I had been dreaming about it for months. Not having to depend on others for a ride anymore, not wasting time in the bus anymore, or money in the taxi. Being able to come home after dark.
My own transportation!
A motor bike was what I wanted. So I prayed, and I dreamed, and hoped.
When the money came in, I asked a friend to teach me how to ride a motor bike. Quite essential, really. I spent some interesting hours on an empty field, driving in circles and scaring the crap out of some school boys that should have known better than to hang around there.
Two weeks later the second ‘lesson’ followed, and I decided it was time to buy my own. If you learn, it’s better to learn on your own motor bike, so you get to know it well. Good decision, as I found out soon enough that the gear system on mine was actually opposite from the bike I practiced on…front is gearing down, not up! Must! Remember! This!
So I got a motor bike, a helmet, and the next morning I got up at 5am to drive around on the empty road. Two days later I did the same thing, and drove out into the hills around Pokhara.
Then I got scared.
I was sitting at home, and every time I looked at my shiny motor bike, sitting outside next to the car, I got scared.
I’m not even sure what I was scared of. Making mistakes, perhaps. Stalling it in front of a group of staring Nepalis – there’s always a group of staring Nepalis wherever I go.
Not being able to go up a steep hill, or down. Not being able to start it.
The whole city of Pokhara making fun of me cause there was a girl, a foreigner, on a MOTOR BIKE! (generally girls drive scooters here, or they walk).
There was a lot of thoughts going through my mind and the only clear one was: I don’t wanna drive that thing.
Later on that day, I was writing an email or something, and suddenly it hit me.
I know how to drive a motor bike.
I stopped whatever I was doing and just sat there, smiling. I know how to drive a motor bike. I had driven it that very morning, 10 kilometers outside the city!
Sure, I drove like a grandma (an old one) and I stalled it twice, but I knew how to drive it and that was more than I could say 6 weeks ago.
You can allow fear to paralyze you, or you can face it. So the next day I decided to face my fears, and drive again, and guess what? The fear got less.
The more I face my fears, the smaller they become.
So this is not just about driving motor bikes. This is about everything.
It’s about thinking someone is in your big empty house and instead of waiting for something to happen, grabbing your flashlight to check every room.
It’s about thinking you’re not qualified for your work, but doing it anyway, and giving it the best you have.
Its about seeing many challenges ahead but going on anyway because you know its God who leads you.
“You gain strength, experience and confidence by every experience where you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you cannot do.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
[sorry, excusez-moi en maaph garnoes – geen NL’se versie. Het is niet dat ik mijn roots vergeet, maar als ik eerst in het Engels schrijf klinkt de Nederlandse versie altijd krom! :( ]
[en een disclaimer over mijn veiligheid: mijn gemiddelde snelheid is ongeveer 25 km/h. Op de fiets ga ik nog harder, en ik heb ook nog een helm op ;) ]