Chapter 12 - Figuring Things Out

I slept fitfully in Mark and Rachel's spare room, and had the same dream about being at home and leaving again. When I finally crawled out of my sleeping bag the next morning, I wandered into downtown Carbondale, alone. It was obvious that Nate and I couldn’t stay together for even a couple of days longer.

*You just have to do it*, I told myself as I walked the tree-lined streets. *You have to ride by yourself. Facing challenges is the reason you took this trip, right? Tell him it’s time to leave.*

*It’s so hard, though! was my next thought. How do I do it?*

*You’ll find a way, I assured myself.* My walk had taken me over the railroad tracks, and I was standing in front of the local food co-op.

“Do you need any help today?” I asked the woman behind the counter. “I belong to a food co-op back where I live, and I’d love to work for the afternoon.”

Mindy Harmon had a pony-tail and a nice smile, and she put me to work packaging granola and beans. It was the most fun I’d had in ages. I proved to myself that I could have a perfectly nice day alone.

When I got home, I asked Nate to go on ahead when he was ready to leave Carbondale.

Nate didn’t say much, just, “Okay.” He must have been relieved—one of us needed to say something.

The next day, we said goodbye as Nate wheeled his bike out of the garage. We hugged each other and promised to send updates to each other’s mail drops later on. Neither of us said much. It felt awkward and strangely unemotional, but we said goodbye warmly and I thought we left on friendly terms.

As he rode around the corner of the house I said, “Good luck!”

“Good luck!” Nate’s voice floated back. “I’ll be praying for you!” Then he was gone, his heavy bike leaving tire trails in the damp grass.

And that was that—I was alone again. Fear flooded every bone in my body, but I was free, light as air, alone with my thoughts again.

That night, I dreamt of riding my bike through the Blue Ridge Mountains. I didn’t dream about being at home and leaving again--I was pretty sure I wouldn't have that dream again.

Until one is committed
There is hesitancy, the chance to draw back
Always ineffectiveness.

…the moment one definitely commits oneself
Then providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one
That would never otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issue from the decision
Raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings
And material assistance
Which no man could have dreamt would come his way.

Whatever you can do or dream you can,
Begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and
Magic in it.

Begin it now.