It seemed a random decision, as so many of my life decisions have been.  I didn’t foresee the impact this diversion would have on my life.

Maybe that is part of my deep sadness.  The lost years.  The lost opportunities.  The lost relationship with myself.  Rolling out of Santa Cruz, I pondered the challenge of loving oneself.  When we don’t love ourselves, nothing else is possible.  Then I said to myself, I love you Ocean.  I love you Ocean.  I’m so sorry I let you down.  I won’t leave you again.  More tears.

Do you love yourself?  Say it if you do.  Say it out loud.  Say it like you mean it.  Say it like your life depends on it, because it does.

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