When I returned to Florida, many family members and friends asked what I learned. Some asked if I got what I wanted out of the ride.
It was difficult to answer and respond to these questions because I approached this motorcycle ride with zero expectations. In addition, it's not like I jumped on the bike and somehow arrived.
Arriving implies that some end has been reached.
The only end I arrived at was a new beginning -- a new layer -- a new circumstance. In fact, riding more than 8000 miles magnified that I simply wanted to continue to place myself in new and unforeseen circumstances.
Does it sound strange?
Yet, that's exactly what I want -- right now -- out of life.
Motorcycle riding is constantly about the new and the unforeseen.
Anyone who rides knows that no ride is ever the same; the experience always changes. Not because the motorcycle has altered: the rider has!
That's where I am.
That's why I am going back to Savannah, Georgia to explore the new and the unforeseen because I know that I am providing myself with an opportunity to grow and expand.
That's why I had to change my blog's quote from where I was -- feeling like a cog in a machine -- to where I am -- being a curious explorer and adventurer (thank you Robert Pirsig) -- and being open to more unknowns and unforeseens.
Because I don't want motorcycle riding to represent some sort of escape of who I am or what I choose to be.
Pirsig was right.
I am the motorcycle.
I want to motorcycle ride in my life -- not away from it.
I returned to my previous employer -- my school -- to retrieve important signatures and paperwork.
I expected to see a few colleagues; however, I did not expect a teen onslaught.
A group of old students (now sophomores) accosted me at the front office.
Teenagers are a strange breed.
Hard to read.
But, sometimes, they reveal snippets of themselves.
And, here, they did.
They genuinely wanted to know how I was.
They genuinely wanted to know about the trip.
So... this selfie serves as an extension of that conversation.
Look at those teenagers (Max, Meg, Molly, Graham, Thovia, Julia, Kenneth, Skye, Vincent, and Piper)!
How could I say goodbye to those faces?
But I did, yet I do not feel any remorse for doing so.
While I know they were happy to see me, they were happy for me.
I am grateful that I had the chance to experience that happiness.
Let's be real: they represent the brightest 9th graders I have ever taught.
They understood that I had to go on this motorcycle ride.
A huge thank you -- to those former students -- for empathizing with my arrival at the unforeseen!
Until next time, my friend.