About 2 years ago, I had two huge motorcycle accidents.
One cost me about 4 months of walking and come with a Intramedullary Rod. 5 hours long surgery was a lovely bonus. It hurt like hell and still does, in cold weathers.
The second one was more forgiving, yet it’s price was another implant in my left thumb.
Both accidents happened in a short time span, about six monts in between. Doctors told me that I couldn’t ride for at least two years. Two years is a very long time. A very, very long time.
But that two years was the longest and most educative years of my life. Here is what i learned;
Life is really short, live it while you can
This might be a cliche, but worth mentioning.
Being young has a weird illusion; you think that you’ll live forever. I was a victim of that illusion, too. What I lived through has shown me that life can very well be over on a sunny sunday afternoon. Trust me, every death is too soon.
And those changes don’t always come slowly. Sometimes it shifts to something completely new (not necessarily better) just in an instant.
Seeing how life changes, I’ve made some decisions;
I decided that there can be no procrastination. Every wish should have timestamps on them. That gives one a huge motivation.
I decided that time is not my enemy, but a fact that I should embrace anyway that I can. It just goes by and running against is pretty meaningless. Just flow with it. This is not easy; but when you start doing it, everything just becomes a lot easier.
You only can regret what you didn’t do
You don’t get do-overs (well, let’s don’t get into religion, shall we?) in life and that is very ok. Mistakes are real but the regret it creates is not. So never feel regret, but rather make them a part of you. Learn from and grow with them.
In Turkish; my name means freedom. That’s probably the best gift that i’ve received from my parents. But the concept of freedom is vague, so you have to define it for yourself. For me; freedom is being independent from time & place. A bike gives me that. You should find yours.
Know what you want to do (and why)
Lying in bed, I’ve made a list. A list of things that I want to do before i turn 30, 35 and 40(one can never know, right?). Making that list is super easy. The hard part is cleaning it up and find the underlying motivations. A list starting with so much money is not a list. Even what you’ll do with that money is not enough. You must find out why you want to do that. That is what I call a bucket list optimization.
As I optimise that list, I’ve seen what I seek in life, the essence of me is freedom and happiness. I try and find those things on everything that I do.
One of the things that gives me both is this little beauty on the left.
So I’ve got back to riding, putting many miles under my belt. Hoping to do more; let me finish with what is a motorcycle is to me;
A bike is loneliness. It is being alone and liking that. It is listening a iron horse that grrs under you and responding it with a silent grin. It is standing alone against what ever life throws at you.
A bike is freedom. It is having the motivation to wake up before sun, and do many miles, leaving the mess of the city and civilisation behind you. It is to seek for a reason to ride and to be in love with going, not arriving. It is a huge step to a world, where only you define the borders.
It is war. They say only the mad and the genius rides, and the mad wouldn’t be riding for long. It makes you think, evaluating risks, not the now ones, but the future ones too.
Riding is glory. At every corner you turn, you take risks and you survive. Every time you kill the engine, you know that you survived, you’ve won a war. It is winning that war where every force of nature (maybe not the centrifugal force, but you get the idea) tries to make you fall and you don’t.
It is kindness. You hold the handlebar like holding a ladie’s hand. This is the first lesson you learn to tame that iron horse, a lot stronger than you. It is the protect yourself, your passenger, buddies, friends, the cat on the road and mom at home. It is the only place in world where you need to be kind, to stay alive.
And finally, it is getting lost. To be more accurate; it is to love being lost. It is taking the unknown roads and embrace what it brings. An old saying goes; only the ones who are lost, can explore the unknown.
I hope you figure those things in life, without the pain and surgery. ☺