Get On The Bus
I have my favorite quote by my favorite writer (Hunter S. Thompson) tattooed on the left side of my body.
It says “Buy the ticket, take the ride.”
Those familiar with his writing will most likely recognize it as this line appears fairly frequently in his work. He uses it whenever it’s time to take initiative and go for something, which is usually some highly illegal in his case.
I’m not a political journalist or an ether enthusiast, but I love this quote because to me it means take control. These words are close to my heart, both figuratively and literally, and serve as a reminder that I have the ability to take charge, take a chance, and take the ride.
As simple as this quote is, my darling mother could not remember it for the life of her. She would frequently ask me what my tattoo said and then quickly go back to forgetting. One day she said, “What’s your quote again? You know, you’re tattoo. Get on the bus?”
I have to admit it was fairly close.
It gave both of us quite a laugh and it’s still something we’ll say to each other to lighten up a “what am I doing with my life?” moment.
As my beloved yoga teacher training beings to come to an end, I’ve been reflecting a lot on all of the different things I’ve learned about myself, yoga, and life, as well as all the questions that have come up during the past 10 weeks. I couldn’t have asked to do this training at a better with time with all that’s been going on in my life and, you know, the world falling apart.
I stopped reading and watching the news after It was named President, but it’s not just him. It’s the suffering in Syria, the corporate greed causing physical violence on domestic flights, the endless shootings, the crippling fear that we’re on the bring of WWIII…
Did your blood pressure just start to rise too? Sorry about that. My point is that I could go down that path, I could only see the horror and feel completely hopeless because I know I can’t directly make an impact on any of these atrocities. I could choose to ignore everything going on around me and bury my head in the metaphorical sand like an ostrich (if you didn’t know that’s legit their defense mechanism — you’re welcome for the fun fact you can bring up at dinner parties). But that doesn’t seem like a great idea either, plus I’d have to become a hermit to fully carry it out because people talk about just as much as we post about it. And that’s not a bad thing. What’s bad is getting so caught up in everything that it takes away from your ability to function or be around certain people, especially those who disagree with you.
There’s a third option — you can let it go.
I know, easier said than done, but it’s really the only option that gives you the only thing we really need to remember that we do have any control; freedom. You when you can accept something for what it is and without assigning a judgement or label to it, you can let it go. It’s something that I aspire do to as second nature because right now it’s pretty damn hard. But I’ve noticed that when I can do it, it feels like one of the elephants sitting on me got up and wandered away. Then I can work on getting the next elephant off me.
If you feel hopeless and powerless, remember that no one can take that away from you. You control how you feel, or least you can try your hardest. So take control, and get on the bus.