I am going to keep my own calendar on our trip as it is a trip that comes on my terms, so why not document with my own calendar. So today we start at C2C4K 0.SF.1.1. C2C4K, an abbreviation for Coast2Coast4Kelly, represents the event. The first digit, 0, represents a leg of the trip, determined arbitrarily be me in an ascending order, so 0 being the leg before departure, because I say so. This is followed by the state I am in on that day. Yes a leg can, in theory, consist of multiple states and I might be in more than one state over the course of day, so I’ll base it on where I spend the most time, or just what I feel like. Like today where I am flying across the country, I’m going with SF because that is where I land. The second digit represents how many days into that specific leg and the last digit will represent total days. So today is C2C4K 0.SF.1.1!
Today the word freedom is on the mind. What are we truly free to do, what decisions are dictated by us and what do we allow, for sake of excuse, to allow others to make for us. It seems a fitting word for my first day physically away from “home” and away from “work”, but its use in expressing my physical removal from one environment into another does not reflect the mental aspect of life. Mental freedom seems to be an entirely different challenge and potentially a mindset one is born with, or determines to develop throughout life. What makes us mentally free and what does that mean? It has always seemed to me that mental freedom is an emotional one, one where a person can choose how they experience a situation, how they choose to react to it. Are you consistently anxious, worried, nervous, upset, unhappy or quick to blame others? Or are you a cup half full person?
As with everything, I believe in few absolutes. Physical and mental freedom each have its own spectrum, its own outliers that create insurmountable difficulties that one cannot truly control, so I am careful in my judgements of one's situation. How mentally free can one be when facing a terminal illness? Sure, Kelly could look at her life and see all she had been blessed with and find a comfort in it, but the mind is powerful and the diagnosis does not disappear. And what about the physical? Kelly was born with knees that looked at the idea of running like a cat probably feels about the idea of swimming, yeah it could be done, but it really should be avoided. Throw cancer on top of that and how “Physically” free can you be?
So it’s a balance of your own personal situation, a fight to find your own center amongst the cards you have been dealt. We might believe some of us have more freedom than others, and I can’t disagree with that, but everyone’s scale, from the physical to the emotional, has to be unique. I am free, given a series of events that have taken place throughout my life to ride my bike for over three months across the country, but with any life, there are emotional and mental freedoms that I have lost or am fighting to maintain or am working to create. Better to fight though than to give in.
Today I left Rochester, NY. My mom created the below image of my dad and I using her IPhone, it’s a great first photo for the trip and one for the book. It’s a reminder that, without hesitation, they got up at 4:00am to drive me to the airport. As always I can’t thank my parents enough for what they have created for me along with so many friends and family who have chosen to be part of my life. For those of you who continue to read these post, I promise to try and maintain some sensibility to my writing, some clear direction, but sometimes it’s hard enough for me to remember to put underwear on.
Miss you Muppet,