"I'll start with what I know, and then write towards what I don't."
It has stayed with me.
I think it's a statement that can be adapted to more than just writing. To me, it speaks of how life works, in general, particularly when we're going through some kind of change or when thrust into chaos -- not necessarily of our own choosing. When that happens, you literally start with what you know -- the situation -- and then work your way through what you don't to get out of the situation. In this case, sometimes life is all about the unknown.
Sometimes, we don't even know what we don't know. And that can be a frightening predicament in and of itself. But it's good to know that even paralyzing fear can take you places, and those places can wind up being better than where you began.
When my husband of ten years left me for another woman in 2002, I had conveniently forgotten that I had once written down in my journals 12 years before that, "This man's not good for me."
I can see that girl clearly, even today. She was lying on my bed, a pen in one hand, notebook in the other, writing her thoughts down. Praying. Those were my thoughts, my prayers, my fears. But I ignored them.
Sometimes, we don't know what we don't know.
And that's why I'm glad I found that bike -- the metal one. It was propped up on its rusty kick stand over in the corner of my garage, collecting dust. In the eight years it had been housed there, I'd maybe ridden it only a handful of times. But the momment chaos came knocking on my door (in the guise of my husband's betrayal), my purple 10-speed answered. Because I was otherwise engaged with panic, fear and an anger that would take years to surface, my bike became the one thing I could count on. We met up every morning, sometimes as early as 5 a.m., for the rides that I truly believed saved my life.
The rides weren't glamourous by any stretch of the word. I mean, we're talking Huffy, not Harley. But they did the trick. They helped me release a lot of negative energy, gave me time to process feelings when no one else was around to hear my rants, and those rides led me on the path to conscious living.
That old bike became the mechanism that led me back to me.
I began to ride -- and write -- towards what I didn't know, so I could connect with what I did.