Yes, it's called 'The Good Year' but that doesn't mean that every moment is spectacular and triumphant. Sometimes great achievements and enlightening breakthroughs come from the moments of greatest doubt.
My favorite metaphor for life is a wave (though don't ask me to surf it); Each new set of crests and valleys reveals opportunities and challenges completely different from the last. During the past month or two I have sunk quite a ways from the highest crests of The Good Year. I have faced a few unplanned challenges though I'm starting to realize that nothing has been wasted in the fight.
In the grand continuum of bad to good my life is still on the upside but recently an angry intestine has managed to soak up the majority of my energy along with my enthusiasm and spark. Heap on top a healthy serving of pre-planned B-school/life stress and suddenly, the foundation of my beliefs start to feel shaky.
It's important to know that I operate on a fairly basic assumption: "I can do it. Alone." Blame my early education in Montessori schools or simply my distrust of most people but so far I've managed to survive fairly well on individual pursuits. Now, however, life has started to shake at its foundation and suddenly it's not so easy to go it alone. Island living starts to loose it's appeal. And, even if I could power through solo, why would I want to?
Life is starting feel a little more uncertain and a little shorter than it has before. The road is long but the measures of distance have started to change. The guideposts aren't quite as clear and the people around are becoming a lot more important. At first they help pick me up when I start to slip. But quickly 'I can do it' is beginning to sound more ridiculous. More often I'm finding myself saying 'we can do it.' And recently people have even heard 'you can do it' whispered in the back of the class, passed across a dinner table or shouted out as a teammate sprints past me on a final race ascent.
Slipping into the role of supporting character isn't as terribly traumatic as I had once thought. Watching a classmate stand at the fore of a business competition and wow the judges with our team's analysis. Getting just healthy enough to get back into bike racing action only to launch an attack that would let a teammate take a conference championship victory. Giving advice to a friend on how to navigate the next step of a career, a life and a relationship.
Maybe I'm trying to gloss over the truly rough patches. Maye this is all totally superficial But maybe some of the real victories of The Good Year aren't globe trotting adventures, race wins or job offers. Maybe they are real, lasting changes. A fresh belief upon which I have begun to build a new foundation.
Life is changing but don't worry, it is for the better.
The intestines hurt but there are new treatments.
The couch is comfy but there are plenty more big adventures in the chamber.
The head, legs hands and heart are ready to help but there is still plenty I can do alone.
The foundation has shifted but this is still The Good Year.