Saturday, May 21, 2016

Night Ride

The temperature drops, a damp chill hovers from the lake ahead to the north. The grooved, grated asphalt grinds against my tires and the uneven cuts in it leave my bike slipping a bit for grip. It's cooler, chilly, the closer I rush towards the lake. Turning just to get off the pavement back onto smooth roads and warmer air where the concrete and asphalt still hums with the warmth from the sun of the day or maybe from the heat of everyone so close together. 


We live in these tight, small communities. Riding in the country is best, but dangerous at night, particularly if a person has already had three run-ins with deer. The city and suburbs are only alive on corners, at bars, and in houses. The main streets, nigh impassable during the day, are clear and the lights change to green before you even have to down shift to second. 

I worked all day, from early in the morning, stopping briefly to let the dog out and go for a short run before heading to another job. We had to stay later than anyone planned. The closer I got to home, the more resolve grew to take the bike for a quick spin- clear my head and be alone. 

The dog, Peanut, flopped on the floor with a thud for pets and after a good rub-down I slipped into old jeans and boots, threw some food in his bowl and snuck out the door. 

I'd hesitated after pulling my jeans on and flicking my switch. What if I get hit? Or hit an animal? It was midnight on a Friday on one of the warmer nights and college students would be celebrating. People had been drinking on top of already being poor drivers.

But it's the fear of the unfamiliar that holds us back more than fear of actual danger. Of course, it's dangerous to ride a bike, but I didn't know what was out there. Was my limited, albeit rusty, experience on a bike enough to save me in case of a quick stop, lane change, or animal?

I decided it was more fear of the unfamiliar and the general knowledge that motorcycles can go from being a moment of free-bird flying to deadly instantaneously than anything else.

Hugging my bike for any precious heat she could spare, the tight muscles in my back from sparring last night relaxed. Shoulders, back, leaning into the curves, almost unconsciously shifting... worries and problems seem manageable and small and distant. We all need relief. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Starting Over for Keeps

This week, I'm getting back ABV (alcohol by volume) results and am officially going to be a part of an LLC. My contribution will be the Booch Babe kombucha (I already exist as half of the Boocha Babes and we're on Instagram @boochababes since Sarah thought Boocha Bitches would taint her professional life as a photojournalist). Since Sarah lives far away, I'll be single babe-ing it in Rochester and I'm not flipping out at all.

That'd be sarcastic normally, but it's not. I'm excited. It's become obvious I'll always be starting over and quickly working up to leadership positions in companies and I may as well invest my time and efforts in running my own show. This will likely include other people but I'm pretty much over working for other people.

So while in the process of possibly being accepted into the Rochester Police Department it seems a more creative endeavor is paving its own course. I realized I should just pick something I like and work my ass off and enjoy my life instead of worrying if I'm making my dad proud or about committing to staying in one place for a while.

I have a fantastic life here. If this isn't living, what is? Having relationships with people are what matter more than a bank account. Falling into bed every night exhausted from being choked and getting submitted at the gym after working all day makes me happy. I am so glad for the last year of emotional struggles because I'm where I am now and I can't believe I'm saying it.

Monday, May 16, 2016


It's very important you find out what makes you happy and do that. I love motorcycles and dogs. Now I have both of those things. 

More people do regret the things they didn't do more than the things they did do. You can always learn and grow, but you can't always go back and have those experiences you passed on and suddenly play catch-up. 

"Perhaps your love will make me forget all I wish not to remember." The line from Alexander Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo hits where it hurts. It's the breath and plea of a person on the cusp of moving out of one thing that has hurt for a long time. It's also hopeful- not that there aren't good things to remember, but that new love will help you forget the bad things. 

On my birthday my sweet (and very talented! Paper Bird Illustrations!) friend Virginia said, "You seem so much happier than when I met you, Jesse." 

At first this surprised me, but she's right. I am so happy. Life is by no means easy, a couple months ago was a rough few days that made for a solid month of life potholes.

Slowly, I'm learning to be true to myself and care about others. That relationships are EVERYTHING. That you cannot live your life to make someone else happy or proud. If they're causing you to feel that way, they're probably trying to get that same kick from someone else and will never be able to satiate that desire in you because they themselves don't possess it. One cannot give away a gift that one does not possess oneself. This really is too bad but that's the truth. 

To cope with life, I've been at my gym for a year and a half already. I love my team. They're like family to me. Here's me and some of the guys I train with in jiu jitsu a couple weeks ago after the New York State Championships. Not as big of a deal as it sounds, but still cool. I cried pathetically when I lost. Again. Third time might be a charm for placing better than third and maintaining dignity.