Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Training Wheels

This past weekend my little daughter reached that milestone we all reached at a point or another – riding a bike without the training wheels.
I can’t tell you how proud she was and I can’t even begin to tell you how proud I was.
As I was running behind her huffing and puffing like a steam locomotive, waves of fond memories flooded my mind and my heart filled up with melancholic joy.
(My daughter is not a baby anymore :)

I also realized how growing up involved leaving behind the “training wheels”
And I don’t mean just learning how to ride a bike but learning everything.
In every step of our developmental growth we have - at some point - to leave behind our “training wheels” and do it on our own.
That is at least until we take the last set of “training wheels” off and leave the safety of our home nest becoming independent adults.

At that point something happens; we settle down for the comfort zone.
We find a place where we feel comfortable and safe and stay there pretty much for the rest of our adult life, unless of course something major happens that forces us to leave our comfort zone and start growing again.

As adults we loose that natural curiosity, that thirst for knowledge, that adventurous spirit of exploration.
Or maybe it is just because there is nobody behind us anymore to push us to learn more.
We become dogmatic, pragmatic, boring and predictable.
Life becomes static with every day after day repeating the same old routine.
We can feel it and we sometimes complain about it but we hardly ever do anything about it.
We are stuck in being us

I don’t know, maybe I’m just talking about myself and everybody else is very happy with whom they are.
Not that I am not happy with who I am, just that I feel that there is so much more to life, so much more to me than this.
I know that doesn’t sound very Buddhist of me wanting more, but I am not asking for more things in my life, I am asking for more me in my life.
Is that as wrong?

I want to enlarge my horizons, to learn new things to explore new possibilities.
I want to challenge this old body to push the boundary of my physical and intellectual limits.
I do not want to fade quietly in my golden, old age.
I want to get excited about my life, like a little boy getting excited for his new bike.
I want that wild ride feeling again even if it means leaving my comfort zone behind.

The older I get the less I fear dying, the more I fear not living enough.


Ted Bagley said...

As Camus said, 'Freedom is nothing else than a change to be better.' :)

Brooks Hall said...

Go Buddha, go!

Buddha said...

@ Ted - I've been holding on my training wheels for too long...
Time to let go!

@ Brooks Hall - Thank you so much for your encouragement!
I certainly intend to do just that :)

Lydia said...

Oh, wow. This is brilliant and brought tears to my eyes. I want more of me too.

timethief said...

This post is beautiful. As I read this I both wept and smiled. The remove the training wheels and ride free lesson is one I have had to learn over and over again. Deep down inside I want to free up more of me too.

Buddha said...

@ Lydia - Thank you my old friend - it means a lot to me :)

@ TT - What can I say?
Great minds think alike:)