Just Riding Along

I heard a sound above and in my peripheral vision above me, saw something moving down fast.

"Oh Sh*t" The sound of wood cracking after hitting the trail, literally behind my rear tire, made me scream.
Yes. I screamed in the woods.
I looked down at the offending branch, which had broken in two upon impact. It was obviously, very dead.

It wasn't terribly wide around, but it would've been close to my height before it broke.

The fact that it was right behind my tire. The concept of my just being missed.
I had braced myself for impact, to feel something smack the back of my head.
My body had tensed. My nerves were high. 
I started to cry.
I almost started to panic. 

This "almost" accident shook me to my core. 
I think the largest reason for it was the anticipation of the unknown.
The fear.

The sound of something above me, and my going fast enough to not actually see it, yet not sure if I was fast enough to miss it. Panic brain.
The sound of cracking behind me.
The shock of not being hit.

I was shaking.

All I could think about was my Dad hearing some sort of sound. A warning crack. Something similar to the rustling above me that I heard, indicating something was plummeting down. Except for him, it would've been a literal tree explosion.

All I could do was live in my moment of pure fear.
That feeling washed over me like a wave. I hated it. It made me mad.
I was scared of a STICK. A glorified stick.
I had to convince myself that my dad wasn't trying to send me a message. Why the hell would he send me a message that involves a tree branch almost hitting me or my bike? I mean...that would be really sh*tty.

I moved the branch off the trail. I looked up the trail. The sun was shining. It was a freak (almost) accident. I was okay.
Stop worrying about what you'll never know.
Stop thinking your Dad wants you to live with the thought he was overcome with fear during his final moments of being cognizant. No. He would never want that.
You will believe it happened so fast, he never felt a thing.
No, you were not being punished for going on a bike ride.

"I'm going to blame this on my lack of sleep."

It's so funny. How last year I probably would've felt a rush of relief and laughed off the whole ordeal. "Dude! I almost got hit by a branch!"
It's not funny, how something like this can so quickly and powerfully transform feelings of a calm, leisurely ride into one with tears.

I couldn't help but feel a bit mad at myself for how I reacted.
"I'm supposed to be strong."

I think, one of the things I've learned through this whole experience of losing my dad, is that it's okay to not feel strong.
It's okay to feel vulnerable. You need to.
I've been trying so much over the past few months to really shutter everything up inside when it comes to dealing with everything. My dad, the riding (or lack of), FWD, and my feeling of simply feeling displaced in life.

I've needed time away and couldn't. I'm mentally and emotionally exhausted from having to deal with things remotely. I'm tired of the trips. I'm tired of spending money. I'm tired of the decisions. I'm tired of the waiting. I'm tired of the unknown. I'm tired of the known.

Uncle Bill said my dad did not want me to have to deal with what I'm currently dealing with in terms of his property. He had goals of taking care of everything. He just needed time. He needed to retire. He was afraid to retire. He needed to retire. Time stopped short. Time can be just what you need or fall short of your expectations. Time can give and time can take away.

I also realized that I need to be selfish with my time.
I need to honor myself.
What I want to do.
I can still do something special- but I need to ensure that I don't burn myself out.
If I don't want to. Don't.
If I do...then do it.
I'll never be able to really live life or enjoy it if I'm always worried about not being or doing "enough."
Dad spent time doing what made him happy, but he had a legitimate worry and fear setting him back from doing what he should've done.
I'll always have this nagging feeling of sadness....that my dad had something robbed from him.
I don't want to be robbed.

Hold whatever it is you're questioning to your heart. Does it bring you joy or do you question it? If you don't feel joy- put it back. It's time to reclaim life.