At The end of may 2022, dispite of it being one of the wettest springs on record, with the following month soon to be referred to as June-uary, I embarked on a trip that I had been wanting to do for the past two years…
I was on my way to the Giant Loop ride in South Eastern Oregon.
This trip turned into much more than a weekend motorcycle rally. It would end up as 21 day, mostly solo adventure. Covering parts of Oregon and Washington. Finding and meeting all kinds of people and friends along the way, but most importantly….I would find myself.It may sound cliche to say that I found salvation on the back of a motorcycle. But it’s true, I can't help but be extremely grateful for these past two weeks of my life.
When I ride I can feel my mind begin to clear. The constant hum of the engine and the rush of wind are like a soothing lullaby, calming my racing thoughts. I’m able to think more clearly. I’ve come to realize that I’m living my life in a state of robotic autonomy: get up, go to work, go home, sleep, repeat. I’ve been letting my past experiences and my personal losses dictate my present and future. Constantly chasing the, and I quote, American dream that had been drilled into my head as child: be a good provider, be successful, have money, own a home, a wife, children, a dog…You know the one.
But on that motorcycle, I’m in control. I’m making my own path, and it feels exhilarating.
I used to think that depression was something that only happened to other people. That it was something that you could just shake off if you tried hard enough.
At first, I tried to ignore it. I told myself that I was just feeling a little down, and that it would pass and I did a pretty good job of hiding it. Those who know me would of never guessed I was as down as I was. However as time went on, I couldn't shake the feeling of hopelessness and despair. I lost interest in the things I used to love, I was becoming ever more distant from those who love me and I found it increasingly hard to have the energy to do anything.
I had hit rock bottom. I had been down before but this time, this time it was dark. I was drowning in depression with terrifying thoughts of ending it all. So I decided to hop on my motorcycle and just ride. With no destination in mind Other than that of the giant loop ride. no length of journey planned, I just wanted to feel the freedom of the open road and escape the darkness that had consumed me. I just wanted to….ride.
And now I find myself in the middle of nowhere, and by that I mean: somewhere completely foreign to me, I had never been here, I knew no one and no one knew me. It was the first time in my life that I felt truly alone. I was forced to confront my own thoughts, my own fears, and my own demons. As scary as that sounds, it was also the first time in my life that I felt truly alive. I realized that I had the power to change my own life and that gave me the courage to face my fears and work towards a better future.
I may have set out on this motorcycle trip to escape my problems, but what I found was a renewed sense of purpose and the strength to face them head-on. I may have started this journey alone, but I'm returning home a changed person, ready to take on the world."
I know that it won't be easy, and that there will be days when it feels like it's never going to get better. But I also know that there is hope, and that there are people who care. I'm starting to understand my depression and social anxiety are not things that I can control, but ones that I can manage.
I've come to realize that life is a precious gift, and that it's worth living. There will always be challenges and setbacks, but there is also beauty and joy to be found. I'm re-learning to appreciate the small things, and to find happiness in the present moment.
I don't know what the future holds, but I know that I am capable of facing it, and that I am not alone. I am surrounded by people who care, and who want to help me on my journey. I am grateful for this realization and I am determined to live my life to the fullest, despite my struggles.
I just have to be open, honest and true to myself.
And now, as I look back on this trip, I am filled with a sense of awe and gratitude. 21 days ago, I set out on a journey of self-discovery, not knowing what to expect. But what I found was so much more than I could have ever imagined.
The Giant Loop Ride, the PNW Summer opener, and the countless other adventures I experienced were truly breathtaking. But it was the people I met along the way that made this trip truly unforgettable. The new friendships I formed, the bonds I strengthened, and the memories we created will stay with me forever.
This journey was not just about the physical adventure. It was also a spiritual one. I found myself facing my demons head-on, learning more about my depression and how to combat it. I discovered that true strength comes from facing our fears and embracing our vulnerabilities.
And now as I unpack my motorcycle I am filled with a sense of accomplishment and peace. I am grateful for the lessons I learned, the beauty I witnessed, and the people I met. This trip will always hold a special place in my heart. Thank you, Pacific Northwest, for showing me the true meaning of adventure and self-discovery.