In honor of this special holiday weekend celebrating love, I wanted to acknowledge my funniest valentine yet. No...its not a new boy or a friend who I've known for years...its my bike. Yes people, I'm serious. I know it sounds silly but I simply want to recognize the fact that this bicycle has been the number one catalyst for my new level of freedom and happiness.
After recently celebrating my 27th year on Earth, I've come to realize that it is truly the little things that make a difference in our lives. And it was a big year for me. After finally deciding to make the big leap from my homegrown nest in Miami to Los Angeles, I've dealt with a massive amount of change in a short expanse of time. The nitty gritty challenges of adjusting to a new lifestyle, new friends and new job experiences were daunting. But I think its completely normal for a person to feel overwhelmed by this type of transition. Besides my faith and reliance on God and the support of family, the move was much smoother with the help of my trusty, two-wheeled companion.
My beautiful bike is my valentine because it gave me the permission to be FREE. Free to be myself. Free to play and have fun. Free to appreciate the tiny blessings in life. And free to explore my neighborhood in a new way. Finally, I could pay attention to the interesting details that I would've otherwise neglected to see had I been driving. Jasmine flowers blooming and children playing, nostalgic memories made me feel right at home. I'll even admit that a few times while riding to my yoga studio, the fresh air filled my lungs and I felt like I was 5 years old again, riding my bike for the first time. I couldn't help but burst into joyful laughter.
Not to mention the fact that I've enormously reduced my carbon footprint and getting much more exercise than I ever did back in Miami. I'm always astonished by the way that West LA accomodates to bikers with their wide bike lanes and miles of beachside path stretched along the Santa Monica Bay. When my Dad came to visit over the holidays, we shared an iconic sunset together. It was one of the most special moments we've had in my lifetime.
I hope that my hometown will eventually follow LA's lead and become more bike friendly. Also, I'd love to see more Miami drivers raise their respect and awareness of people wheeling around the city with their bike bestie. When was the last time you jumped on a bike and went for a joy ride? Really! Think about it. If your answer is over one week, something has to change...ASAP. Your bicycle is calling your name and deserves to spend some quality time with you. So get pedaling! I promise your bike won't break your heart. It will share a new kind of love with you that you won't ever regret.