my BIG OL’ SecRET
The Journey That Changed Everything...
In 2011, I was scared. Ever since I could remember, I'd had an unwavering fear of men. It wasn't fair to all the kind, respectable men in my life, yet I couldn't shake it. In a world where sexual assault was more prevalent than cancer, and where I was taught that one in four young women were sexually assaulted before the age of eighteen, I felt doomed. I’d entered college, fallen in love, gotten myself a boyfriend, and still couldn’t shake the fear: I’d get panic attacks during intimacy, which isn’t exactly sexy.
It was time for a bold move. Therapy, you say? Haha, nope! I didn’t want to reveal my secret to anyone, let alone a credentialed stranger who might announce I was incurably broken. I felt weird and wrong and imperfect, and I wanted to hide that from everyone, forever.
Instead of going to therapy, I hit the road. I bought a vintage touring bicycle, 4 shiny yellow panniers from REI, some maps from Adventure Cycling Association, and then I pedaled alone, for 5,000 miles, from Oregon to Florida. I was terrified pretty much the entire time. But I learned to live with fear. And I learned we can live adventurous lives in spite of it. (And yeah, in the 9 years since then, I’ve had my share of therapy.)
I was terrified pretty much the entire time… But I learned to live with fear. And I learned we can live adventurous lives in spite of it.
I never thought I’d tell anyone my secret. But here I am, writing a whole friggin’ book about it, and it’s almost done! (You can read this ol' post about my memoir here).
Confession: writing a book is a much longer, lonelier, more arduous undertaking than those 4 months I spent on my first bike tour. Writing about my shadows is more stressful than hitchhiking in Patagonia, more foreign than living with Mayan villagers in Belize. Therefore, your support and interest means everything to me. You are the Future Readers who keep asking for my book, and I appreciate you so incredibly much.